Summer Days, Wish You weren’t Driftin’ Away

– Posted in: Chronic Pain, Crazy Tammy, Family, First World Problems, Me Time, Personal Insanity, School, Tammy Thinks, Vacation

Confession time: Not only do I not want school to start and summer to end, I’m actually scared about it.

Okay, maybe scared isn’t the right word. “Scared” conjures up how I feel on those nights when I’m checking closets, armed with a baseball bat. And I can’t say I’m that keyed up.

But I am stressed. Anxious. Sad… This is my first summer with the kids that I really, really don’t want to end. In the past, when they weren’t in school, it didn’t matter. I mean, of course it was like every year, and I felt like a complete failure for not doing enough “summery stuff,” but when summer ended, life just went on as usual. When they did start school, summer felt like a bit of a punishment, and I was sort of half-begging for it to end because I needed a break so badly. But this year?

This year, the kids didn’t even do any camps or organized activities that would get them out of my hair, and we still did fine. Sure, we had our moments, but for the most part, they entertained themselves and even got their own food about half the time. I felt like a reasonably decent parent because I taught them to do a little cooking and asked them to help around the house. They played tennis, we read a ton of Harry Potter, and we actually managed to arrange play dates (which is always talked about and never done).

And the fact is, I’m going to miss all the built-in parts of summer that make me feel like a better mom. I’m going to miss not flipping out in the morning so everyone will get out of the house on time. I’m going to miss lingering at the dinner table because someone wants to talk in depth about “the effects of reality television on society” and not feeling like I have to get everyone moving to take showers, do dishes, and make lunches. I’m going to miss reading “just one more chapter” of Harry Potter because how could you stop here? Yes, it’s late, but how could you possibly stop here?

So it’s been a good summer. A low stress summer. I’ve been working hard at getting more sleep because my husband (the doctor) thinks my underlying chronic pain/fibromyalgia problem may be that I have adrenal fatigue (in other words, my adrenal glands are totally shot, which isn’t good because you need those to, you know, function). Part of rebuilding them includes sleeping enough and not stressing out. So if I’ve felt particularly bad on any given day, I sleep late. And if I need a nap, I take one. And if I start getting stressed, I walk around breathing deeply and chanting “Om” (okay, that part’s not true — I really need something that doesn’t make me look like I just got back from yoga camp and can’t re-assimilate).

But now, we go back to the grind. The enforced schedule may help my sleep if I can get to bed early enough. But my body doesn’t seem to like going to bed at 10 or 11, so I usually end up sleep-deprived. My pain also tends to ramp up at night, which sets off a whole domino effect of not-sleeping, pill-taking, and stressing-out (especially if I know I have to get up with little people in the morning and drive them to school).

And I tend to skimp on my pain meds during school. I know logically that I don’t need to — that I can safely take them and function just fine. But it’s like there’s some uninformed, right-wing Congressman in my ear who convinces me I’m a bad person for using anything stronger than Advil and prayer. So then my boulder of pain starts rolling down the hill, and I can’t stop it without really knocking myself out at night (which leads to feeling like complete crap in the morning — good times).

So I’m nervous. I’m nervous about being required be somewhere every day again. I’m nervous about feeling exhausted at 3 p.m. when it’s time to pick up the kids and then needing to be “on” because they have some extracurricular to attend or homework to do. I’m nervous about having to “push through.”

The thing is, I’ve done this before. I know I can do it. But I suppose that after having those burdens removed, I just don’t want to. I know that sounds immature and weak and spoiled, but I’m just tired. I’m tired of always pushing through. I’ve had a hard enough time just dealing with the pain and the exhaustion this summer. I don’t want one more slice of reality put on my plate.

I like my summer meal — it’s light, unscheduled, and sometimes eaten outside or in front of the TV. No one expects much, and I don’t have to make lunches after I do the dishes. And if we eat late, it doesn’t matter.

We can always sleep in the next day.

Summer Days Wish You Weren't Driftin' Away

 

16 Comments… add one

Cheryl S. August 12, 2013, 11:46 am

Okay, A) I’m so sorry for you and so relieved that on top of my back-to-school angst, I’m not dealing with a world of bodily hurt, and B) I’m so happy to hear you say all of this. The commercials are all so keen on shoving the kids out the door, back to school, and feature happy parents bubbling over with glee that their kids won’t be around. Me? I could weep. Every. Single. Fall. I want to weep because I hate the start of school, probably more than my kids do. I don’t get to see them anymore. They are busy. My son drives now. He will have band practice and performances, debates, study groups, etc., on top of his five AP classes and homework. And his girlfriend. Whom I adore so that part is cool. :) And my daughter will have homework, hours worth, and extra-curriculars, ect. At almost 11 and 16, my time with them is dwindling faster than sand through the hourglass as it is. I don’t want to give any more of it away. Weep, I tell you…weep.

Tammy August 26, 2013, 10:40 am

Yeah. I knew you’d get it.

Carol the Long Winded August 12, 2013, 12:59 pm

I hate school starting too. So miss homeschooling, although of course S would probably still have gone to high school. But I miss the ease of schooling in pajamas…

Tammy August 26, 2013, 10:38 am

As nice as that sounds, I don’t know if I could get anyone to do anything in pajamas. Well, mainly me.

Mary Styler August 12, 2013, 5:14 pm

Honestly, I totally get it. Rick and i used to joke about the kids going back to school as the most wonderful time of the year, but this summer has proven to you that you indeed ARE a good mom and are raising GREAT little people! They are maturing and growing up. It is such a happy-sad time. We love to see them thrive, yet we want them to stay small forever. I know the feeling. This is just a new road on your same journey. Here is a thought for more responsibility…teach them how to make their OWN lunches. They can handle it. It’s just one thing, I know, but make it a group activity after dinner so they can do it while you supervise and put away the leftovers. On an airplane, they say you have to put your own air mask on first. You need to sleep. You need to heal. And, you need to schedule this time in. Take them to school, come home and nap. You WILL find a way to make it work, you always do. Love you!

Tammy August 26, 2013, 10:38 am

Thanks Mary! You’re totally right.

Verity August 12, 2013, 9:56 pm

I hear you, friend. Even though we have to get up for camps, etc., I love the late evening walks with the girls and the dog. Talking about the sunset – running around and through the sprinklers. Letting them convince me to go around the little lake one more time. I love not being so worried about sleep – like I am going to permanently hurt their education because I can’t get them to bed on time.
And I hate, absolutely hate, figuring out lunches….

Tammy August 26, 2013, 10:37 am

It’s kind of funny, isn’t it? I guess it’s the “thinking” part that makes getting them to sleep stressful. It sort of doesn’t make sense because they still need to get up and go through an entire day of stuff. But staying up later doesn’t seem that bad in the summer, even when they need to get up early.

And I know. Lunch sucks.

Andrea August 13, 2013, 7:33 am

I found that I miss summer mostly when I planned nothing but days at the pool and library. Summers when it seems that we have something to do or prepare for every week are the ones that can’t go by fast enough for me. I hate to say that this summer was the latter kind.

Enjoy your last days!
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Tammy August 26, 2013, 10:32 am

I know what you mean. We didn’t do camps this year, and I’m really glad. They kind of stress me out as much as school. I’m sort of a one activity a day person. It’s about all I can take.

Maxabella August 14, 2013, 9:02 pm

You guys are so lucky that you have such a loooong Summer break. Ours is six weeks, which never quite seems a lot. As always, though, I am in conflict about school returning. The exhaustion of having the kids around all day versus the exhaustion of the school routine… it’s a tough call. But I think I’d take the lack of routine really.

Hope it all goes well. x
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Tammy August 26, 2013, 10:31 am

Thanks Max. I don’t think summer ever feels long enough, no matter what.

Robbie August 16, 2013, 6:28 pm

I have mixed feelings about summer ending. I love the relaxed schedule and later bedtimes and more time together but all those things also cause me more stress. Hubs and I adjust our work schedules so one of us is home which means we hardly ever see each other and I spend too much time working into the wee hours. I’m ready for the structure of school and enforced bedtimes and more consistent work hours.
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Tammy August 26, 2013, 10:30 am

I know exactly what you mean. There’s no perfect scenario.

Effin Fried September 7, 2013, 2:51 am

anxious myself as school starts in 2 days, i have an exhausting hard to swallow-throat infection, am throwing a mini birthday party for my 5 year old today (though i am awake at 5am), having two little kids in two different schools letting out at 3pm, no carpool schedule so it’s all me and both feel neglected and i feel guilty when i can not spend time with them individually…there’s more. my son needs as assessment for learning disabilities so i may have to change his school after the first week….umm, theres more but it’s killing me to say it and have no solutions. and i can not drink alcohol due to a chronic condition that wont allow me to digest alcohol. I am happy to be able to write this on a site where i wont be condemned or judged. i feel so uncertain of myself as a mom – second guessing where to be and with which kid to ensurethey feel my love and get enough extracurricular activities. And furthermore everyone i speak to already has their kids signed up for stuff – i dont because i don’t know how i will even pick them up from school yet! so this is also a thing– how busy should they be on stuff not related to school? what age should they get so busy? why is this so freaking hard?

Effin Fried September 7, 2013, 2:55 am

anxious myself as school starts in 2 days, i have an exhausting hard to swallow-throat infection, am throwing a mini birthday party for my 5 year old today (though i am awake at 5am), having two little kids in two different schools letting out at 3pm, no carpool schedule so it’s all me and both feel neglected and i feel guilty when i can not spend time with them individually…there’s more. my son needs as assessment for learning disabilities so i may have to change his school after the first week….umm, theres more but it’s killing me to say it and have no solutions. and i can not drink alcohol due to a chronic condition that wont allow me to digest alcohol. SO i cant drink a glass and get mellow. i do yoga but i have had some accident-prone injuries which messed up my wrist.

I am happy to be able to write this on a site where i wont be condemned or judged (outside of my own inner voices). i feel so uncertain of myself as a mom – second guessing where to be and with which kid to ensure they feel my love and oh yeah also get to extracurricular activities. And furthermore, everyone i speak to already has their kids signed up for stuff – i don’t because i don’t know how i will even pick them up from school yet! so this is also a thing– how busy should they be on stuff not related to school? what age should they get so busy? why is this so freaking hard to manage?

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