This week is Spring Break. Oh Goody. Yippee Skippee. Or something.
While I may have a week’s reprieve from being Professor Talksalot, I got 99 problems and a lecture ain’t one.
In fact, my Spring Break 2014 could use a new name: current contenders include: “TWD” (Total World Domination) “SHAWD,” (Super Handlin’ All Wheel Drive, and yes, I totally stole that acronym from a friend. Oh, and from Acura, them too), “Fix-It,” and, in homage to my provincial roots- “Get ‘Er Done.”
This week, on top of the fact that I: a) have bucketloads of other work to do, b) should probably pull my head out of the sand and file my taxes, c) want to maintain my exercise routine, and d) have a Sixth birthday party to prep for, I also (insert dramatic musical score here), have two small children stuck at home with me on their own respite from the world of tolling bells.
Perhaps I should not have smugly thrown away that Spring Break Camp flyer after all. Maybe it’s still in the recycle bin. Is it too late to sign up?
Shockingly, my (rather parochial, in hindsight) master plan to casually work from home each morning in my pajamas while my children happily played nearby and we spent sunny afternoons adventuring was uh, well, incorrect. A little nearsighted, perhaps.
What I thought Spring Break would look like:
What Spring Break actually looks like:
Turns out this whole work from home business gets a little, uh, intense, when three is company. I am spending my mornings working in my pajamas; that part I have DOWN. Money. #nailedit. I am also, however, carrying over that lovely attire to the early and late afternoons, right around the time when all hell breaks loose.
Super. Good Times.
Luckily, I have a few things in my favor. 1- It is sunny outside, and warm but not hot. A+ Weather. I love you California. 2- I have the most amazing friends; and 3- I actually have done a practice round or two of this before, it was called “Last Summer,” and “Winter Break.” Apparently I just just had a little round of amnesia, or perhaps got a little overconfident. More breaking news, I know. #recoveringoverachiever
Here are the
survival methods strategies I have found helpful in making things run a bit more smoothly.
1. Take short breaks every hour. Communication that is slightly more evolved than caveman speak with your children during these breaks is advisable. Ditto with experiencing poses other than utkatasana, in an actual chair.
2. Rather than play several rounds of “I have nothing to do,” give your children a specific menu of options for play in the morning. They will either engage happily with the educational selections you have so thoughtfully provided, or, even better, find something they actually like to do and find stealthy (read-quiet) and delightful satisfaction in doing the opposite of what you told them to do. Doesn’t matter how this turns out, you win no matter what.
3. Take an hour to exercise together. My favorite options are to either take a family bike ride (preferably to somewhere with outdoor seating, good burgers and large selection of beverages uh, on tap), or the more healthy option- Interval Walking. The kids and I do a three mile loop, with sets of five exercises OTBEB (On The Block Every Block) for at least two of those miles. We take turns picking the exercise (for example, me- push-ups, my son- jumping “jacks,”, my daughter- burpees. Yes, burpees. I know. Sigh) and we do them together, right there on the sidewalk. No, we don’t care that cars and pedestrians (and little old ladies peering out their blinds) can see us. Yes, we are providing examples of fitness for the whole neighborhood. You’re welcome.
4. Just add water. Either- invest in a slip-and-slide or find a friend with a pool (liberal use of the word “friend” is totally acceptable if none of your actual friends have one. Bring the lifejackets or a lifeguard (aka- someone who is paying more attention than you are), sit your ass down in the lounge chair and work away, preferably just out of the splash zone unless you’d really like to add a trip to the Geek Squad to your day. Sidenote- if you have a little extra time on your hands, day trip it to the beach, set your phone up as a mobile hotspot and get your beach work vibe crackin’. Just make sure to lube the kids up with sunscreen, pack enough food to feed an army of starving children, and like, look up from your screen once in awhile to enjoy the bliss.
5. Schedule and manage your time well so you can Shut down for a few hours. Seriously. It’s a BREAK for God’s sake. Use this time to recharge and increase your productivity when you are working. Hit the reset button. Take a power nap, and no, falling asleep at the table does not count. Speaking of tables, go out to eat. Let Happy Hour start on Eastern Standard Time. Schedule playdates, for you and the kids. Get out of your house. Have interactions with real live people. See your friends, in daylight, during waking hours. Gasp. Hell, if you’re really on it, you can probably arrange a mass working playdate with other parents. Draw straws to see who gets to be on kid duty first. Suckers.
So, for those finding themselves aboard the same boat as me, let Project “I Can Too Have It All” commence. May the odds be ever in your favor.
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