Both my husband and I had crazy intense work stuff going on that took over our lives (and sanity) for the last 2 months. We've been working weekends and nights. Which means that we were barely spending any quality time with kids (it basically was limited to feeding &bathing and occasionally checking homework) and nothing but the most urgent housework got done. When I actually think about it, we didn't really neglect the kids - I remember taking the youngest to the playground, playing an occasional game, and talking over dinner - but I couldn't quite focus on the time with kids and I was too concerned with how much work I still had to do to have fun.
We feel exhausted, stressed, frustrated, and we over-react angrily to all the little things. We are behind on everything (gardening, housework), I can't remember the last time I sat down and read to my kids (we are always running around, trying to either get somewhere important, get the kids to do something important, get the kids to go to bed at a reasonable time, prepare lunches, prepare dinners, prepare for work). I hate living like that. Kids internalize our stress and anxiety and act out.
So. My crazy work stuff is done (for now).
We still have:
- Son's baseball (twice a week, plus practices... he is not so good at it and I don't know if he is enjoying it - may not do this again next year!)
- Son's violin lessons (once a week + daily practice) - and he has a recital this Sunday!!! My mom is accompanying him on the piano - they are doing great (but that has meant extra practice time and arranging things so mom can practice with him at our house or her house)
- Big daughter's dance lessons (once a week, plus a dress rehearsal coming up next week, plus the show a few days after that!)
- Big daughter's piano lessons (once a week + daily practice) - and piano guild audition thing next week.
- Daily homework for big kids
- Little daughter - I feel guilty I didn't sign her up for anything this spring (I was considering swimming lessons) - but in retrospect, good thing we didn't. Too much going on.
- Guests coming tomorrow and staying overnight
- End of school year - parties, presents for teachers, etc, etc.
- Race that I want the kids to participate in (for fun!) same day as big daughter's piano guild
- Birthday party to go to same day as big daughter's dance show
- Board meeting at the synagogue same day as birthday party and dance show
Breathe in.... breathe out
I am making an attempt to play with kids more, especially now that the weather is so nice and we have a beautiful yard. I want to play board games with them, too, but most evenings we just don't get to it.
Yesterday, we had a wonderful evening (son didn't have homework - that may have helped carve the time for outside fun). We threw the baseball around and I even tried to hit it with a bat for the first time ever (it was unexpectedly fun - but I only got one hit!), played Frisbee, played with a volleyball. Our youngest is pretty good at catching ball - she was so excited! We walked around the yard, kids picked strawberries (I believe the harvest was about 30 wild ones and 1 big red one), we inspected the trees, kids played on the play set. We ate dinner outside. Ah, just thinking about all of it makes me happy!
Tonight, we are going over to my parents' house. Today would have been my grandfather's 100th birthday - so we are having dinner and then will be looking at some old photos.
I know spring time is hectic for many families. How do you keep things from falling apart?