Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Motherhood & More: Finding a balance between work and play*

I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to survive with my children home for the summer.

I always say that. Every year. And every year we do fine, with mishaps here and there, fights and squabbles and whining. Normal, everyday stuff.

It’s just, I never know what to do with them.

Going places every day isn’t an option. Also, my kids aren’t the best behaved in public places. I have a runner, who has been a runner since she was able to run. So I still am overwhelmed when I leave the house by myself with both kids. I am working on that myself and still (always) working on the behavior of the runner.

But I vow to get out more. We are members at the local gym/pool and so I see a lot of that sort of thing in our future. Free childcare while I run on a treadmill most definitely will draw me in. And also both kids now can swim without floaties, so it will be easier to take them to the pool by myself. And maybe now that they’re older I can relax a bit, too.

And of course there’s always the library. And maybe the zoo.

But there still will be many hours and full days where we spend our time at home. And I’m not the best with developing activities for them to do. A large part of me believes they need to discover that themselves. Absolutely I will facilitate and play with them when I can. But I think they need to make things up themselves, to create their own games.

Added to all of this, for the first time, I also will be working part time from home. It’s going to be a struggle not to just set them in front of the television or a tablet so I can work. And, honestly, that probably will happen many, many times.

My kids don’t do so well with a bunch of screen time, though. They usually start acting out and generally being little meanies to each other and to me.

So I will have to write out complete sentences and thoughts in between games of Go Fish and perform research while also making lunches and kissing booboos and cleaning up the endless Legos strewn about.

Oh, I can’t wait. I’m so, so excited. Thrilled, even. Ecstatic. And every other hyperbolic adjective I can come up with. I’ve always wanted to work from home doing something I loved and somehow I was lucky enough to get just that.

But I’m also terrified of my children being home from school for the summer. I don’t know quite how I’m going to manage having my kids home all day, every day while still producing quality work. I suspect there will be a lot of late nights in my future and a lot of begging for help from friends and relatives.

And in between all of that, maybe we’ll have a bit of fun and create some lasting memories.

And hopefully they are good memories and not ones of me yelling at them to go play outside so I can get some work done.

I can’t wait.

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on May 27, 2015.

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