The wee ones go to the chiropractor each Wednesday, as do both my husband and I. This week, I asked my husband if I could drop the wee ones at the chiro on my way home with carpool and he could take them while I made dinner and had it waiting on the table.
Why do you want to dump the wee ones on me? he asked.
Ummm well, I didn't consider it "dumping" our own children on him, but I was proud of myself for not making a snarky comment.
Wednesdays are my really long, hard day, and by the time we're done with the chiro, I'm just done, and I'd appreciate it if you could help me out by being in charge of the chiro which would also allow you to have a warm meal when you got home, I replied, calmly - and truly, I was calm.
What, you don't think I'm working all day, too? he asked incredulously.
It wasn't that. My husband is out of the house and to school before seven where he then spends his day molding 120 plus young minds. While he's absolutely got the personality for it and loves doing it, I don't dispute in any way that he's working hard.
But Wednesdays are my hardest day. From the moment the wee ones wake up, I am haranguing them to get ready, get dressed, clean their rooms, eat breakfast, get out the door, go go go so we can get to school on time. While our chore chart helps, there are still days when I need to redirect the wee ones and keep us on track. Once I get the wee ones out the door, I head to the gym for a quick workout - my me time, I'll admit. As soon as I'm done, I rush to do whatever errands need to be done, typically grocery shopping. I head home to put things away, toss in a load of laundry and begin making dinner. I then race to Mister Man's school (20+ minutes away) to pick him up for speech therapy at another school. I have to rush him out the door and into the car and into the other school to get there on time, as his class gets in from recess as we need to leave if we want to get to speech on time. I then race him back to his school and sign him back in before running home to get Little Miss off the bus where I change the laundry and - if I'm lucky - get a little housework done before I pack up Little Miss and rush to get to Mister Man's school to do the carpool pickup. I drop off the other kids in the carpool then head back to town to the chiro where I am directing the wee ones on what they're supposed to do and ensuring that in an unstructured and stimulating environment, they are behaving appropriately - especially given the small space. Then we head to the library (our only chance of the week and the wee ones' reward for good behavior at the chiro) before going home for the night. Then I have to finish making dinner before feeding them and rushing them into bed.
I can only push the wee ones to go quick hurry fast we can't be late so much before, mentally, I am exhausted. Having to come home after all this only to make dinner and try to ensure the wee ones get to bed on time (yes, we still have "early" bedtimes because they need the sleep) makes the day that much harder.
By delegating the chiropractor, I have take out almost a half hour of car time driving back and forth from carpool dropoff to the chiro and back home again. And it's two rushings around that I can avoid - the chiro and dinner; I actually rather enjoy the library time with the wee ones.
Ideally, I'd restructure our week so that there wasn't so much rushing, but the chiropractor really helps, especially Mister Man and his regulation. And with OT and tae kwon do taking up most of the rest of the week... it is what it is.
But yesterday, I dropped off the wee ones with my husband at the chiro before continuing to finish the carpool run (it is literally on the way home). Then I got home and sauteed some chicken and made some cous cous for dinner before slicing up a pineapple for dessert. I place everyone's plates on the table and added glasses of milk. I had just watered the Christmas tree and dealt with the day's mail when my husband and the wee ones walked in.
We all had a nice dinner before we headed upstairs for our bedtime routine, without me nervously glancing at the clock and calculating how long I could let the wee ones continue eating before I had to cut them off and hustle them to bed. Instead they finished, put their dishes away, and we got to bed at a good time.
And you know what? I felt good. I felt really good. I think I need to embrace this strategy of not "dumping" the wee ones on my husband but rather delegating and communicating when I need some help and to change how we're doing things in the house.
The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer DVD with 2 winners here
Professional cookware, courtesy Jewel here
Baby Einstein Discovery Kit here