This is what I am learning this summer: That you (and by "you," I mean "I") actually have LESS time available to you as a stay-at-home mom to slightly older kids than you did when they were toddlers/preschoolers.
Because back then, they napped or had quiet time. Every day. They went to bed earlier too. And for some reason, I had my girls in more structured activities when they were littler; not a lot, but a few classes here and there that allowed me to either drop one of them off for a short time or sit somewhere watching their classes or lessons while reading or taking notes for my book or making my grocery list.
This summer? I am arguably having more fun--I always have fun in the summer, so it's hard to say, but this summer, with bigger kids, is especially fun--but my "free" time is more negligible than ever. (Can something be "more negligible"??) Especially now that the girls' twice-a-week afternoon class at the playground is over.
I didn't sign them up for any sports or lessons this year. We hang out together--all day, every day--and my personal philosophy is to say "yes" every time they ask to go to the pool. If that means we spend twelve afternoons in a row at the pool, and that's twelve afternoons with zero time to run errands or do a workout DVD or, ahem, write this blog, well, it is what it is.
Yesterday afternoon the girls and I were driven inside from our backyard because the mosquitoes were so bad and I literally had not had time to go to the store and replenish our bug spray supply. I mean, really. Mainly that was because we had relatives visiting all weekend so there wasn't time to do things like run to Target for bug spray (or the other twenty things I'm out of), and because last week I had two sick kids for a couple of days (and now have one sick kid, again). It's also because once you've gotten used to being able to do the family shopping on solo trips while the kids are in school, it's painful to consider running those same errands with two children along.
I tend to throw up my hands and say, Whatever. Let's just go to the pool. But then I find us out of bug spray and peanut butter and the sunscreen sticks that work so well for their faces. And a blog that hasn't been updated in two full weeks.
I haven't had time to write here. I don't even have time to deal with the fact that I was planning to pepper this post with photos of some things we've done lately--build forts and paint on uncooked lasagna noodles--but for some reason iPhoto is refusing to acknowledge the fact that YES I DO have photos on my iPhone to be uploaded. I'm sorry. I don't know why that's happening and I don't have time to figure it out.
It's all about priorities, people. The pool over Target. Fort-building over blogging. Painting on noodles over pretty much anything.
Summer's calling! Enjoy.