Cue Jackson Browne's song. . . Love me some Jackson Browne. When I was in college, I went to visit my big sis in Chicago. We ended up with free tickets to a Jackson Browne concert. Neither of us had ever heard of the guy (what can I say, we were sheltered?!), & both fell in love.
Anyway, enough about my love for Jackson. . . Our current lives are very tightly orchestrated. M & I both have very demanding careers. He travels (a lot). We have two young kids. N & S have both been sick A TON over the past few weeks. We've had: bronchitis, double ear infections, croup, sinus infections, and the stomach flu. . . M has also been sick.
When we need time off, or coverage to take care of sick kids? Neither of our careers provide much of that flexibility. A little bit here & there in an emergency? Sure thing. Repeated days off over the course of a few weeks? No way.
We almost took N to the emergency room last week when his croup was so bad that he was struggling to breathe. M cancelled a trip to watch S, I shuffled N back & forth to appointments. It's just been so stressful. Especially when I really don't want to take the kids back to school, & I'm unsure of how well they are feeling, but I send them anyway because I've missed so much work. It's an awful, guilt-filled complex & there's no winner. If I stay home from work, I feel guilty & like a slacker, & then I'm trying to balance a million things at home. If I send the kids to school, I'm distracted & can't focus & keep thinking about what I would do differently if I wasn't working.
Our closest family is 2 hours away (with no traffic, & other than overnight, it's likely more of a 2.5 hour drive). My mom will be retiring in a few years, & can hopefully be more available to help, but both of my parents still work, which further adds to the complexity. I can't be burdening them when they have their own jobs.
The last few weeks have been absolutely exhausting. And, emotional, because I feel like there's no good solution.
M & I have both been in not great moods, so this weekend I decided a little fun was in order. M hung out with the kids on Saturday morning while I did my 9 mile run. Which, was absolutely brutal, by the way. My legs felt like there were bricks strapped on. Then, we traded & I took the kids to a bouncy house event (they are not contagious, don't worry, I'm not spreading germs around :-)) & went to dinner with friends. I used a gift card, but just decided to go for it. :-) M relaxed & hung out with friends sans kids.
Yesterday I took a ski lesson with a friend & her daughters & we skied all day. My legs are not used to so much weekend abuse. :-) We finished the evening out with pizza & cupcakes, which were much needed after our giant calorie burn on the slopes.
More to come, but I'm still trying to sort my way through the working mom gig. It's no easy feat. And, although my goal was to avoid date nights as much as possible (to avoid the cost of a sitter), I'm really missing that time with M (we've swapped to lunch). I think I'm going to cut funds from somewhere else in order to swing a date night. We haven't been out together since our anniversary in October, & quite frankly, I just miss that connection.
Do you face similar struggles? How do you handle it when the kids are sick? What did you do this weekend?