The only thing better than a holiday Monday in the summer is a surprise! holiday Monday in the summer.
Work-at-home parents live for the 9-ish summer weekends we get each year. Well, I know that I do. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.
During the school year, my work life and my family life require a wee bit of juggling—I get up (too) early, I stay up (too) late, and I spend every minute between 8:44am and 3:28pm doing my job. But in the summer, when that whole school thing isn’t happening, the juggling requires something a little bit more Cirque du Soleil-like, and if you have ever met me, you know that I’m on the Bella Swan side of clumsy, and I don’t look very good in tights.
This summer, though, I have asked—nay begged—for help and advice. I have looked at other WAHM’s schedules and spreadsheets and have scratched my head. My solution, in the end, has been to get up a little earlier, stay up a little later, and drink way too much coffee. I try to get as much done before the kids are awake and then once they are in bed. I make promise of an outing once a day—even if that outing is just to the dollar store to stock up on clay and sidewalk chalk and arts and crafts supplies—in exchange for some solid work time.
It has been working mostly well.
I still have a job and my kids still like me. (Win!)
But every morning my to-do lists get longer and my guilt weighs just a bit heavier. Guilt that I’m not spending enough time on my work; guilt that I’m not spending enough time with my kids. I picture what it would be like in an actual office. Oh, sorry boss of mine, but I have to spend the next few hours jumping on a trampoline and bike riding. I’m sorry, I can’t make that lunch meeting, I have a date with some little blue men in white hats.
On the weekends, I check that guilt straight at the door. I stop obsessively checking my email during business hours. I stop worrying, stop feeling guilty. I jump on the trampoline with abandon (I just make sure I pee first), I go to the park, I go to the pool, I go for bike rides, I go mini-golfing.
I wait to worry about it until Monday.
Which is why it was such a bonus to have a Monday that I didn’t have to worry. All I worried about was my baseball swing, how I was going to keep the kids from eating all eight bags of chips, how I felt about veggie hot dogs (spoiler alert: with enough mustard and relish, they taste a lot like mustard and relish), and whether or not I wanted to sit in the sun or the shade (spoiler alert: it’s the sun. It’s always the sun).
We went to Petticoat Creek Conservation Area in Pickering with some great friends and some great kids. We didn’t do a single exciting thing all day—there were no rides, there was no swimming, there were no animals to feed. But it was one of the best days I have had in a long time.
Laughs were BIG and worries were SMALL.
This week I got to wait to worry about it until Tuesday.