I took this the time before last when Truman was home over Lilly’s birthday. He was able to come through the house with a load and spend 4 days with us because his super awesome manager got his delivery pushed out a day. (Otherwise it would have been 3 days.)
We’re still trying to figure out the best way to manage getting things done while he’s home. Its been feeling like a non-ending rush to get All The Things done in the few days he’s home. Which has ended up being kind of miserable, because that means we haven’t really had time to spend on just simple relaxing things. We take the kids to the park, and we’ll usually have a special breakfast out at a little coffee place we used to spend nearly all of our time at as a young childless couple, but just once – I’d like to not step foot into a grocery store during those days!
Managing everything by myself for 14-18 days at a time, with only 3-4 days of him being home, has been a huge adjustment for us. Once upon a time, I hated to go to the kids doctors appointments by myself. I hated to go to the grocery store by myself. I hated to go and do fun things with the kids while he was at work because – after all, there was always the weekends/evenings.
Now, though, I do pretty much all of that by myself with the kids. And in some respects, like grocery shopping, I’ve learned that it can be easier without him there. The kids are more likely to listen to me. There’s less of them running around like hooligans. (Though Calliope is full-on into the two’s. Lets nevermind that she won’t be two for another 4 months!)(And for the record: I’ve never had a toddler that was such the epitome of the stereotypical age behaviors. This child. My.)
And there are others, such as doctors appointments, where having an extra set of hands and ears would be immensely useful. Week before last I took Lilly to a local clinic, thinking that she had a UTI. Well, it turns out she didn’t, and it was more likely just simple irritation, but we had started antibiotics because it seemed so likely. And then Lilly ended up having a huge reaction to the antibiotics, and I’ll be totally honest: I think that was the single-most scary and isolating event to happen so far. All I could think was that I wanted him there, and I resented every single minute that went past where having him home or just a phone call away from being able to come home would’ve been immensely helpful…and he wasn’t there. I’ve since been able to get better perspective of it all, and I wrote down a little list of things that I need to get or do in order to make the next round of sick go a little bit smoother.
But I still find that we end up running a metric ton of errands, every single time he’s home. This last time? I don’t think we spent a single full day at home. One day was eaten up by a (sort of on a whim) trip to Costco in Kansas City. (And darn it! I just realized that I never made it to Trader Joe’s!) Something happened every single day he was home. And as a result, him going back out was a convoluted mess of chaos, because no time had been taken to get everything organized, laundry was an afterthought.
I’m going to be spending the next 18 days trying to figure out a better way to accomplish what we need to accomplish, while also being able to slow. down. the time that he is home. All of this rushing just simply isn’t fair to the kids. I owe it to them to get this figured out so that we can better use the time he does have home, as having time to actually spend with all of us and not just run errands.