I love the first week back to the normal routine of things after the school break. I look forward to it, yearn for it. While I’m a spontaneous person at heart, I like my routine. Spontaneity is always a welcomed visitor, but lately the only kind of spontaneity I’ve had is in the form of simply ensuring I’m available and able to drop everything at any moment when I happen to be needed for something. This is simply just an irritating disruption, not the kind of spontaneity I have in mind.
I used to look forward to the end of the long school breaks for the simple fact that I could have some peace and quite for a while during the day. Go ahead – judge me. Roll your eyes as if to say’ here’s another parent who pushes her kids off to school every day so she doesn’t have to deal with them’. Not quite.
One thing I will say for sure about myself is that I was and still am a very good mother. Being a good mother takes a lot of work. If you do your job well it leaves you feeling physically exhausted, emotionally drained but also blissfully satisfied at the end of the day. To me being a good mother is more than ensuring the kids are clean and fed. It means being an educator, comforter, entertainer, moderator and cheerleader. Often, as a mother, you find you’ll be all those things in the course of an hour.
I’ve been fortunate to be home and available to my kids while they have been growing up. The jobs I did take revolved around my kids and their schedules. Though I wasn’t truly a single parent, my husband’s job required him to be gone from home for several weeks to a few months at a time, which means I was often left on my own as sole parent.But luckily I also had the support of some really good friends who were in the same situation.
School breaks could be a bit overwhelming when the kids were younger. The lead up to winter break usually started around the end of October when the flurry of events started: parties, parades, plays, special projects. By the time the first day of winter break rolled around I was happy for the time off, but after about the first week of “taking it easy” I was ready for the routine of school again.
I was never one to plop the kids in front of the T.V. School breaks were probably more planned out and structured than actual school. We always had play dates and field trips planned. There were short homework times planned as well, so they wouldn’t unlearn all they had learned. All this activity meant other things would get pushed down to the bottom of my daily to-do list. So, needless to say, by the middle of the break, I started counting down the days until the return to my precious, wonderful, quiet, calm routine.
Now though, it’s a bit different. Sure, they can feed themselves and often sleep past noon but now I find I’m interrupted several times throughout the day to take someone somewhere. I only have two kids to shuffle around, not sure I could keep my sanity with more than that. And of course neither one of them ever seem to be coming from or going to the same place at the same time. No, they are usually 15 to 30 minutes behind each other. As soon as I get one where they need to be I get a call from the other one. This is almost always after I arrive home from dropping one off, manage to make it in the door and almost make it to the fridge for a drink. Just before the first sip, the phone rings. And of course, this one needs to be picked up from the vicinity of where I just dropped the other one off.
So now I have my routine back. Yessssss!! At least I know I’ll have a set amount of hours in the day for which to hope for something more spontaneous than the pick-me-up NOW call. And oh, by the way – yesterday we bought our son a car. I’m pretty sure none of us opened the hood of that thing or even so much as kicked the tires. How’s that for spontaneous?
Now he just needs a license.