Last night, while chatting with a single, childless friend, I mentioned that it happens to be March Break for my children, and I. His curiosity led to me sharing what we’ll be doing this week; more like what *I’ll* be doing this week to keep the peace, and keep everyone entertained. After listening to the itinerary, and roadblocks that I’ll be facing, my friend coined March Break: “Break Mom.” The sad part is, he’s not wrong.
I love my children, and time with them is the greatest investment that I can make. The problem is that I too am tired, and I too need a break. While my children are old enough, and capable of entertaining themselves, they, like me, are trapped where we live and can’t do anything without me driving them somewhere. It seems that even the weather is against us doing anything interesting without freezing our anatomy off.
We’ve reached the midpoint of the break. So far, only one person has accomplished minimal chores. That person is *NOT* me. I would love to organize MY laundry, but it, like most things on my list will have to wait. Why? Well, short fuses, and close quarters are bringing out the worst in everyone. Squabbles, and anger are at peak levels. Obviously I’m trying to teach my children problem solving, while also having them learn their way through social interactions with their siblings, but some fires need an extinguisher: that’s where parenting comes in.
Of course I’ve taken a bit of time to relax with a Netflix binge; that’s easy enough to do while simmering supper, planning menus, and waiting for laundry to finish spinning/drying. Have I gone out? Of course, appointments that can’t be kept during work hours need to be met over break. Two days worth of obligations fill my calendar; joy.
Break Mom. Argue, fight, refuse to help, make demands, never be satisfied with what’s offered. My children are not ungrateful; they are resentful of living in the middle of nowhere without independence, freedom, or ability to do anything alone.
School breaks used to be so much easier when they were younger. Playing in the backyard was an adventure. Going to the mall wasn’t as expensive. Staying home and folding laundry while enjoying a movie marathon was exciting. Now, adventure means an hour long drive to go indoor rock climbing for an hour. Fun, if everyone could agree on going. Even better if it weren’t cost prohibitive to do regularly.
Every child in the city “wants to do something,” so everywhere “fun” is a sardine can of people trying to be happy for an hour, or two. The experience is exhausting, and usually not up to expectations. Still, we try. We go. We do. We laugh, only to come home and face everything that needs to be done in the house.
It’s a break for everyone, but I have to fight for my time. Seeing friends, being an adult, none of that matters. I’m sure someone is going to pop in and say that I shouldn’t resent my children, and that it’s not their fault that I’m “stuck parenting them.” Others are going to throw their hats in to say that my children should entertain themselves, that I matter too, and that I’m not here to be their friend.
- I’m NOT resentful of my children, or having to invest time with them. I enjoy what we do, I’m frustrated with the expenses, and mostly the distance to everything.
- Moving isn’t an option at the moment.
- Obviously my children need to be bored at times!
- Yes, they help around the house, but no the entire break shouldn’t be about cleaning and organizing.
- I would love to get the house up to MY standards, but it’s impossible with everyone home.
School breaks are meant to be fun, but they are also an opportunity to relax, and destress. Children do have it rough at school, whether we want to admit it, or not. Social issues, keeping up with curriculum expectations, repetition, and routine can all be challenging after a while; for some children, it’s like climbing Mount Everest every single day.
My children deserve a break as much as I do. I wish however, that they had more opportunities, and independence to enjoy it the way they deserve to. If they had independence, I’d have a break too!