I love Fridays. Mostly because the dawn of a Friday means I’ve just about survived another week of parenting. An added bonus is that it means the husband gets to enjoy the girls for the next two days while I try to avoid (not always successfully) doing anything with the girls that I don’t think is fun.
I’ve made a lot of progress since I began the stay-at-home gig last May. Rather than ask myself why the hell I stopped working in the first place or, more specifically, what I’m going to do on any given day, I now have a routine. It’s by no means perfect, but it allows me to run a tight ship, and maximize the odds of enjoying Sophie while Chloe is in school, and enjoying Chloe after she gets home.
The magical prop for enforcing the daily routine is the most elementary of devices. I’m ashamed to say that I can’t even take credit for the idea; my husband thought of it after a morning of pure temper tantrum torture, which almost resulted in my wiping out our bank account to either flee to Canada in frustration or commit myself to an insane asylum.
My dear husband’s brilliant solution to the weekday morning meltdown is an alarm clock, set to 8:30 AM. It makes an incredibly annoying beeping sound that is impossible to ignore. Its ringing signifies that the time has come to shut off the TV (or stop playing computer games), and put on the necessary outerwear so that we can make it to the bus stop by 8:45 AM. Since we’ve set the gadget in motion (why we hadn’t thought of it before is beyond me – just another example, I suppose, of how parenting brings out the stupid in us), the morning routine is a lot less stressful.
And I, of all people, know how hard it is to rebound from a stressful morning. I’m closing in on 40 (not tomorrow, but in 366 days), and I have to start paying attention to the blood pressure, for crying out loud.
Because of the alarm clock, I now look forward to walking to the bus stop. And the advent of less stressful mornings usually foreshadows more enjoyable and relaxing afternoons. I’m returning to work in just a few weeks, so these realizations are perhaps dawning on me a little late, but better late than never, right?