Category Archives: working parent

Tuesdays Through Mid-November

6:30 a.m.: Alarm goes off. I find myself surrounded by sleeping children. Just two, but it seems like a lot to wake up to sometimes. The black cat jumps on the bed. He wants to snuggle. He’s a demanding and aggressive snuggler. I give in, hitting snooze several times.

6:45 a.m.: I shove the cat away. He curls around the head of the child who is mildly allergic to cats and begins to lick his (the child’s) cheek. I get up. I find enough coffee from yesterday in the French press for one mug. I decide it’s not worth the time/effort to make a new pot. I prepare breakfast for the children. The older one appears in the kitchen and begins to eat.

6:58 a.m.: I carry the younger child down to the kitchen, wrap him in a blanket, and leave him facedown on the table next to his breakfast while I head for the shower.

7:10 a.m.: Younger child has returned to his bed, claiming he has no pants, but at least he’s eaten his breakfast, which is a surprising and pleasant change. I find him an entire outfit, then go dress myself.

7:15 a.m.: Why does no one have shoes on? Has anyone brushed teeth? Get your pants on! Why aren’t your pants on? Thank god I packed lunches last night.

7:22 a.m.: In the car. It’s go time.

7:57 a.m.: Drop off older boy at school for orchestra. Drive to Starbucks with younger child. Buy us both coffees (his is decaf, despite his protests) and the chili chicken wrap he asks for. Protein and veggies, right? We hang out, talking, reading a book about the 1936 Olympic rowing team,  talking, taking selfies. I love this time together. He keeps trying to switch our coffees so he can have the dark roast that is not decaf.

8:48 a.m.: Drop younger boy off at school. He strolls in with his backpack, Starbucks cup clutched in his hand. He’s in third grade.

9:16 a.m.: Arrive at work. Dive in. Eat the rest of the chicken chili wrap for breakfast.

5:00 p.m.: Log out. Race out of the office. Email a colleague from the parking lot.

5:30 p.m.: Arrive at afterschool to pick up the kids. Feed them (beef jerky, trail mix, fruit leather, watered-down apple juice) while the older boy pulls on shinguards, socks, cleats. Would love to be the kind of parent who shows up with a cooler of homemade food but people, let’s be real. I let Trader Joe’s take care of this situation for me because I knew Tuesdays would be just one degree shy of a total shitshow.

5:45 p.m.: Drop older boy off at soccer field 15 minutes early. The coach is there, so I feel OK leaving.

6:04 p.m.: Arrive at our CSA farm. Find out what we need to harvest (PYO). Head to the fields with the younger boy to harvest string beans (green, yellow, purple), edamame, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, husk cherries, parsley, Indian spinach, various hot peppers. Return to the barn to collect the rest of our share. We have a choice between potatoes and a musk melon. Child chooses potatoes, in part because “the bag is cool.” Realize it’s now 6:45 p.m. and we need to go back to the soccer field.

7:01 p.m. Arrive at soccer field. Practice should be over at 7:15 p.m. Younger child wants me to carry him or drag him. He resorts to sitting on my feet.

7:10 p.m.: Coach announces practice officially ends in five minutes, but anyone who wants to stay can play “lightning.” My older child kind of wants to stay. His brother is hungry. Older child is hungry. I tell him he can stay late at Friday’s practice but tonight we need to head home. He agrees and gathers his stuff.

7:46 p.m.: Arrive home. Send older boy up to shower. Brotherly mayhem ensues. Maternal yelling ensues. Child ends up in shower. I heat up Sunday’s pre-prepped veggie chili, then slice green onion and put out a bowl of shredded cheese.

8-something p.m.: Child emerges from shower, dried and dressed. I feed the children and let them finish a movie. I tell them I will be in the kitchen sorting the farm share stuff, if they don’t mind. They don’t mind.

Even later: Younger child finally finishes eating. I send him up to shower. He wants me to stay in there with him to adjust the water pressure and towel dry his back. I have to clean the kitchen and start a massive load of laundry. We somehow compromise.

9:12 p.m.: Older child has agreed to practice violin in the morning, as it sure as hell is not happening tonight. I am about to send them to up to brush teeth, then put them in bed wiith books, then I will read to them and LIGHTS OUT.

9-who-knows-when? p.m.: I will pack lunches for tomorrow, for all of us, plus pack workout clothes for me, check email, and finish cleaning the kitchen.

We normally have a fairly mellow, low-activity lifestyle. But Tuesdays? We maybe drew the short straw this year. Everything happens on Tuesdays. Can’t wait until the younger boy’s soccer practice starts. Will those also be on Tuesdays, at a totally different field? Stay tuned!

Without the Kids

We’re all still adjusting to the new schedule, but we’re coming along. Some things haven’t changed much: I still pick the kids up from school every day, for example. And we’re all together each weekend for T-ball and soccer, plus we all see each other on soccer practice nights during the week.

My first weekend without the kids, I kept busy. Very busy. I transformed my living room from an unlit space with merely a chair, a rug, and a TV to a warm, inviting, somewhat stylish place with a couch, a side table, lamps, and a plant (thanks, IKEA and the woman whose moving sale I happened across on my way home from a trail run!).

The weekdays are just busy, anyway, what with work and school pickup and trying to get done what I can and figuring out who has the cleats and which house has the favorite pajamas and do the kids have pants for tomorrow. Tonight felt like the first real night of being without the children.

I brought the boys to meet up with C at a sporting goods store to get baseball gloves for the boys (alas, C and I couldn’t find any for ourselves at a reasonable price). Then in the parking lot I handed over their backpacks, kissed them goodbye, and headed off. Without them. It was jolting and freeing but mostly, at the moment, jolting.

Stay busy. I went to the grocery store and then home. The night’s plan for a coconut curry veggie soup had to be postponed because I wanted to get to a meeting. My road running club is trying to find a new location for their annual ultra, and I want to participate.

But home alone, making dinner (well, reheating leftovers from when I grilled on Saturday night — and ask me if I have finally mastered the charcoal grill. Yes, yes, I have. I’m very proud of this after an adulthood of gas grilling), I felt a great aloneness. It wasn’t terrible. But I realized that so many people live alone all the time, not just part of the time. They eat all their meals alone. I know it can be satisfying sometimes, but that seemed a little lonely to me, to have to eat alone most of the time.

Me, I ended up pretty happy to eat dinner and read the paper and then brush my teeth and head out. Would I have been so sanguine if I didn’t have somewhere to go? I don’t know. I would have found something to do, I’m sure. But I’ve had constant chaos and noise and movement for the past almost eight years. For me, the quiet and the not-being-in-charge-of-everything is not terrible. It’s hard to talk about what all of this is really like without sounding disloyal or unmotherly or… let’s just say that as a Capricorn introvert, this new quiet in my home is interesting.

Yes, keeping busy is my M.O. for now, and that’s OK. There’s plenty of time for meditation later. It’s OK to stay busy as we get used to this.

I met the group to brainstorm possible race locations, discuss pros and cons, and figure out next steps. I met new people. I laughed. I was asked for my opinion. I came up with ideas. I felt useful and independent.

And then home again, home again. On my kid-free days I can leave home super-early to get to the gym before work, but tomorrow I might try to get to a 6 a.m. yoga class instead. I’m not sure that will quite be possible, as it’s more than a mile in the wrong direction.

I’m always lugging lots of stuff to work: gym stuff, my laptop, shower stuff and work clothes (for after the gym), breakfast and lunch (in reusable containers, of course, so I lug it all home again). That’s a lot of stuff to lug. I don’t mind, but I’m not sure I can add a yoga mat and bike helmet to it all.

So it’s off to the gym tomorrow, and I’ll probably meet my running club for the track workout tomorrow night, mostly because I can.

Being alone sometimes is OK.

 

Oh, Hello Again

Hi there. I haven’t forgotten about you.

But it’s late summer, and we were racing the clock as usual, and then we were away for an extremely short week visiting my father. It was sunshine and a bright swift shallow creek, chickens and green grass and the most marvelous livestock auction. Neighbors, soccer, tadpoles, fishing. Late evenings (well, for the boys — as for me, I pretty much went to bed with them every night and slept “late” every morning, until 7 or so).

I somehow didn’t get to spend any time with my father, in the chaos of children and meals and gathering stuff for our outings, and all my sleeping instead of reading the paper together companionably after the boys were in bed, or waking early and hanging out talking. We only had one morning like that, maybe 20 minutes to talk before Max woke up and wandered over to climb on my lap and needed “itch cream” for a mosquito bite and generally got the rest of the day in motion and away from quiet conversation.

And I somehow didn’t get enough time with my children, who were constantly in the creek or fishing or playing soccer or always in a whirl of action, it seemed.

There were two runs, though. As you may know, I often seem to have a running injury. Right now it’s my hip that’s bugging me. Mostly glute, and I’ve been to a great massage person, but it’s still sore, so I haven’t been running much (and also having to lug the laptop to and from work really put a damper on run-commuting!). But I got in two good runs in Pennsylvania and felt like I could run forever (were it not for my glute and for wanting to get back to spend time with my family). The roads are gorgeous rolling hills, country roads, with views of fields and old red barns and limestone houses. Apple trees, roadside blackberries, and the constant shimmering sound of cicadas. It was such a nice change from the city flatlands I normally run.

We got home to chaos, of course (that word seems to keep appearing here, doesn’t it), with the boys signed up for a summer camp that ends at 4 p.m. (oversight!), so we had to scramble for some afternoon childcare. Yesterday I had to leave work at 3 to pick them up; tomorrow it’s my husband’s turn. And this morning I was (and tomorrow I am) on duty for drop-off, meaning that instead of leaving before they wake up, I get to see them in the morning! And get them dressed and fed and out the door. Plus, when I got home today, they wanted to go the park. Of course it was 6 p.m. and time for me to make dinner. They were grumpy. I felt bad.

Then my husband got home early for some reason and I said, “Hey, please, can you make dinner tonight and I take them to the park?” and he agreed! And that load was lifted, and I could just go play with my kids and come home to find dinner ready!!

That, dear friends, is a rarity, and today it was a very much-needed gift. We went to the park for half an hour and they had my full attention, instead of being home and my scurrying to get dinner ready.

School starts soon, and I’m worried about their 10-hour days with someone other than us. I want to be home with them more. I want to pick them up from school, especially on their first few days (I mean, come on, the little one is starting kindergarten! How can I not pick him up on his first day of school? And every day?).

This summer went too fast. Time is going too fast. I want this time with them. No, I don’t want to be home all day while they are in school, doing nothing. Part-time jobs are not so easy to find (I mean, ones that pay a decent wage) but I’m working on it, and I haven’t yet let go of the dream of going back to school.

The current condition isn’t cutting it for us, that’s for sure.

Anyway, hi, readers, if there are still any of you left.

Scurrying: The Things That Used to Be Mine

I’ve had so much to say these past few months, and a list of posts to write (and some half-written). But I’m always, it seems, scurrying. Scurrying around in the morning to drink coffee and kiss my sleeping children goodbye and head out to the train by 7 a.m. (Except on the days when I run to work, when I drink coffee and eat a quick bowl of cereal, then put on my packed-the-night-before running backpack and leave at 6:10 or 6:30 and run an hour to get to the office, arriving happy and calm and feeling good.)

Sometimes on the train I have room to crochet the blanket I’m making for my friend’s baby; sometimes I just have room to read a book. Scurrying the half-mile from train to work. Planted solidly at my desk all day (all day, all day — no on one my team has time for actual lunch breaks). [This past week I finally, for the very first time in my three-and-a-half months at this company, took a lunch break, almost an hour, in which I changed, ran 3.2 miles, picked up the fastest closest lunch I know of, scurried back to the office, showered, dressed, and was back at my desk 3 minutes shy of an hour. I felt like such a fucking rebel…and so much better.]

Is this what you all do at work? Is this a normal work life? I could say a ton more about that but I will not.

At exactly 5 p.m I rush from my desk, race-walk to the train, hope I can pick the fastest line down the stairs to the train (Why are you walking in the middle, so slowly, with your big bag? Move right!!), and get on such a packed car that sometimes all I can do is just read my phone, because there isn’t room to hold open a book. Then a half-mile scurry from train to home, arriving home at 6 p.m., quick low-down from the sitter while I’m starting dinner and listening to variously shouting children and changing out of work clothes, then I try to feed them and ask about their days.

They want to stay outside playing, totally normal if you ask it. It’s summer. It’s light out. Kids are still out, and life is fun. Why come in and wash hands and sit and eat and start the bedtime routine?

After the dinner-to-bed mayhem wraps up sometime by 8:30 or 9 p.m., we do laundry, clean the kitchen, etc. If I’m running to work the next day, I pack my clothes and plug in my Garmin and make sure I’m ready to go.

We’re so behind on everything, and so very tired.

I do not like this pace, not at all. Soon my office will move, in less than a month, to a location that gives me the chance to do necessary tasks such as buy shoes or go to CVS over my lunch break (Lo! I will start taking an occasional lunch break!). My commute will also shorten, thank goodness.

We are just emerging from Birthday Madness, in which we celebrate both boys’ birthdays in less than two weeks, which involves a ton of baking and present-procurement and wrapping and inviting and parties. And hosting parties involves a ton of house-cleaning and shopping and planning and set-up. Not used to hosting actual birthday parties, since until this year Max didn’t want to invite more than 2 kids over, we could have done a better job with his party this year (as in, if you invite a bunch of kids who don’t know each other, a sponge bomb battle might be a terrible idea). For Ben’s party yesterday, I was so organized with so many activities that we only got through two of them (seltzer-can bowling and pin the tail on the donkey — total success!), and though this time we were ready for a post-party BBQ (taking notes from Max’s party), everyone announced (when they arrived) that they had to leave before we’d start grilling.

Come over, all of you readers. We have a ton of food.

Today we had nothing scheduled. Well, except my morning long run with a good friend, and Max’s soccer tournament (who’s happy soccer season is finally over? WE ARE). Then we went to the beach, which seemed like such a brilliant idea this morning (right? we need to relax, it’s hot, soccer tournament in the sun) but the beach was freezing and windy and everyone else was in jeans and hoodies and Max was worried the salt water would hurt the scrape on his knee). The water was OK but the wind froze us, then we went out to dinner and there was a disaster with the haddock [do not try to serve me bad haddock, ever] and we were there an extra hour because of it, so it was a late and stressful evening again, the opposite of what we wanted.

Max was mad, two days ago, when he found out that grown-ups don’t get summer vacation. Apparently he thought we’d finally have some time together as a family.

It’s the first I’d really heard him admit to missing having me around.

We are so very tired, and there’s little room for error. Our sitter is away next Friday and Monday, and we can’t well drop the kids into camp for one day here and there, so C will take Friday off. My mom might watch them Monday but if not I will have to take the day off work, which is not ideal for a million reasons.

I read a few pages of my book every night but there’s otherwise so little downtime right now. I don’t think this is good for any of us. I was supposed to run to work tomorrow but I need some extra sleep and that will throw off my running schedule for the rest of the week.

I can’t care about that right now. I am so racheted down to work, feed kids, get kids to bed, work, feed kids…There seems to be little space for creativity or beauty or friends. I miss my friends. I miss my blogging friends. I haven’t seen them in months. I haven’t seen other friends in even longer. I miss the events I used to go to. I miss going out on weeknights. I miss being bored. I miss finishing my New Yorkers. I miss the Sunday paper.

I miss playing with my kids. I miss the other parents at school. I miss having any control over their lives or taking them to their dentist and doctor appointments now (that generally falls to C these days, not a bad thing 7 years in, but still. I miss doing it).

I don’t know what the answer is, but this isn’t it. Not at all. I miss my kids. I miss my life. I know I am glad to be back to work full-time, but the balance is so far off that this is not sustainable at all.

That’s why my blog has been so quiet for so long. I hate to say that I’m barely hanging on, because I’ve said it before and then whoomph, holy shit, did I think I was busy then? Because now I am super-busy!

We’re going to win this. I just don’t know what the path to winning looks like right now. The end result will be more family time, more flex-time, more time for creativity and errands and life and a slower pace. How we get there, I’m not sure yet. If I have to move us all to Pennsylvania or Maine, I will do it. In a heartbeat.

What I do know is that I am sick of the inglorious scurrying. And of the way it kills calm and creativity and community.

I can change that. And I will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast Pace, Slow Legs

Happy Mother’s Day! It’s actually supposed to be a day of women uniting for rights, I think, not a day about brunch and flowers. We don’t do the brunch-and-flowers thing here, which is fine with me, though the boys usually make me cute cards. And yesterday we had a great day of biking to breakfast and the library, buying the boys new shoes, checking out a new birthday bike (shhhh!) for Max, napping on the couch, and grilling.

My usual Mother’s Day tradition is to go run a local 5K, and my family meets me afterward. This year I’m going extra-early to volunteer at the race. Though I’ve placed in my age group more than once at this race, these days I am SLOWWWWWW as molasses and will be embarrassed about my time because I will probably be 4-5 minutes slower than usual (for a 5K!! That’s like more than half a mile at my usual 5K pace!! Hey, legs, what is going on??).

I’m actually going extra-extra early to meet a friend for coffee before the race, since we never see each other anymore and only have contact via Gmail chat or sometimes texting.

I’m swamped these days, people. Swamped. I got up at 5:30 today to post for a new sitter, since our sitter situation is quickly unraveling. That’s not what we need. We just have to muddle through for another month and a half, somehow.

What I should have been doing, up at 5:30, is working on a presentation I have due on Tuesday (my first presentation since…. a brief stint in a sustainability graduate program in 1998? Unless you count literary readings in grad school, 2003?). And it will be my very first-ever PowerPoint presentation — to about 80 [teleconferencing] people (who thankfully will only see the screen and hear my voice but not actually see me, though my team will see me present).

But it’s been a long work week and I feel a need for a break this weekend. Those of you wondering why I haven’t been blogging, answering emails, or otherwise “responsive,” it’s because I am swamped. If I’m not commuting, I’m working. If I’m not working, I’m taking care of the kids for 3 intense hours when I get home from work. If I’m not doing that, I’m prepping meals/lunches, doing laundry, or cleaning up the kitchen (yes, so is my husband–we are both getting our asses kicked right now by the general nonstop-ness of it all). And this week I’ve then been working in the evenings, too (OK, this was also his week to pack lunches, and he took care of the evening kitchen clean-up, since I was working).

And then 6 hours later the alarm goes off and it all starts over.

So I haven’t had time to hire a sitter, but yesterday I finally got a crocheting book from the library and have made excellent progress on a baby blanket for a pregnant friend (I apparently have only 3 more weeks to finish it, and it’s not something I can work on during my hour-long commute because the trains are so packed). [Justine, if you’re reading this, do NOT look at the picture–it’s a surprise!]

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So far, so good, right? It’s really easy!! and yes, the “bobbles” got a little out of alignment, but that just gives it character. [Justine! I said not to look at the picture!]

So at least I’m making something, and I do get a lot of reading done on my commute, and I even managed to write a letter once when I went to work extra-early and had room to sit and write on the train!

I have yet to write my Boston Marathon recap (in short: AMAZING) and talk about my current state of running (dreadful).

But now it’s time to get ready to go to the race. Here’s hoping another afternoon nap will happen later!

 

 

Less Than a Month Until Boston

I should be working right now. Making lunches, or folding laundry, or proofing articles. It’s almost 9 p.m. and I’m wiped out and should ice my ankle and research running shoes.

Here’s what’s going on: That little twinge in my right leg (that’s right, the leg that did not have the posterior tibialis problems and stress reaction last fall, the good leg) has gotten worse and some quick “Ask Dr. Internet” has me pretty certain it’s again the posterior tibial muscle, but this time where it attaches to the foot instead of the shin (also known as posterior tibial tendinitis, or PTT). Yesterday’s long run was 17 miles. At mile 15, I stopped and decided to catch a bus rather than further irritate my leg. No bus came, I kept running into the cold wind, and got into an ice bath as soon as I got home.

Hypothermia, anyone? The “real feel” temperature outside was 13 degrees, and I’d been running into the wind for 4 miles straight. You take an ice bath at that point and try not to scream.

I don’t have time to see a doctor. I leave for work around 7 a.m. and get home at 6 p.m. and that’s that — then it’s making dinner, breaking up fights, homework, bedtime, clean-up/lunches, etc. Work is an hour from home, and there’s honestly just not time in the schedule right now for seeing a doctor for myself.

But. It’s weird this happened last fall and again now, right? I’ve been so careful about training — hills only twice, no speedwork — except for that half marathon weekend before last, which was hilly and which I ran way too fast (and also forgot to eat before and forgot to bring fuel for during — crash and burn at mile 9!!!).

Thanks to Dr. Internet, I’m pretty sure my shoes have a lot to do with it. I’m going to try to get out this week to get shoes with just a touch more support (shoes for slight overpronators, if you will) in hopes of fending off further injury. I’m running 21 miles on the Boston Marathon course this weekend (it’s a huge official annual tradition, with police details to control traffic and everything), then it’s a lot of taper and icing and hoping hoping hoping, and then the big race itself, which I am going to take very slowly to avoid exacerbating this. After all, I have a big trail race in May and would also just like to not be injured, for a change.

As for the working life: The schedule is wearing on all of us, and things are unfolding at home. I’m not sure this is sustainable — not for my sake, no. I love it. I love the work, I really like the company, I like working again, I like the schedule.

But the small ones are having a challenging time, and that’s all I can really say about that here, and this may not be the time to seize back my career after all. We have some tough decisions and talks ahead, and some things to figure out. It’s unclear where the path is right now, but my well-being isn’t the only well-being at stake. Let’s hope the next post is a joyful one.

 

How to Return to a Full-Time Job

Next Monday I start a full-time job, on site. During standard 9-5 hours.

YAY! Go me! How exciting! It’s even more exciting because I interviewed for a copyediting position but they offered me an editorial manager position instead. So, hey.

But yeah, you’re right, I have an entire family who depends on my being here for drop-off, pick-up, afternoons, meals, all of it.

My husband has been supportive of my return to work and has said (and meant), “Whatever it takes.” This means that The Guy Who Is Definitely Not a Morning Person will now be getting out of bed at the crack of 7 a.m., waking the kids, feeding them, prodding them to get dressed (I myself can no longer tolerate this step)—oh, and actually at this point the little one is finally waking up after a million-and-a-half attempts to roust him. Teeth brushed, faces washed, lunches into backpacks, SHOES ON!!! and out the door by 8.

Yes, your children might have this process down to 20 minutes (some of their cousins do, with much earlier departures), but we need a full hour here. Older Boy could probably get it done in half an hour, but Younger Boy hates to wake before 7:45.

Anyway, with the new gig, my plan is to be out the door by 7 a.m., leaving the entire morning situation up to my husband. Don’t feel too sorry for him. I’ve been spending every waking hour emailing 60 possible sitters/nannies per day. I’ve posted to two different local parents’ listservs, SitterCity, Care.com, some local universities, all the parents in both my kids’ classrooms, and social media.

I’ll spare you the details of what I’ve had to sift through, but thankfully we have lined up some stellar childcare. Whew.

In related news, I went clothes shopping today (UGH), because I have exactly two day’s worth of office attire, and one of those outfits is my interview suit. I am sick of my interview suit (plus, I can’t take the jacket off without having totally bare arms…nope!). I now have six days’ worth of appropriate clothes, thanks to a trip to the Ann Taylor Factory Store. I told the saleswoman my situation (including “I hate shopping,” “I have no idea what to wear,” etc.).

I’ve also gotten the requisite anxiety dream out of the way (arrived at the wrong time, in torn pants, missed orientation, didn’t know where to get coffee or what to do, and meanwhile my husband got the kids to school four hours’ late).

All that’s left to do is…start!

 

 

 

Oh, Depression. You’re back. Again.

I’ll give it to you straight: I feel like crap.

I’m committing to keeping my blog the way I want it to be (i.e., honest), instead of avoiding the hard stuff. So if you just came over here from Boston.com, welcome and, well, this is what’s going down right now.

I’m crashing again. It’s not just premenstrual stuff. We suspect maybe my antidepressant isn’t working anymore. I’ll see my doctor today, but the past 10 days have been really tough. I don’t want to get out of bed. Nothing is fun or interesting, really. I’m not running much. I ran yesterday morning with my trail running group, which usually puts me right on track (no pun intended), but I still felt somewhere between crappy and numb afterward. Where are my endorphins, dammit?

Granted, the output of social energy has been incredibly high lately; I went to a conference for four days, where I knew two of the 500+ people, plus I was under a lot of work stress and felt like I should be in my room working all the spare time instead of socializing, networking, and going out to dinner.

I got home from that and felt really angry: angry that I had felt, overall, pretty good at the conference and then came home to being the primary caretaker to children who seem to dislike me much of the time, to cooking all the meals and making all the lunches and trying to keep a bunch of new clients happy and what-have-you. My children were reacting to my having been away; my husband and I were not getting along well.

In the midst of this, we decided to change schools for our kindergartner, three weeks into the school year. So there was a lot of running around and paperwork and school visits and such…while trying to get my work done, of course.

That weekend, the weekend after my conference, we went to a friend’s place in Vermont for an annual gathering of camping, Capture the Flag games, bonfires, and so on. It was 75 wonderful people, but I was just about burned out on meeting any new people and trying to recall a single detail about anyone. I just wanted to curl up somewhere.

So yeah, you can factor all of this into things; it certainly explains why, on Monday, when my husband came home from work early (“early” being 6 p.m., the middle of the kids’ dinnertime), I crawled into bed and slept for an hour or so. The kids woke me for bedtime snuggles, and then I went right back to bed.

Ditto for Tuesday.

I know I slip into funks sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hate it. I want to feel free and happy. I want to know I can wake up motivated and cheerful and be focused and productive.

I don’t know what the answer is. I just know that depression sucks and I thought I was done with it and I’m NOT and that pisses me off. That’s about as much emotion as I can muster right now: anger at my depression.

And anger that my husband and kids have to live with this. I know it sucks for them. I don’t want to start a new antidepressant. I don’t want to be on any medications. I thought that maybe this fall I could be done with them.

Instead, I’m falling while on them.

 

Off to a Conference!

I’m in Atlanta right now, learning about web hosting at the moment (???–totally confused, and where is PHPmyAdmin??) and a ton of other great blog information at the Type A Conference!

Besides that, I’m up to my ears in work with a few new freelance projects, am keeping up my running for my upcoming half marathon, and next week will be featured on Boston.com as their Featured Parent Blogger!  (I know, right?)

Needless to say, I’m working hard to stay afloat while also absorbing as much info as possible at this conference and meeting all manner of funny, wonderful, smart, sassy fellow bloggers! I’ve also talked to representatives of a few great brands, so hopefully you’ll be hearing more about them soon!

Meanwhile, back on the home front, my husband and children are not falling apart. No, my husband happily reports he’s getting tons of attention from all the women as he trots around town with two cute kids in tow, dropping them off and picking them up and taking them to Whole Foods. They’re eating ice cream, carving pumpkins, staying up late watching movies, sleeping late on a school day…basically, living it up.

So maybe I should stay here an extra week, don’t you think?

So while all is quiet on the blog front right now, I’m tweeting up a storm this weekend (thus the #TypeACon overload!) and still on Facebook to some degree!

Keep an eye out for me on Boston.com Moms this week–each day this week, I’ll provide links to my posts!

 

 

 

Relishing the Last of Summer: Burning the Entire Candle

We’re running out of summer fast, though the final two weeks stretches long ahead of us.

I keep breaking my own rules and policies. It started when we went to Iceland back in July (I swear, I’ll get a post on visiting Iceland with kids out soon!). We were traveling, right? To a different time zone, where the sun didn’t set until around midnight, right? So bedtimes got quite lax.

And it was fine.

Once we returned home, well, it’s summer! The children, I’m sure, stayed up late and did things out of the ordinary plenty in the first part of August, but lately I feel like we’re on high speed toward the end of summer.

We went to the Cape for several days of fun at the beaches (ocean and pond). I took the kids out in a kayak. Back home again, we’ve gone to the local pond nearly every day to swim. We had a flurry of blogger/social media events which included a Hood ice cream party (#MeetHarvey, to introduce their new ice cream bars—yum) at a wonderful playground with a water feature. The kids enjoyed the treats, the water, the other kids, and I enjoyed hanging with some fellow local bloggers and catching up a little (plus, those Hood people treat their social media friends right!!).

Last weekend, we went on a last-minute camping trip. I was concerned about the state forest campground we ended up in, about not being prepared enough, about sleeping together in a tent, etc. I needn’t have worried. The boys had a great time riding their bikes up and down the camp road, having tons of freedom, hiking a “secret” trail to the lake, and then going for a night hike after dinner, headlamps on as they ran down a trail through the forest.

Back at our campsite, we let them eat too many s’mores, perhaps, because you’re only young once. Then everyone slept hard and fast in the tent, waking to enjoy a morning campfire (I mean, why not?). After we struck camp, we drove to Mt. Monadnock, where we hiked to the summit and down again, five often steep miles round trip, with lots of bare granite face to scramble up using hands and feet.

Max did it all on his own, very excited and proud. I was thrilled for him. Ben needed to be carried at times, especially on the way down, where he nearly fell asleep riding on C’s shoulders (note to self: get a hiking carrier). We found a diner for dinner, then (despite my quite Capricorn objections, it already dark and we were more than an hour from home on a Sunday night) we stopped for ice cream. Of course.

The next day, it was a full day at the Museum of Science, including a planetarium show and the butterfly garden. Tuesday, I made a last-minute decision not to catch the last family concert of the season at the lake, because the boys were tired. Wednesday, to the lake to swim, and today, off to a local pool to swim.

On top of this, my work has really picked up, with some heavy deadlines coming up. I’m hoping to pick up some other fall projects as well.

On top of all that, twenty pounds of peaches sit in my kitchen waiting for me to turn them into jam before C and I head to New Hampshire tomorrow for a weekend backpacking trip with some friends.

We’re not at a frantic pace, for sure, though it may sound like it. It’s actually fairly relaxed, just super-spontaneous. The boys are with the sitter for the morning and with me from right after lunch, on. I make sure they’re eating dinner by 5:30 or so. But oh, life is short, and time is short, so we do whatever they want in the afternoons. Errands can wait, for now.

Though I know we need to get back to an earlier bedtime in order to facilitate earlier wake-up times (hello, back-to-school!), for now, we’re just enjoying life and each other. I’m certainly enjoying the rhythm of things, having mornings to work and afternoons with the boys.

And it feels great.