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Archive for January, 2011

snow days

These school closings are killing me.  I actually like winter, despite not being an outdoor person (or perhaps because of it – I am content to stay inside.)  My son, however, is not.  It seems that when the schools close, so do all the places you could bring your kid.

I am running out of patience in the same way the town is running out of money dealing with these snowstorms one right after the other.

Working moms have it even harder.  If you think that you want to be home with your kids when they’re very young and will return to work when they’re in school, keep in mind that a hard winter can mean multiple days of missed work – school closings, sick kids, cars that won’t start.  And if you do make it to work, you more than likely have to get up earlier or get home later, both tricky when you are depending on childcare programs:  Can the kids be dropped off earlier?   Is the school bus arriving late, so you can’t get on your way on time?  Is traffic messed up?

Moving to a warmer part of the country is becoming very appealing to me.

Usually I appreciate apartment living more in the winter.  Less property to shovel.  Less expensive to heat.  But with a four year old and two year old, I wish I had a basement & attic, so they could have a change of scenery while stuck inside.  And a backyard, so they could play outside without having to get in the car and drive to a park (especially on days when the roads aren’t safe.)  And a garage, so that said car would not have to be shoveled out, after being plowed in.

How do you manage your snow days?

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Night Shift

My husband works at night, and he’s been doing that nearly as long as we’ve been married and before I was even pregnant with our first child (we have 2).  Right now, the kids are fighting & screaming right outside our bedroom door, and I’m trying to ignore them.  He tells me it’s usually me he hears yelling at them, more than them in the first place.  I don’t think that is the way he’s feeling at this particular moment.

Our whole family is affected by the night shift.  I know police & firemen and others who have to work the night shift deal with similar issues, but they also usually have a rotation of sorts.  My husband ONLY works at night and they’re long nights.  Even though he technically doesn’t work weekends, our weekend is really just Sunday, because he sleeps most of Saturday.  Our friends wonder why we’re so unmotivated to socialize, but between 2 small kids and his backwards schedule, it’s an ordeal to be social at the customary days and times (Friday & Saturday nights.)

Even after 5 years, we haven’t figured out how to make this work.  The biggest challenge after the job itself is that we live in an apartment, which not only means we have to deal with our own noise, but noise from the people above and occasionally below.  It also means that there’s no spare bedrooms, so I am exiled from my bedroom when he’s home sleeping.  Not that I have much opportunity for sleeping, but it would be nice to be able to change my shirt or shoes or something off my dresser when I think of it.  It also makes the apartment feel even smaller to have one room closed off most of the day.

It’s also hard to be alone every night with the kids.  I am awake for them all day long, and then if they don’t sleep all night, there’s only one of you to manage it.  This was particularly rough while my daughter was a newborn and my son wasn’t in preschool.  In fact, I would have sold an organ to have him attend an afternoon preschool session.  Our current town doesn’t provide preschool for everyone, and the private programs are all morning sessions.  Afternoons around here are difficult:  Husband should be sleeping, daughter should be napping, I should be gearing up for the evening mom shift and son should be at school, but instead, he is being rowdy and nobody is sleeping.

If we could go back in time, I would know that being a stay at home mom in this circumstance was not the best choice.  I should have kept working, our son would have been in daycare, where he would have had more space to play & socialize, he would watch less TV and our home wouldn’t look like a train wreck 4 times a day.  As for kiddo number 2, maybe she would be here, or maybe not.   Perhaps my husband would have been able to find daytime work if he wasn’t the only paycheck we were counting on.

Is anyone else out there muddling through (or perhaps succeeding) with being a night-shift family?

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