I’m waking kind of afraid more and more often, and I know it is because I don’t feel ready. I have 25 days until my son finishes school for the summer. This should be no big thing – I have taken care of him and other children through summer periods and it has been fine, so why am I so afraid? I can feel the answer in the lump in my throat, the tension behind my eyes: He is really high energy, needs a lot of direction and is unbelievably loud, and my little baby bundle is just learning to sleep, and I am the frayed end of a million strings bundled together into a lashing whip these days.
A lashing whip is not exactly my favoured parenting style.
I have got to figure out a number of things this morning:
- I need to keep my self-care going; I must eat well and exercise and go to bed early
- I must keep the baby’s care going, which right now is: continue sleep training and introducing solid foods (which includes making new foods)
- I must get out at least once a week to see other people
These have been my goals all along since I went on maternity leave. Now, I must add in a 5 year old who needs routine. Actually, maybe its me who needs the routine, I need to be able to look at a chart when I’m about to lose my mind and be able to say to Hunter, “Oh look – this is what you are doing for the next 20, 30, or (dare I hope) 40 minutes.” I have 25 days to figure out my game plan:
- make a schedule that mimics the school schedule for home
- start the day right with exercise for both of us – find something we can do together every single morning
- gather all the art materials – generate ideas for at least a few art projects
- walking tours – scavenger hunts – outdoor play – the pool
- outdoor activities, I need to know what they are so I can just tell him what to do
- a scheduled time for unstructured/quiet play that I must enforce immediately
- cooking/ aka making lunch together, making baby foods together, learning to feed Parker
- reading books/phonics
- crafts that reflect science and nature
I think that’s a good start and captures all of the different activities that happen at school. I keep telling myself – I am an educator, I can make a curriculum. I am an educator…I can spend the summer with a five-year-old – it’s going to be fine.
It’s going to be fine.
It’s going to be fine, right?
For the next 25 days I’m committed to continued healthy eating, continued exercise, and figuring out an activity or series of activities every day.
So let it be written…