Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Home. Together. Soon.

Another travel week for Dennis. I know this sounds whiny when I think of single moms and those of you whose husbands are deployed for months at a time, but man, I am TIRED.

It's more than just physical exhaustion, although there is that. I realize how much I count on my husband's physical help getting everyone where they need to go, helping corral little ones for bed, and, hey, just bringing in the mail! He does so much, and I appreciate him so much when he's not here!

Monday (after dealing with the Tide emergency and not being able to do anything with the ever-growing mountain of laundry) I spent the evening running across town to Neal's (12) football game and back across town to Allie's (14) volleyball game. Ruthie (3) fell asleep in the car, so hey, at least she had a nap. Annie(6) and Libby (9) both have friends (siblings of the players) at the games, so they always enjoy going.

We had a great time watching our teams play, but then, the slap of reality: It was 7:45 and everyone was STARVING. We had Ragu and cheese over angel hair pasta at 8:00 p.m. The little girls were in bed after 9:00; it was after 10:00 by the time Allie finished homework, and well past 11:00 by the time I did my prep for Bible study the next morning.

Yesterday (after Bible study, which took up all morning) I agreed to let Neal (12) do the "chains" (marking the downs) for the eighth grade football game. It sounded reasonable when he called me from school at 3:00 p.m. (it always does). Then Allie got home and wanted to go because the band was playing and all the eighth graders would be there (aren't they always?). I had to go pick up Neal anyway, so I agreed to go.

It wasn't until later that I realized (a) the game didn't start until 5:30, and (b) there were two games. This time, we had McDonald's in the car on the way. Even later (and much to my utter sorrow), I realized (c) I just ruined our ONE night that didn't have obligations for the week. Arggh! Another late night for everyone (but at least we weren't starving at 8:30 when we got home this time!). My poor little girls...

Yep, looking ahead to the rest of the week, there is something EVERY NIGHT. I think that is what wears on me more than the actual physical tiredness. Some people thrive on activity, but I DO NOT. I need downtime. Thinking time. Putzing time. Nothing time. And, much as it drives me crazy when they're just sitting around here acting completely useless, when they don't get a chance to, I realize how much my kids need downtime, too. Besides looking at my laundry pile and my list of things to do, it's knowing we won't have any nothing time together as a family, and it makes me weary just thinking about it. Sigh.

We are so careful with our commitments, but with a large family, there just are weeks like this. I know this in my head, but it is still hard to deal with it in realtime. I think I'm going to make some phone calls and try to get out of tonight's obligations. Let my little girls (and this big girl!) go to bed early. Maybe I'll even nix Thursday's, when Dennis gets home. Friday is a choir concert so there's no getting out of that. I am marking a giant red "X" on Saturday to DO NOTHING.

We need to be HOME. TOGETHER. SOON.


Julie said...

Oh girl, I am soo wearly also. To many late nights not enough family time. I actually broke into tears yesterday (I am battling a stomach bug) because I didn't feel good but I was trying to just go on as normal. My kids thought I had lost my mind.

Each of our kids are only in one actitiviy but it is still really busy when you have 5, and a husband who travels.

I will say a little prayer you get some down time soon. Hang in there!!


Unknown said...

I am with you sister! I just looked at my calendar today and realized that we don't have a free Saturday as a family until THANKSGIVING!!! Which is right after hubby gets back from a military training he has to go to...they've just had him for 14 months, but seem to think he needs to go away for 2 more weeks! Aargh! I need to find a place to draw a big red X myself!

Sara at Miller Moments: said...

I am so sorry that your week is so frazzled. My husband just entered into rehearsals on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from now until Christmas for our local community theatre. It's been hard to be supportive of his desire to do this - knowing that I'm on my own with three little ones in the evenings - when they need their daddy the most.

No advice for you - you're the queen of being able to handle things - but I do wish for you a peaceful weekend, filled with naps, scented candles and the joy of clean laundry.


Sherri@NoiseOverload said...


For the woman who helped to make eating together a priority for me and my family, this must be a tough week.

I have to admit, when I saw the picture of the Tide on top of the washer, red flags went off in my head. My washer produces a small earthquake in our home every load. We have balanced it more than a dozen times and there is NO WAY I would put anything on top of it while washing a load.


Mindy said...

Way to take control and put family first! I love those days on my calender that are completely empty!!

Susanne said...

Oh Katherine, saying a prayer for you this week. I'm just like you, I neeeed down time and I need to have everyone home once in awhile together. I get very flustered when we start to get overbooked. Can someone give you a hand getting the older ones to a couple of their activities so that you can stay home with the little ones?

Andrea said...

I was just composing a post very similar to this post in my head this afternoon. I feel the same way. Sadly, I've overcommited myself this Fall and what can I do? Wait til December break I think.

I've been thinking and praying for you with all these water, laundry, lice and sickness issues going on in your family! I hope it calms down soon for you.

And I'm commiserating with you this week: my hubby is out of town, too. Nothing like a hubby out of town to wear down an already weary mama! Wanna come over and I'll set you up with some chocolate and tea? lol. Sounds good, right?

Even though posts like these are just "life" for you, it's good to read something, nod your head and say "Mmm-hmm".

love you

Janice said...

I'm tired just reading your day! I don't like to put it all down, because it always seems like ... "How could I have done all that?!" and then I get PDSSD- post-daily-schedule-stress-disorder! Much easier to be in denial! Thanks for the post- You are not alone!!!

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

I need that downtime, too! That's one reason I didn't argue with Big Daddy, AT ALL, when he suggested the girls not play softball this fall. He's playing, but his last game is next week.

There's nothing I love more than snuggling in on the fall and winter evenings (provided we get fall/winter weather this year!) with the family.

Hope things let up for you eventually!

Beck said...

I'm tired just reading about your week! I am so dependent on my husband for helping me with the technical aspects of getting through the week, and then there's the whole having another adult around thing, which is essential.
I hope he gets home SOON.

Lisa said...

I am with you too. Running myself ragged seems to be the newest calling in life. We limit each child to one extra activity a season but with 4 kids, plus playdates and religious ed. one night per week, it is very crazy. When my husband is gone I go it alone too, and it is exhausting trying to be the only driver, but what is worse for me is being the only referee and sounding board. It seems like there is never any quiet with 4 kids always needing to talk or argue with one mom. He is leaving soon for a project in Dubai, so I will have a long strech of time to be Super-Mom.

Hugs to you! Hang in there,

Rachel Anne said...

Katherine, you know I am praying for you this week. For physical strength, for wisdom, for peace, for joy in the midst of it. You are doing an awesome job, (in spite of your wash machine woes.)

Mary said...

I totally agree with you on this need to all be home together. We need it too. I can't imagine what it must be like to be keeping up with 5 kiddos as I only have 1 and his schedule is running me ragged. I'm going to have to get out a big red pen and start making X's on our calendar too.

Anonymous said...

Oh girl - I feel for you! I only have two and so the running around is much more limited. We homeschool too so our opportunities to do all those activities are limited unless I want to pay for them, which I can't, so we don't do a lot of that stuff. Sometimes I lament and wonder if I'm depriving my children but then I read about other families who are run ragged and realize God has our family right where He wants us! We have so many church activities to keep us busy (my husband is a pastor) that we have enough on our plate anyway.
I console myself that my kids don't "do" much with the thought that at least I have my sanity - most of the time ;-)

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Jen said...

Amen Katherine. You needed to be with us at the beach last week. I woke every morning to do my bible study on the balcony drinking would have enjoyed that....take a deep breathe friend.