Friday, October 1, 2010
As I may have mentioned before, Mrs. LIAYF is working outside the home once again. In another city. Thankfully, she loves the job and the commute promises to get better in time, but for now she is out of the house for nearly 12 hours per day during the work week. That leaves the responsibility on me to get Lukas up and to his preschool, then back home in the evening after work.
Mornings are a piece of cake, with Lukas waking up happy and ready to tackle the world. We could use some better time management and often more sleep, but in all it goes pretty smooth. It's after work that the real fun begins.
I'm a quiet guy who works in a relatively stressful job. I am, by definition, solving problems all day long. Often by the end of the day I am mentally drained, and not ready to deal with what inevitably lies ahead of me. Part of what contributes to the chaotic atmosphere that often ensues can be attributed to tired bodies, and attempting to fit a lot into a small window of time.
Over the past three years, I haven't worried to much about lack of sleep. When it happened, we could handle that with ease. But I'm finding that those hours between when I pick him up from preschool (where napping is difficult at best) and when we get him to bed - I have dubbed them The Chaotic Hours - to be a whole new challenge for me.
We have handled it so far. But there have been some rough patches. At times I feel as if I am the caricature of the harried parent. This is exacerbated on the nights we have to stop at the grocery store, before hurrying home to get dinner prepped and on the stove before Mrs. LIAYF finally arrives from her long commute. I am often stumbling up the stairs, dropping things which are otherwise stuffed - to the brim - under my arms, only to find my keys in an inaccessible pocket.
When I do get inside and convince my son to follow me, I am usually greeted by bellowing cats who want to be fed (That is, when they aren't hiding because they've puked right in front of the door). After which I have to immediately start prepping for dinner while washing the dishes or unloading the dishwasher, so I have the proper tools to work with.
Add in ringing phones, an insistent boy who always want me to come play with him *NOW*, and an urgent need to pee from all the running water during dish washing, and by the time 7:00 rolls around I sure could use a cold beer to calm my nerves.
Life happens during that time. Real life. It's like 4th and 1 from the 1/2 yard line each and every night. It can be intense. And I am thrilled when my lovely wife walks through that door.
Yes, I understand that many of you must deal with this times two, or three, or even more. I salute you, and am certainly not attempting to compare my responsibilities as a parent to yours. I am just saying that there are times when we are asked to step up. To contribute in new ways you are unfamiliar with. This is where I've found myself these past few weeks. And it has been an adjustment period.
But life is about making adjustments, right? And then hoping there is a moment of zen before you have to start the process over again. Plus, no matter how harried it gets, I am always glad I get to spend that time with Lukas. Mrs. LIAYF doesn't get that opportunity.
What about you readers? How do you keep sane during your Chaotic Hours?
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Posted by James (SeattleDad) at 12:01 AM