Come the first week of June, for the last 9 summers, I have gleefully skipped to my car on my last day of work, giddy with excitement for the 10 or so weeks of vacation ahead of me. I couldn't think of a single thing better than a job that allowed my to have my summers off. This summer.....I was just as excited. Just as thrilled, and quivering with anticipation. Yet, somehow....I am struggling. I am ending week two of my break, and I am lost.
I have pondered what is making this summer so different. I quickly came up with two very plausible reasons. First and foremost, my husband is home....EVERYDAY....ALLLLLLLLL DAY! Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but not to far off the mark. For the benefit of those that don't know, my husband is a commercial fisherman by trade, and has recently decided to take some time off. Formerly, he would be gone for days, weeks and even months on end. Currently, he doesn't plan on working until November at the earliest. A couple things worthy of noting is that my husband doesn't have a single friend that doesn't work, and he can't stand to be alone. This is NOT a good combo.
The second reason I find myself in a quandary this summer is the fact that my darling little two year old has suddenly forgotten how to entertain herself. She is an only, and until the last month or so she was really proficient at keeping herself busy. She is an easy child, who rarely gets upset. She doesn't get into things, and she is fun to be around, but lately, she is needy. I hear the phase, "MAMA...come play with me!" at least 600 times a day. Don't get me wrong I love to play with my girl. In fact, during the work year I am usually lamenting that I don't get enough time with her, but I am not ashamed to admit that I am sick of pretending to be a lion. It was fun the first time....and maybe the second or third time, but after the 400th time I growled and chased my squealing toddler it lost a bit of its luster. I believe that a person can only find joy in the chase if it is a rare occasion. Am I wrong? Is it just me? Do other mamas find endless joy in repetitive play for hours on end?
Please know that I love both of these people in my life a whole heck of a lot, but seriously, I feel like I am being smothered to death. I feel as if someone is holding a blanket over my head, then suddenly and unpredictably yanking it off and yelling, "PEEK-A-BOO!!!" in my face, and expecting me to laugh, when all I want to do is cry. From the moment I wake up until the moment my head hits the pillow, I feel like I am only here to serve the needs of these two individuals. This isn't how I like to feel.
I realize that part of the problem is ME. I am a planner. I like schedules, and predictability. I am not at all fond of the "spur of the moment" mentality. These days, husband and toddler are more alike than they are different. They are both egocentric, have no one to play with, and think that I am the source of entertainment of choice. They are like two siblings jealous that mama is spending too much time with the other. I feel like I am in the middle of a tug of war tournament, and I am the rope. I am constantly pulled from one need to another.
When we wake in the morning, husband invariably asks, "so what do you want to do today?" When he asks this....he really doesn't care what I want to do, he wants me to come up with something for US to do that he likes. He isn't interested in the fact that I have housework, or want to get online. He doesn't take into account my need for a schedule. I want to keep up with my house, hobbies and still have fun with my family. I would like to do all this without having two people whining at me. I'd like to make some predictable plans each week, meet some friends at the park or the library. NONE of this floats my husbands boat. He fusses if I have plans to go meet a friend and her kids. He thinks I should wait to do that when he already has something else to do. Ummmm yeah, the problem there is that he never makes plans. He only knows what he is doing like 2 seconds ahead of time. I don't roll that way. I want to know that tomorrow, we are going to the beach with so in so. I don't want to just wake up and fidget around until we are all grumpy, then try to find something to do. It drives me crazy! My least favorite comment from hubby is, "I'm BORED!" He says this like it is my fault. I'm sorry if I am not entertaining you with my housework. I'm sorry if I WANT to check my blog and babyboard. This is what I want to do today, and I don't want to feel guilty about it.
I firmly believe that the first step in making all of this better is knowing the problem. CHECK!
Now I need to work on the solution. I tried to talk with hubby about it, and he just laughed at me. He just doesn't understand that I will NOT survive many more weeks of this chaos. My tentative plan is to find a daily schedule for Sugar Bear and I that I can try to stick with. I need to set meal, play, and nap times. I find that when I don't plan out time to play with Sugar Bear, I feel like she is tugging at my leg all day begging me to come and play.I need to just go ahead and make plans with mine and Sugar's friends, and hubby will just have to deal. I will also make plans for us as a family, and just hubby and I. If those plans fall thru, I will revert to the daily schedule.
I just have to do something before I crack. Wish me luck!