Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Starting to Panic

Today and Thursday are the Last Days of 6-hour summer day camp for the boys of mine. I've had 16 blessed 6-hour days, and I've pissed them all away. Well, not pissed in the English sense, but pissed as in wasted. Well, not wasted in the American sense... ACK! I Have Not Done Anything Productive On Tuesday Or Thursday throughout the entire summer except polyurethaning the floors that one day. Which may not have even been a Tuesday or Thursday...

I am not going to have weekly babysitting anymore. Since we've been parents, I've had babysitting 3 evenings a week during the arsenic hours of 4-7 pm (or more). Well, no more. We have to start severely cutting costs, and part of it has to be discretionary things like babysitting, eating out, fancy coffees. Which now that I type it doesn't sound discretionary at all; it sounds like How I Get Through My Days! Uh-oh...

And I'm 2 years from a clean getaway with both children in all-day school. Kindergarten is half day here. Youngest will go to kindy next year. Half Day.

I know those of you who have jobs are thinking "Oh, put a fucking sock in it! I do everything that you do, and work too!" Well, possibly. But I would not consent to working 2 essentially full-time jobs. My husband would have to do more or fork over the funds to pay for what he is not doing, chore-wise, around the house. And he works at least 60 hours a week. Usually more. When he makes the "Go back to work so I can eventually retire" noises, I wave the Word document I created with the 3 columns showing task/time/$$$ to hire out and ask him which half he is going to do, or pay to hire out. End of discussion. We still have that chat annually, but he's not stepped up to the plate with service providers or a written agreement on what he'll take over.

Running errands, food shopping, dry cleaners, all that stuff - I've been able to do child-free for 6 years. The thought of doing it with 2 little boys is making me bug-eyed.

I'm going to need to find the Zen in these chores. And so far? I'm just scared.

And, I'm also having trouble getting my head around leaving Oldest off at such a large institution - public school. Even though our neighborhood school is new, best in the district, blah blah blah; It's got 80+ kindergartners. EIGHTY kindergarten children! And there are 8 grades in the school. Grades 5 and above have even more children in them, as the school bond that funded under 22-per-classroom affected classrooms beginning after that was voted in - 5 years ago. They have 'strict bullying rules'. Yeah, so what? Kids are mean and that's just a fact. Our sons are sweet. They will get picked on. Every child does. I hate that my sons will ever suffer at the hands of classmates! But it's inevitable. So, we work on 'what to say, when', and we practice saying "So?" and walking away. But in reality? Who knows.

Yes, they will have good days and lots of them. And a few bad ones. Please dear god let me have my shit together enough to not overreact and make more of it than it needs to be to help them survive. They are not Me. My wounds may never be their wounds.

Expect Angsty posting for awhile. That's where I am in this space/time/continuim.

That is all.


My float said...

I work from home and look after my son full-time, and I can tell you, one of the sweetest victories of my life was when I put my foot down and said, either we get a cleaner or we get a nanny for a couple of hours a week.

(The nanny won)

I just couldn't manage any more. So now, I hear the whinging about the money I'm spending on the nanny but seriously? I could care less! It's all a trade off, and it allows me to accept more work (smack forehead - IDIOT!) when what I SHOULD be doing is cleaning. But anyhow. I get the help I need. So I agree with you. Looking after the house and children is a full-time job. Taking on another one doesn't make any sense. Stick to your guns, Vickee!

PS. My heart goes out to your Oldest but mostly to you because you know how awful kids can be. But they can also be nice. He may well make the best friends of his life at that school.

Lazy cow said...

Here's one tip: I rarely take one child grocery shopping, and only in emergencies do I take both. I just sacrifice one evening a fortnight when the kids are in bed and do a huge shop at the supermarket. I order meat, and go to farmers' markets - outdoors! fresh air! lots of food samples! with the kids for fruit and veg. Most other errands? I do when my mum looks after the Boy one afternoon a week - make sure that you keep at least 2-3 hours a week for this, and if I'm organised, I get some of that time for myself. I'd pay someone, no matter how broke we were, to do some babysitting. Oh, and I take off Saturday afternoons as my husband plays golf EVERY saturday morning.

Surfing Free said...

I am also panicking about my daughter starting school in five months!!! She just wants to be liked and that puts you in a vulnerable position.
I work full-time out of the house and I go home and do 90% of the work at home. I am in a pretty good rythmn with it all, but I do get a little eaten up by resentment ocassionally.
Good luck :)

Sarah Louise said...

Go read lazy cow's post. She was very normal and non-panicky about the exact same stuff as you today. Even I, housemistress to only myself, took comfort in it.

Yule B Fine. I however, must be somewhere at nine and have not eaten or washed the hair. Forgive me for hoping you hadn't posted anew. Ta!

Miz S said...

Wow. Your post takes me back, and not to a good place. Those were some hard years for me. Hang in there. Oh, and about kindergarten and school in general? Don't worry too much about bullies. Most of the time, most of the kids are lovely.

Carolyn said...

Kingdergarten is scary. But they do surprisingly well, better than we parents I think.

We are having to budget also. I never used to have to worry about grabbing an extra magazine or spending an extra ten bucks in the store. Now...we are going in the hole every month.

Is is gas and inflation, who knows? My husband has co-workers who are so broke that for lunch they went to Costco and ate the free samples!

Liz said...

We're feeling a little pinch, too. I suspect that the higher gas prices and the generally rapidly-rising cost of living has something to do with it.

Joke said...

It'll be OK. The problem with "strict bullying rules" is that very often schools rest on their laurels with merely having them.

Kinda like all those Drug Policies colleges had in the late 1970s.

That said, if you make it DAMNED clear you shan't put up with your kids getting bullied, you'll see how any unpleasanness gets nipped in the bud.

Was that even moderately helpful?


verniciousknids said...

I love that you made a column charting your worth to the household...stick to it :D

BabelBabe said...

does your grocery have a daycare? Ours do - and i can drop the 2 older boys there, go sit at the starbucks in the grocery store and have a coffee and then shop. saved my sanity this summer!

am also terrified - but also thrilled - to have primo beginning kindergarten.

BabelBabe said...

also, i found some highschooler babysitters - waaaaayyyyy cheaper.

I have been lobbying for a housecleaner for YEARS - no dice yet But my new fav line? "I am NOT the maid!" for all the good uttering it does....