We are hunkering down for the last few weeks of My Man’s semester. ie: Finals. Things have already been getting increasingly intense around here, but now we’re in it for real. I have curbed my expectations for papa to 1-2 hours/day. Nix on the Saturday=mama day business.
This last weekend I took the kids for a little trip, to give him some space to work on a paper. I have often found that trips aren’t any harder than being home if I don’t have help from papa at home anyway. Both our kiddos really thrive on newness, and it tends to keep them distracted from fussing.
But trips do of course take a certain kind of investment from me, a dive into mama-ness. Complete submission. And I’m afraid I just don’t have it in me right now. The weekend was okay. Won some, lost some. Might have added up to neutral if it weren’t for the packing and unpacking.
So, if I’m gonna stay here and be essentially a single mom for two weeks, I realized I need to batten the hatches. Stop unpacking boxes, even though I’m so close to done. Stop cooking anything but the most basic foods. Stop cleaning the house unless 1. we can’t walk or 2. we’re attracting cockroaches. Start taking more outings again, since they keep everybody happier. Especially to the Parenting Center, a local grant run place where I can really just sit and actually read a book while the kids play. A brilliant and sanity saving resource that all towns should have.
My main trick for survival mode:
Roll with it baby.
3YO’s eating store-bought cereal for lunch? Roll with it. Laundry still on the line 4 days later? Roll with it. Dust bunnies in every corner? Just kick some toys that direction so you don’t have to look at ’em.
Of course, there’s only so much rolling you can do. At some point I discovered that the house is an awfully lot faster to “tidy up” if I just go through with a laundry basket and put everything in it. It’s nice when the toys are somewhat organized, books all on one shelf, clothes in their own bin. But what the hell? Not like the kids can’t pull their toys out from the jumble when they want them. You can clean up a messy room in like 2.5 minutes if you just get down on the floor and throw all the shit into one basket.
Of course, a feisty 3YO can mess up a room in 0.5 minutes if all she has to do is upturn a laundry basket. Better put it on a high shelf.
And I can roll with it for lunch but a decent dinner I cannot let go. Doesn’t need to be fancy, just reasonably healthy. Starch, protein, vegetables. So many possibilites. Goat tacos tonight– fry burger, shred cabbage, heat tortillas, crack a jar of salsa. Dinner.
Hopefully I’ll still be writing posts over the next few weeks, since this has become one of my lifelines. But the new FB and HG groups will have to fend for themselves. Also, I doubt I’ll be answering comments for awhile. I was trying lately to respond to them more, since I do so adore comments and want to encourage y’all to speak up. But even though it seems simple enough, and there aren’t all that many of them, it takes me time to respond. Time that I could be writing another post, and have a much greater sense of accomplishment at the end. I need that sense of accomplishment.
I also really like the way writing posts makes my brain feel, compared to the other online stuff. Responding to comments is fun, chatting in the various chat hot spots, but all those things make me think and write in a choppy, disjointed, jumpy way. I don’t need help feeling disjointed.
Post writing gives me the space to see a thought through to the end, which is what is so sorely lacking in my life right now.
This all sounds so ominous, like I’m gearing up for a year in Paraguay. I guess I feel a bit like that. Two weeks is a long time to work 23/7. I just never can understand how you single mamas do it. Holy fuck.
What are your survival mode tricks?