Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday: Day 1

I recently read that if you are going to be a "blogger" then you should write something everyday.  I'm not sure I fully agree that this is a necessity, but I decided as a challenge to myself I would write every day for the next two weeks...even if it means that by day 8 I am filling you all in on things like the challenging and very real debate I have going on internally about whether or not to purchase a pair of black Ugg boots as a birthday gift to me from my parents.  (This is a serious struggle, though undeniably an extremely pathetic one.)

So, it's Monday and my daily writing challenge begins. I've been trying to write all day but something or someone keeps getting in the way, story of my child-filled life lately, constantly starving for me time.  I immediately thought about how I should have taken more advantage of the time over the weekend to collect my thoughts while Alex was here, but then I quickly revised my thinking.  Monday is better. As much as the idea of a Monday by itself should be an extra downer, I rather like the day.  I like Mondays.

I know most of you do not....I read your facebook status updates.  I used to loathe the day myself when I was working...outside the home.  (I hate to add the "outside the home" part, but I feel the constant need to defend what I do. I have issues.) I used to love the Friday after work feeling.  Freedom of two days without responsibilities and full of potential joy.  Movies, dining out, sleeping in late, shopping, laziness, or even the simple pleasure of completing a task at the house that had been on the to-do list for far too long.  Weekends meant a break.

Now, the weekend is much like the rest of the week, but with a husband periodically around.  There is no absence of responsibility, and though I suppose there is always potential joy, it certainly is not arriving in the same type of package.  I don't remember the last time the weekend meant the option for laziness.  There is definitely no sleeping in or even all night usually.  There isn't a break.  Oh wait...my husband does always watch the kids so I can spend an hour and a half grocery shopping.  What was I thinking about there not being a break? 

I know, you don't understand why I wouldn't be looking forward to Alex being home all weekend.  Well, I do like him home.  I would much prefer him home than not, but I would be lying if I said his presence doesn't, well....jack everything up. I need my routine.  I can't survive with my kids without our schedule, as loose as it sometimes may be.  I need structure to the day when it includes them or I go crazy.  Alex's presence adds this new dynamic that I have a very difficult time adjusting to on a normal weekend.  There are several reasons, in my mind, that this occurs.

First, we are horrible planners for the weekend.  I am very comfortable with my weekday activities.  I like my play dates, errands and trips to the preschool and park.  Though challenging to the point of tears sometimes, it is chaotically organized. On the weekend we are invariably without a plan of action. Alex likes to keep things loose and relaxed. This doesn't work with 3 kids, especially one that naps sometimes three times a day. By the time we decide we should go play miniature golf, it's every one's nap time or everyone has to eat again.  I completely understand his desire to keep things relaxed, he's been working all week and wants a break from the constant action.  Umm....me too, but it isn't happening.

Next, I always have a list of things I want to do and would like to accomplish.  Alex has done nothing but look forward to the weekend so he doesn't have to do anything.  These two things do not go well together and we still have not figured out how to productively talk about this. I swear we fight once a weekend over this ridiculous issue.  We do make up well.  Usually, Alex admits he's wrong and I gracefully acknowledge that I am in fact right again, a burden I must carry.  (Ok, it doesn't really go like that, but in my head it could and we would all be happier.  Well, except Alex maybe...but he gets to go to work.)

Finally, I set way too high of expectations for the potential of Alex's presence.  I daydream each Friday that Alex will surprise me with a sitter and a night out, or tell me to go get a massage and go shopping.  I long for him to tell me to go to Starbucks with my computer and write for an hour or two or go for a run and forget about our children.  None of this EVER happens.  None of this will EVER happen because I haven't told hm about it. He would probably be up for all of these things (though not him planning the sitter and dinner, he needs work in this category) but he certainly isn't going to tell me to do any of these things unless I tell him.  I always pride myself of not having expectations for things unsaid, but I do it every weekend, even if in a small way.  I feel like such an irrational and emotional girl...horrible.

Don't get me wrong, there are good times on the weekend quite frequently.  Yesterday we sat around as a family and watched The Swiss Family Robinson.  Alex even made the kids watch the scene where Father shows Mother around the tree house he built for her, twice because I missed it the first time because I was changing Stella's diaper and that's my favorite part.  (See, he can be very sweet. Now if I could just get him to build me a tree house....surely he inferred that I am expecting this from my reaction to that scene in the movie, right?)  It was a wonderful time and nothing could beat Aiden and Cole's pure joy, and extremely loud laughter, at the family fighting off the pirates.  These times are precious and wonderful, no doubt.

The truth is though, I usually feel more comfortable when Monday morning returns and we start over.  Things go back to the routine I am used to and I keep working to figure out how to do all of this more confidently, more efficiently and more happily.  It doesn't mean I'm happy to see Alex walk out the door on Monday morning, but since I can't go with him, I am content with being satisfied with a return to our routine.

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