Update: When I woke up this morning, I regretted posting this last night at 2 AM because I sound like such a whiner. I’m leaving it here anyway, though I have just assumed you are all judging me because I would judge me if I read this. This post is not approved by Oprah and others who keep a daily gratitude journal.
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My husband’s day off is Monday. I also have Mondays off, unless you count the hour on Monday mornings when I log on to answer work email and then the three hour shift I work every Monday night. I work seven nights a week, but have the daytime hours off on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Mostly.
And today was President’s Day, a holiday, right?
But we have kids so we never have time off. Now that our older kids are working part-time and going to school part-time (just one of them, just one class) and our middle kid attends school twenty minutes away and our youngest child is in sports and a choir and church activities . . . well, things have gone from bad to worse. (I know it’s temporary because the older kids will be driving at some point and all that. Still. Right now it’s ridiculous.)
In the old days, we could just hire a babysitter and be on our way. (Theoretically, of course, because in reality, our youngest two kids hated to be left and we rarely had a babysitter.) Because everyone was just home, it was easier for me to leave home, to get a mental health break, away from the chatter and noise and cooking.
It’s the cooking that’s killing me. The constant and relentless requirement to think up something to serve to the people who live in my house and need food. I’ve been doing this for twenty-six years, being the sole provider of nourishment and I’m sick of it. I used to not mind so much . . . back before I realized the futility and despair that would come from trying to adjust to feedback received at various times over the years:
- No red meat because it’s hard on some (unnamed) tummies.
- Avoid pork because it causes some unpleasant side effects in some (unnamed) people.
- No dairy please, because of lactose intolerance.
- Vegetables are yucky. Except for the ones we like. (“Wait, is rice a vegetable? I like rice.”)
- Salads are not a meal.
- Nothing too spicy.
- Nothing weird or different or with substituted ingredients.
- No chicken cooked in the CrockPot.
- No cornbread or biscuits or muffins.
- No rice or pasta.
- Mashed potatoes only, please.
And the worst? When I cook something and then the other people in this house choose to eat a bowl of cereal or a sandwich or whatever. It’s depressing. I wish I were Jane Jetson and I could just order nutrition pills from my magic robot. Who wants to waste time cooking when there are books to read?
But I wasn’t talking about cooking. I was talking about how we don’t have a day off . . . from kids.
And today, a holiday? Not so much.
I did get to sleep in since my husband woke up and took our son to work at 9 AM. I did my hour of work online, then spent a rather frustrating stretch of time working with my daughter to get her school work reviewed and organized since I need to turn in samples tomorrow. (I am also sick to death of supervising kids doing school-at-home . . . I’ve been doing this now for ten years, ever since my 6th grade twins started a virtual school. They graduated but now my daughter is enrolled in a charter school and doing school-at-home . . . it’s trying to kill me.)
We finally finished–after my final lecture and rant about her effort in Composition–and then it was time to shop for a lacrosse stick and accessories so she can start lacrosse practice on Friday. We returned home just in time to pick up my son to take him to work.
And when I got home, it was time to cook dinner. I had put corned beef and cabbage in the CrockPot (a weird favorite that my family likes, though I could live without it), but I still had to clean up the kitchen and peel potatoes and roast cauliflower and slice strawberries and mash the potatoes. By the time we had dinner, it was after 6:30 PM.
It wasn’t much of a day off. That’s all I’m trying to say.
I wonder what we’re having for dinner tomorrow.
What are you having for dinner?