Letting go of the reins

The first few weeks of summer vacation are admittedly hard in our family. It’s not because the school year is finished. Quite the contrary, actually. I welcome three whole months (or at least 2 of those months before the kids kill each other in boredom) free from projects, homework, bagged lunches, the daily scramble to find kid clothes that are both clean and rip-free… But at the same time, the change from a school schedule to lack of a structured schedule always throws me for a loop. And when we still have things going on (baseball, dentist appointments, and more), it’s a bit of a learning curve as we get settled into the new way of doing things.

Making things a little more complicated is the fact that we moved out of town, and much of our life (and my job) still exists in Santa Rosa. This week alone I have 4 days of baseball games and practices where I have to juggle running back and forth between towns to get everyone where they need to be. Today is one of those baseball days, and is also a day when I have to be two places at once. When situations like this arise, I have no choice but to ask for help. On this day, my saviors would be my wonderful mom and dad who have graciously offered (read: accepted only after I begged and pleaded repeatedly) to take the Taz for two days and help me out in my predicament.

Let me explain a little something for those of you just tuning in to this blog. When it comes to my kids and their schedule, I am a little OCD.  I have their whole schedule in a calendar on my phone, and check it repeatedly to ensure that I’m not missing anything. I orchestrate every single day so that I know to the minute when I should leave Point A to get to Point B, lists of everything vital that must be taken care of, and which route I need to take if I have multiple stops. And I let this schedule roll around in my brain all day long in an exhausting way of guaranteeing nothing goes wrong. I own the schedule. The schedule is my…baby.

And letting anyone in on the schedule, i.e. helping me out, is very difficult for me.

I hate asking for help. In these past years as a single mom with 98% custody of the kids, I have definitely learned that help is necessary in parenting. But that doesn’t make letting go of the reins any easier. Even worse is when I have to ask for help and it involves a scheduling situation. It’s one thing to ask my parents to watch the kids while they hang out at the house. It’s an entirely different ballpark to ask them to watch the kids, get the Taz to baseball by 5pm, and make sure he has the snacks we bought for the team that must be passed out at the end of the game.

I kid you not, I almost had a panic attack as I dropped the Taz off.

The ridiculous part is that my parents have done this before. My sisters and I were so loaded up with activities that sometimes it seemed my mom’s head was spinning. We had 4-H, ice skating, cheerleading, track, social events, community service, and a need to be at all of them at the same time. At the time, we loudly wondered why my mom was complaining about taking us places when she didn’t even have a job. Later on, I bit my tongue over and over when I had my own stint as a stay-at-home mom and realized it’s one of the hardest jobs in the world.

At any rate, my parents are more than capable of getting the Taz to his game. And I reminded myself of this as I wished my dad luck, giving him a few more instructions about that evening’s game. He insisted they’d be fine, with a chuckle. And I left before I could find another tidbit of advice to give on how to raise a kid – only to turn right back around and race in the house. The Taz was right where I left him, watching TV as I chatted about all his needs and scheduling requirements…where I left him without even saying goodbye even though I wouldn’t see him for two whole days.

Hey, just because I’m all whacko over the schedule doesn’t make me most attentive mom of the year….

The kids leave for their dad’s house next week for 10 whole days and I have no idea what I’m going to do with myself. Think I’m crazy now? You haven’t seen anything yet.

P.S.  Hey all you dads!  Don’t miss out on showing off your genetic good looks.  Enter the Father-Son Look-alike contest and you could win a $300 photo shoot!

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2 thoughts on “Letting go of the reins”

  1. It’s only 2:00 the first day of our two-day adventure with the Taz and he’s already been to puppy training with Grandpa and Rosie the puppy, then they all dropped by my office downtown (Rosie, too) to take me to coffee/hot chocolate at Starbucks, and he’s probably playing in our backyard with Rosie as I write this (or more likely, watching cartoons while Grandpa’s out in his office working.) He’s fine, we’re fine, and we promise we won’t lose him.

  2. That is way more fun than he’d have had he just stayed home. Thanks mom and dad! You guys are wonderful!
    .
    P.S. Losing him doesn’t work. He always seems to find his way home.

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