Friday, March 30, 2012

I am a lawn care "widow".

Ha Ha!!  Seriously, my husband works in the lawn care business.  He owns his own company and only has one employee so most of the work he does himself.  This means two things:

1. My lawn looks yucky.  Just like the addage, "the cobbler's family has no shoes", our addage is "our lawn looks bad because my husband makes your lawn look good".

2. We don't see much of him this time of year.

The mild winter in our neck of the woods has caused the lawn to begin growing and the weeds to spring up and therefore my husband is working harder than most years.

Where am I going with this?  Well, all this means that I am pretty much on my own with the kids.  We haven't sat down to dinner as a whole family in two weeks.  We don't see much of dad and he isn't reliable to help with running the kids to their practices and games.  He can't help with housework, homework, or planting my garden.  He can't be called upon to get anything done and therefore, I am a widow, a single mom, all alone!

As much as I would like to end this post here with just a rant and rave, I won't and WILL tell you how we are dealing with it.

1. The kids were told up front by me that dad is too busy right now and that we need to leave him alone.  I will do the best I can to help them with anything they need help on, including running them to where they need to go and getting them whatever they need.  They understood this.

2.  The kids were told that they need to be extra flexible with their demands.  I am only one person and I will do my best but they also need to help me so I can help them.  If I ask that one does a chore that they don't normally do they need to not complain.  If I ask one of the older ones to help a younger one with homework because I can't they are to do it without argument.  If I ask them all to go with me somewhere to run an errand they are to go without complaint or argument.  AND if I ask one or more to stay home by themselves or watch a younger one while I run somewhere, they are to do so without complaint. Because while I am asking them to do something I am most likely working on something they have asked me.

3. I have had to keep extra clear the schedule of the day and not lolly-gag around or be late anywhere.  I must be on time and leave on time to be able to make sure my schedule stays on track.  I also have to be sure that everything is on the schedule otherwise I will surely miss something.

How this is affecting us?

1. We are managing but exhausted.
2. For a few minutes of alone time for me I find myself hiding in the bathroom. (not kidding)
3. The kids have done homework in places they normally don't. (ie, the car, the baseball fields, in a restaurant)
4. We miss dad.  We miss family dinner time.
5.  The house is a wreck, the garden hasn't been planted, and the grass still needs to be cut.
6.  The kids and I will be going on vacation but Dad will most likely not join us.  This will be our first big vacation without him and we will miss him lots.

When will this end?

Probably in a couple weeks when things start to settle down a bit.  Dad is working on his schedule to not work so late in the night but he will still be working every day. 

What does this have to do with being prepared?

Well for one, I am making more lists to make sure that we have everything we need when we leave the house. I can't forget stuff.  I have to rely on myself for everything and you know what?  I can do it.  I am also finding out what is important and what is not and learning to prioritize better.  The house doesn't need to be clean and neither does that baseball uniform for every single game.  He can wear it one more time before I wash it.  I am planning better and not waiting til the last minute to get organized. 

And two, I am so glad that I have my food storage.  I haven't been able to really grocery shop for a couple weeks and I am glad that we have easy to prepare meals right in my pantry.  I love that I can go get the items I need and that I have them, and make dinner from that. 

Are there any times of the year that you become a "widow" or "widower"???

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Being Prepared - Baseball Mom Style

I am gearing up for a season of baseball and softball with my kids.  Two of them play, one boy one girl.  I was just adding practices and games, etc. to my calendar and I noticed that I will be spending many hours at the fields as they  have practices and games back to back or close together where it isn't worth the time to go home and come back to the fields again.  This is where I begin to think, "okay, how do I start to prepare to stay at the fields for hours on end and keep another child entertained while the others are playing?".

Here are a few things I have done in the past that help.

1. a good first aid kit with head-ache medicine, bandaids, chapstick, and sun screen. Bactine, gauze pads, and ice packs.

2. a bag of entertaining items for the children who are not playing to include, DS games, cartridges, car charger, books to read, coloring books and other activities.

3. A good pair of sun glasses for me and a hat for each person in the family.

4. Entertainment for me.  I find that I tend to do a lot of crochet and knitting while at the fields.

5.  A good camp chair with sturdy legs. (Those bleachers are no fun to sit on)

6.  Dollar bills.  Nothing says yum like something from the snack bar, particularly hot chocolate on those cold days. :)

7.  Cooler with snacks, drinks and water bottles for everyone not just the players. I have a great igloo cooler that is a bit taller than a soda can and it can fit a six pack of sodas in it with an ice pack.  It is the perfect size for a few drinks and a couple snacks.

8. Several blankets to stay in the car.  I have lap size fleece blankets and we love them at the fields because they are smallish but unfold to cover your legs and arms.  We use these almost every game in the first half of the season when it is so cold sitting out there for two hours a game.

9.  Extra gloves.  Just the knit kind are perfect and I leave them in the bag too so we have them.

10.  An umbrella.  Self explanitory.... hee hee.

Most of these items I leave in the car and I have a large-ish bag that I put most of the blankets, gloves, etc in so we aren't lugging pieces parts around.  We just leave the bag in the car with the chairs.  I fill the cooler daily and make sure I have a variety of salty and sweet snacks to cure any craving.  I also leave the first aid kit in the car too.  The ball fields have a first aid kit if we need it but I just like to have one just in case.  My kids also have a wonderful habit of not telling anyone they were injured until we get back to the car and then tell me and show me all their scrapes and bruises.

What to you all do to prepare "mom style" for sports seasons?