Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Eight Square Inches Between Interruptions

I've reached the part of summer where I'm burnt out on summer.


It is always advisable to wear goggles while catching raindrops in your mouth.

Summer is a lot of togetherness for me. Togetherness with my kids, togetherness with friends, late nights, long days. And while I do love the ease of the togetherness, I can't figure out how to have an ease of solitude as well. I feel super-duper cramped.

This is my first summer with a smart phone. I'm on it all the time. Not because I'm trying to fill a void in my life, but because I'm trying to escape the craziness around me and have control over something, even if it is only the 8 square inches between interruptions.

It doesn't really work, by the way.

Last summer, we had two problems: 1) I under-scheduled the children and 2) summer was effectively three weeks longer because we took the kids out of school three weeks early to travel. I'm not beating myself up about last summer, because I did the best I could given the situation we were dealing with. But this summer, I promised myself to do a better job balancing boring days with camp. I think, by in large, it's working. The kids seem satisfied: we've got a relative good balance of do-nothing days and busy days, activities and down time. I even feel that I've reached some sort of sweet spot in finding perfect camps: the type of camps where the kids come home happy and tired, rather than in need of de-programming from children's taunts and bad manners.

Good Job, Ann. (Well, nobody else is going to congratulate me for this, so I find it necessary to talk this way to myself.)

The summer challenge now is really to factor in ME. How do I get a break from the kids (all three of them at the same time)? How do I get time to decompress? How much do I need, anyway? I contemplate numbers: Fritz works/commutes/exercises for about 52 hours a week. That means, on a regular schedule, I spend 52 hours a week alone with the kids in various combinations (1 kid, 2 kids, 3 kids). The last time I regularly had no kids was 2 years ago when I hired a babysitter for a scheduled 2 hours a week. That last for about 8 months. Two hours a week without kids was not much, but it helped.

This fall, Trixie will start preschool and then I will get 9 hours a week without kids. I haven't had 9 hours a week of time away from my kids since Mattias was born in 2010! So, this is huge. Will it be enough? Will I feel more refreshed and relaxed? Hopefully, it will offer some clues and guidance to scheduling for next summer.

1 comment:

Pregnantly Plump said...

I know how it feels. I do. But the 9 hours sounds great! When does school start back for you? We get an early start to summer and early end down here.