At the beginning of May, this is what my calendar looked like for the last two weeks of the month. Keep in mind that the months of May and June are a super busy time for me at work. In addition to tax filing due dates dictated by federal and state tax authorities, we also have internal due dates with a large project that needs to be wrapped up (nope, not in shiny paper) and delivered in June.
Week of May 18th
Monday - Work
Tuesday - Jury duty
Wednesday - Work
Thursday - Emily's school field trip
Friday - Allie's school field trip
Week of May 25th
Monday - Holiday
Tuesday - Emily's and Anna's school spring concert (morning)
Wednesday - Allie's school spring concert (afternoon)
Thursday - Work
Friday - Work
I knew that it would be absolutely impossible for me to get away with working only four days within those two weeks. I have waaaay too much to do. My responsibilities at work are mine so if I don't do the work, it doesn't get done. It's not a matter of requesting vacation days or finding someone else to take over. I know what I have to do and I need to figure out a way to get it done.
I was stressed out.
A week prior to my scheduled jury duty, I received a cancellation notice in the mail. Thank god. I know it's my civic duty but still, thank god. For the school activities, I quickly came to the conclusion that I could not go to every event and so I talked it over with the girls and made decisions on what to attend based on their needs. High on the priority list was chaperoning Allie's field trip. I had been unable to do so for the field trip that took place on October 15th, which was a big tax filing due date for me, and so I had told her that I would chaperone her spring field trip. That was a promise I couldn't back down from, no matter what. For Emily's field trip, the original plan was to meet the kids there, stay for a bit and then drive back home so that Grammy could bring me to the train station (I wouldn't be able to find an empty parking spot at that time of day) so I could take a later train to work. The field trip was to a nature place and by the time the kids arrived and went through orientation, I would only be there with them for less than an hour. Plus, that train dumps me into the office at 12:45, which would make for an unproductive day on both ends. In trying to make a decision on what to do for Emily's field trip, we discovered that her class will be putting on a play for parents (grandparents, etc.) one morning in the middle of June. I talked it over with her and told her that I would rather see her in the play than go for a short part of the field trip and she agreed.
I did attend both spring concerts. Anna's and Emily's classes had theirs together with a few other classrooms. That one was in the morning so afterward, I was able to take the train that gets me to work at 12:45. I worked until 8:00 that night and didn't arrive home until 9:00. I didn't want to miss Allie's concert but I did discuss not going with her. She thought it over and then told me she didn't want to know and that I should just surprise her. Then she told me that if, at the concert, she looked out and saw me, she'd be so happy but if not, she'd probably start to cry. I ended the conversation right there and told her that I would go. And I did and I loved it.
Lately, I've found myself thinking, These are the days. It echos through my head. My kids won't ever be in the first grade again and as much as I would love to be there for everything, I can't. The reality is that I work full time right now and there are moments when it all seems so incredibly difficult. I don't even see it as a balance. It's more like a juggling act.
I'm exhausted right now. Allie was diagnosed with strep throat, which is fortunately only the second time one of the girls has had it, at the end of last week. She does not sleep well at all when she's sick, which means that I don't sleep well at all when she's sick and there's no opportunity for sleep "catch-up" unless I head to bed early, which I've been trying to do, somewhat unsuccessfully.