Managing the Summer Schedule
The plan was to be getting everyone out of bed by 8 am because sleeping late in the summer causes us all to sleep through some of the best work hours of the day. Except the best outdoor hours of the day are 8-10 pm. Those are the cut-the-lawn, work-in-the-garden, go-ride-bikes hours. If we’re outside until 10 pm, then the younger kids don’t go to bed until 11 and the older kids until midnight. Seventeen years of mommy radar training makes it very difficult for me to fall asleep while kids are still rattling around the house, even when those kids are teenagers. I get to bed around 1 am. This makes getting up at 8 am…unlikely. We can do it. I make efforts, but when I do get up early, the house is so lovely and quiet. “I can get work done in peace!” I think to myself. So I do. Then I hear kids rummaging in the kitchen for breakfast and realize that once again it is 10:30 am. The pattern is more or less working, but all my roles run into each other. Also, I’m not getting enough sleep, not even on the days when I catch an afternoon nap. The lack of sleep further erodes my ability to compartmentalize my roles. My life feels much nicer when each day clearly divided in to mom focused time, work focused time, house focused time, and relaxation time. In summer those things all dissolve into each other so that I always feel like something is getting neglected. The best I can do is declare “house stuff comes first today” and then plan for a more work focused day later. The good news is that all of the critical tasks are being accomplished even though everything feels like a big muddle.
Things will change (again) tomorrow evening when Niece7 and Nephew5 come to stay with me for five days. Those number designators are ages, and no their parents aren’t going to be here. I’m re-entering the world of 24 hour preschool child care. Yes I expect it to make just about everything harder. I’ve planned for that, but my sister is moving so I’m watching her kids. Then there is a family reunion, and then a different sister is coming to stay with her kids. The family part of my brain is very happy and excited. The business side of my brain worries a bit, particularly about the next week, because I’ve got to get books shipped off to GenCon soon.
I write all this out, and it feels like I’m repeating myself. Which I am. Because I face similar challenges every summer. Part of my brain feels like I should have figured this out by now. Surely it is a solvable problem. Yet the best I can manage is a solution that feels like muddling through.
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