And it’s back – The Literal Mom newsletter. I can’t wait to update YOU on the last few months. I hope that you update ME in the comments. And remember, I know I’m not inventing the wheel here on newsletters.
Fall has been . . . hard.
Words like exhausted, no sleep, overbooked, overworked, not paid come to mind.
The leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter, mornings cooler. Summer is finally, officially gone from my thoughts and wishes.
But through it all, we’ve made it. You adjust. It’s part of life.
Here are some highs and lows.
I live in my mini-van.
I don’t really live in my mini-van. I don’t even have a mini-van! But sometimes I wish I did. We got our new car last October, so we just celebrated our one year anniversary of owning it. Ok, we didn’t really celebrate.
It passed by like a “fart in the wind.” Do you like that expression? I don’t, I think it’s crass.
Anyhoo. The car. Every other car I’ve owned has logged somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 miles a year. Guess how many miles our new car logged in the last year? 15,000. Isn’t that sick? And I have the emotional wear and tear to prove it. Being in the car with my kids is one of my great tests in life.
Do you have great life tests? My ability to keep it and them together in the car, stay awake, drive safely, stop fights, and field the 100s of questions, comments and concerns that come during any given ride is by far my hardest parenting challenge.
It’s like a pressure cooker in there!
I realized, belatedly, that the kids were over scheduled in September and October. We’re working through it though and there’s light at the end. One activity taking up 3 days a week is almost over.
We’re all going to need the time. And I’m almost scared to make the “late Fall/early Winter” schedule because I don’t want to see as much car time as there is now.
Do you have a hard time in the car? I recently heard someone totaled THEIR mini-van because she was trying to break up a fight while driving on the highway. Yep – there but for the grace of God go I some days.
You might recall a post I wrote in September about making my kids sign behavior contracts? One for technology and one for volleyball.
I’m happy to report that those contracts are the most well-used documents in our home this Fall. The volleyball contract comes out before every game as a reminder and after every game as a reflection. Some “reflections” have included punishment, some have included pep talks, and some have included a shoulder to cry on.
It’s hard when you are your own worst enemy and perfectionism is a painful, painful personality trait to live with. Believe me on this one, I know.
So we’ve tried to be as supportive as possible and work on attitude only. Seriously – who cares about serving over the net or bumping it back?
Well, some people do. We just want the kid to enjoy the sport and not beat herself up so much over it. And as far as coaches? Her volleyball coaches are awesome. So supportive.
Technology has been equally fun. We did learn that no technology Monday through Thursday isn’t necessary every week. So sometimes they get “bonus” days when they get technology on a day they didn’t plan on it. That way it’s a gift, rather than thinking it’s a right.
And as I’ve said before, technology is both my best friend and my worst enemy. I love using it to entertain them when I have stuff to do. But when it’s off, I don’t miss it at all. And truth be told, I think my kids are much more fun to be around when they’re not technology saturated.
A Look Back in Time = I Have No Time
I used to spend Fall baking, pumpkin patching, volunteering reasonably, having a grand old time on the internet while my kids were napping, having regularly scheduled date nights. And if you can believe this – I used to get a sitter to go see a movie ALL BY MYSELF. And I thought I was a busy girl back then.
Now I have school-aged children and I volunteer more than I probably should. I have entire days I spend away from the house (and happily enough on those nights our dog whines all night because she’s been in her cage all day – neat-o!), getting nothing done at home. Baking my annual pumpkin cutouts has become a thing of the past.
I USED TO FINISH MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN OCTOBER. Now I haven’t even made a list yet.
I’m so, so tired. I sometimes think to myself “Oh, GOD, this is what my life’s going to be like for the next 13 years (when my youngest goes off to college),” and I can’t imagine how tired I’ll be by then. But I try to remember two important things:
- When it’s over, it’s OVER. I’m going to go from 100 miles an hour down to the crawl of 20 mph in a school zone when we’re empty nest parents. I KNOW that.
- We’re happy. We’re so busy it’s hard to find time to breathe sometimes and there’s bullshit to deal with (sometimes daily), but we are happy people. It would be lovely to have time to enjoy the happiness. But maybe that’s what my Winter newsletter will bring. Hibernation. And a time for looking within.