This week I had the "opportunity" to be a single parent. The husband was in Ohio for a work training. Unfortunately, this was what I term- OPENING WEEK- of our busiest time of the year. So, beginning Sunday I managed a total of 6 hockey practices, 3 figure skating practices, 2 parent meetings, and a figure skating test session. This is on top of my paying job- which for some reason was even more high need than usual- and the basic requirement of providing food, clothing, shelter and in our case Diabetes care to the offspring! Thanks to help from all the kids, grandpa, and some friends for providing some rides, we survived!
I knew that I was feeling stressed out but it wasn't until Saturday morning as we were racing around getting ready for Tessa's volleyball game that I exploded. I had asked for a few things to be done around the house before visitors came that afternoon. When Tessa and I got home from the game, it wasn't done. Of course, when I asked about it, there was a million excuses. One was too busy, one forgot, and the other couldn't even hear me talking because she was so focused on Facebook. Let's just say what followed was not 10 minutes of my best parenting! In the end, they did what I asked, however it was one of those parenting moments I would have liked to take back. At the same time, I wonder why I can manage a room full of kids with emotional disorders all day long and rarely lose my temper (at least outwardly) but my own kids can turn me from Super Mom to Banshee from Hell in a matter of minutes! Is it that I expect more from them or that ultimately I am annoyed at myself for not being able to "do it all?" I know that they need to be responsible for helping out at home, that is what will make them responsible adults. But, wouldn't it be nice if they didn't have to anything they didn't want to do? Wouldn't it be nice if I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to, for that matter! (I am speaking strictly HOUSEWORK here!)
So, as I leave to take TJ to a birthday party, I am still feeling pretty high strung. I am mumbling to myself about all the things I need to do and not enough time and wishing we would strike it rich so Alice from the Brady Bunch could move in and clean my house, do our laundry, and cook our supper! I would even take an Avocado colored kitchen if she came with it! I am taking a few cleansing breaths as we drive and I notice a lady walking down the street with a shopping cart. She is dressed in many layers of clothes. Granted, it is 14 degrees outside so this is necessary but in her case, the layers didn't work together in a fashionable way. It was more functional and her shopping cart seemed to contain an equally random mix of things. TJ said, "She sure had to walk a long way from the grocery store to get home." I had to explain to him that she wasn't coming from the grocery store and that everything she had with her probably was her "home." Talk about perspective slapping you in the face! And for whatever reason, on that freezing cold day, it seemed like there was someone on every corner. This is North Dakota- there should not be people on street corners at all, much less in the winter! When we got to our destination, I sent an apology text to the girls for losing my temper. I realized I wasn't so mad at them for not doing what I asked, just feeling the stress from the week coupled with that parental feeling that comes with teenagers that they take everything for granted!
On my way home, I tried to remind myself to live in the moment and not get so caught up in the big picture all the time. Worrying is my specialty. I have gotten better about not letting it consume my life, but there are still times that it takes up more energy than it should. I am still a work in progress in this area. For this weekend, we were lucky enough to have some family in town visiting. This gave me a chance to refocus.
The husband was safely home, Tessa passed her first ever figure skating test, TJ had a birthday party,
we watched some hockey, we watched the kids swim, we watched them fight and we watched them become friends again. As a bonus, my new breakfast in a crockpot recipe was awesome! As I type this, Tylie is folding a basket of laundry that I didn't even ask her to fold. Who needs Alice? OK, I won't lie, she would be a nice addition to our family, but the bottom line is- we are blessed.