Yesterday I talked a bit about making time for blogging with all the other people and activities in my life. Today I thought I’d talk a bit more about why I’m in a “time panic” in late July and August and how I’m adapting instead of giving into anxiety.
Time is a precious commodity here at chez Roper, but time is difficult to manage due to two other factors. Factor number one is that we have only one car and not the greatest transit system for our needs. Errands, pick-ups, and schedules are all timed around when who needs to get where. Luckily, we all go to work and school within a ten minute drive from our apartment, but time is still constrained to what everyone else needs to do and when. The other factor is money. August is our most broke-ass month. Almost 63% of my take home pay is eaten up with the kids summer care. We pay our rent with our tax refund and try to make it until Sam’s student loan check hits in late August. Then there’s back to school clothes and supplies and our car insurance renewal. August is lean to say the least, but we make it just fine. It just means conserving our fuel, making sure I cook at home, shopping sales for the kids, and forgoing a our monthly date night. Obviously we are not plagued with hardship, but it takes time to pinch, scrape, and plan our finances.
But what is most obnoxious about August is that everyone in my family has several schedule changes happening within the month, but at completely different times.
- Sam has his regular work schedule at this part-time janitorial job, but we still haven’t heard if he is working for the Boys and Girls Club afterschool program which starts next week. Then his university classes start the end of August, but we don’t even know what his school schedule will be like until he takes his teaching exam August 8th.
- Hope starts school next week, but we also have to work in more appointments for the orthopedist and the orthodontist and we have no idea when she can go back to work.
- Atticus starts Kindergarten next week and is full of Kindergarten jitters. Out of all my kids, Atticus needs the most consistency in our home life and schedule in order to thrive. Ballet starts in the middle of the month.
- Persy Jane doesn’t move up into her new daycare class until the week after next, but don’t tell that to her. She is determined that next week she will be in PS1.
- I have the nuttiest schedule of all. This week I am working my usual summer schedule. Next week I work on Monday and then I’m home for the rest of the week to get the kids set for school and because there is no summer day camp that week. The week after is normal, but then I work a side-job all weekend long. Then we move to library “office hours” and I work completely different hours. Then I have a training to do on a Sunday, and a Tuesday night training, and then we finally switch to our regular semester hours and then Labor Day holidays hit. It makes it very difficult to figure out meals, errands, or any sort of normalcy.
You know what I do without a structure to my day?
This huge ramble leads up to what’s happening (and what’s not). What’s happening is a fair amount of clinging to my bullet journal, various lists, and using my kitchen timer to focus on tasks. I map out each weeks schedule and figure out money and transportation well in advance. When I’m aware of inconsistency I cope better. The schedule and routine surprises are what throws me in a tizzy.
What’s not happening? Deep cleaning, projects, seeing friends and playdates for the kids. Everything we can drop for August has been dropped. Survival mode is on!
I’ll be hanging onto a tiny shred of sanity until September.