I’m not proud of how I acted today!  I am making progress though!  Instead of beating myself up over and over again, I am giving myself a pep talk that I will do better tomorrow.  Let’s start from the beginning of my Monday!

Thankfully my wonderful friend was picking Max up for camp because Lillie was fast asleep!  I woke Max up and he was less then amused with me.  Despite the list of friends going he did not want to go.  I packed a bag for him and kicked him out the door.  That was exhausting! Why can’t they just be easy? Just get up, get ready, and go have fun. It sounds like something that you would think is easy, but it was a lot of work. I give myself a pat on the back for getting him out the door but am still upset with how he behaved.

With Lillie still asleep, I decided to wake her a little before 10.  I need to start to think about getting us on a better schedule.  I better at least think about it! We are all going to bed late and sleeping in late. We are completely off the normal school schedule. I cringe just thinking about going back to the school schedule. I know that the experts will tell you that children thrive on structure, but I think I may be allergic to the monotony of the routine. Not my husband. He thrives on structure. He wants to get up at the same time every day, go to bed at the same time every day, and have an organized predictable routine. On the other hand, he does love that I loosen him up. We are a well-balanced machine.

If it were up to Seth, he would have this all scheduled in advance. The kids would go to bed thirty minutes earlier and get up thirty minutes earlier every few days for weeks to get ready for school. That way getting up for school wouldn’t be a shock to their system. Every summer I say I am going to do some sort of version of Seth’s theory and never do. Maybe this will be the year. Who am I kidding?

Next up was taking the girls for a swim lesson.  I saw my puppy staring at me for a walk but I’m sorry Tanner, I just don’t have time.  I have so many things to do today.  I promised to walk him when I got home.  I swear he understands me when I talk to him. I talk to Tanner just like I spoke to my children when they were babies. Seth used to tell me that I was crazy and that they didn’t speak English yet. “How do you expect them to learn?” I used to ask him. Now he looks at me like I’m crazy when I act like Tanner understands everything that I am saying.

I packed a swim bag and we headed for their lesson.  Getting everyone where they need to go is exhausting! I feel like my full-time job is organizing children and their stuff and where they need to be. Children and their stuff is never easy. Where is the stuff? Did the stuff get washed? Did the stuff get put away? Did they leave the stuff at their activities? Dance shoes, cleats, water bottles, etc. rule my life.

While the girls swam, I got a bunch of PTA work done.  I know what you’re thinking…it’s summer but I still have a list of stuff that I need to get done before school even begins.  There’s that word “stuff” again. I plowed through my list with the help of Seth’s amazing graphic designer Kristin!  I do PTA work almost every day!  “One more year,” I keep telling myself!  Everyone laughs and tells me I will just shift from Elementary school PTA to Middle school PTA. Everyone knows that I love being involved at my children’s schools.

The swim lesson is over, and the girls are begging me to go home even though I have so much to do!  Why don’t I take charge and just tell my children what we are doing? I am making a mental note to myself today: Tell your kids the agenda for the day. Tell your kids where they are going and what they are doing. They don’t get a choice. Maybe today I will learn this lesson. The problem is I care too much about my children’s feelings. I am too nice, and I care too much. This is why my stuff gets put on the back burner.

We head home and I realize I left my laptop at my parent’s house (where the swim lesson was).  I scream and head back to my parents.  I start lecturing the girls about how none of them help me.  No one offers to help.  No one offers to carry anything. As I yell, I tell myself to learn from this. Tell the kids what they need to carry. Tell the kids how they can help. Stop waiting for people to read your mind and figure out how they can help you, and instead be direct and tell them how they can help you. Whenever I yell, I tend to be learning a lesson in my head at the same time. Now the trick is to skip the yelling and just learn the lesson for next time.

We are home and I realize that I need to feed the girls and go back out to take Ella to camp.  Why does it feel endless today?  Don’t you feed your children and clean up and feel like you just turn around and do it again?  I drop off Ella and then an hour later head to pick up Max at his friend’s house.  I walk in and see my friend and her girls cuddled up on the couch watching a kid’s baking show.  This is what summer is about.  Why aren’t I cuddled up on the couch watching tv with my kids?  Why am I running around?  What did I do to myself?  Make it stop!  Down time, where are you?  “Stop scheduling stuff,” I tell myself and then laugh!  If you know me, I’m not the best at slowing down!

I head home to get Lillie ready for soccer.  Max begs me not to go.  He never wants to go anywhere.  Why does he think he has the choice not to go with us? “Is this a battle that you want to fight?” I ask myself. I’m frustrated with Max, but I decided that he is tired from a long day and I choose not to pick this battle. Lillie and I head to soccer as I grab my fourth water bottle of the day for my children!  Could they remember a water bottle?  Could they do something to help me?  “This is all my fault” I yell at myself!  You are the reason they do nothing to help you!  Make a list of chores.  Make a list of what they need when they go to soccer or theater!  “Get organized woman,” I scream at myself (in my head) as I drive Lillie to soccer.

As I relax and watch Lillie giggle running up and down the field, I feel that word I was looking for today: “Joy!”  The word that was missing from my cranky vocabulary.  I was too busy complaining about all the organizing and driving I had to do today.  That is with two of my fabulous friends helping me with Max!  I was still driving all over the place!  Tomorrow would be easier I tell myself.  I think this is a trick I play with myself!  Will tomorrow really be easier?

The last night of soccer ends and we head for ice cream. Ella walks in with Seth to meet us and tells me what ice cream sundae we are splitting.  Whatever you say Ella!  I don’t even care!  This was definitely a Monday! Two positives are that I learned a lot today and the following Monday was in fact much better!

Lessons I learned today:

  • It is that time. It’s time to start getting the kids to go to bed earlier. Summer is coming to an end. Submit my tears right here.
  • TELL my children what the agenda for the day is.
  • Make a list of what my kids need for each activity and post it. Have them look before we leave the house to be responsible for what they need to bring with them. Stop doing everything for them!
  • Train my children to help me carry stuff. I have been working on this one including bags, groceries, etc.

Laughing, Learning, Loving,

Rebecca Greene