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Archive for September, 2006

Reality Check

News for mothers of pre-school aged children: It DOES NOT get easier once your children are in school. Especially if you have one in a preschool and another in a big kids school. And especially if they both get out at the same time. And also, if one goes to school five days a week and the other only two days a week, and you are working, that leaves babysitter coordination– not just “hey, how about Wednesday and Friday mornings at our place?” More like, ” I’m dropping Sunshine off at 8:30 and have to be at work at 9:00, so where can you meet me so we have a nice transition for Boo while still getting me to work

on time? The coffee shop in Harvard Square? Great!” (Have you driven through Harvard Square at 8:45?) Oh, and making two lunches a day. That’s fun to do at 10:00 every night before school. Oh, and nut-free schools, right. Has anyone out there found a brand of bread that WASN’T made in a nutty facility, because I’m sending Boo to school with sunflower seed butter and apple slices.

I guess I always thought life would be easier once the children were in school because then I would have TIME TO MYSELF. The joke is that for some God known reason, we tend to sabotage time for ourselves JUST as we get it by doing something crazy like going back to work, or volunteering on school committees, or canvasing for our favorite candidate. (Maybe you think these activities qualify as “me” time. I don’t. I picture laying on the couch, sipping tea and reading a David Sedaris book as good “me” time.) And so when you add in the lunch packing, the pick-ups and drop offs, the carpool and sitter coordination, what have you left for yourself? Sleep deprivation and anxiety. Sound familiar?

So my advice to current stay home mothers of pre-school aged children is this: Either stay home for the next several years to make up for lost “me” time, or get a grip on reality so that you don’t wake up one morning, like I did, and wonder what…just…happened?

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How does anyone have time to write, read or comment on blogs with holiday weekends away, kids starting school and melting down every three seconds, and work? Really? The past week, I have even forgone writing down a grocery list (which is a BAD idea when all my blood is in my belly anyway. I get to the store and just look around like, “Hmmmm.. all looks good, but what in the world can I ever do with any of this stuff, and why am I here?” Then I get home and wonder what we will have for dinner).I’ll get back in the saddle (if I was really ever there in the first place) again once the school gears are greased and moving, my babysitter RETURNS from vacation (!!), my husband graduates from school, and then residency, we settle someplace we’re going to stay for more than two years, the mortgage is paid off, the kids are away at college… Where did that saddle go?

Right- as soon as the kids are fully back in school (does two mornings a week qualify as “fully”), and the babysitter is back (tomorrow!), then life and it’s often seemingly mundane, but enjoyably predictable routine is back in gear, then I will hitch my saddle.

And four weeks later have a baby.

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