I have been lucky the past two years to be able to leave work at 3pm in order to pick Mason up from preschool. This helped us avoid costly after care and gave me some extra time at home to get things done like cooking dinner, laundry, grocery store runs, etc. It also allows me some extra time with Mason and sometimes Cooper.
The difficult part is that the agreement with my boss was always that I would continue to be “on call” and to work from home until 5pm. When things are really busy, I even have to bring Mason to the office with me because certain parts of my job cannot be done at home. And when days are super busy, I am stuck at my desk at home while Mason plays by herself, watches some TV, plays on the computer and ALWAYS begs me to hang out with her. It’s hard to say no, but I can’t say yes.
Needless to say, this arrangement has been a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I sometimes (rarely) get to spend some extra time with my kids. A curse because Mason is constantly wanting attention from me when I am at my busiest. While I had hoped it would relieve stress, it has been a stressful couple of years. I have made the hard decision to put Mason in after care starting at her summer camp in June and continuing into her first year of kindergarten. Yes, it will cost us more, but I hope that by doing this, my time with her and Cooper will be dedicated time – not the kind of time where I’m checking my email constantly, answering phone calls or rushing out to the office for a quick task. And isn’t uninterrupted time with my kids priceless?
Now that the decision has been made, the clock is ticking on the time I do have. Knowing our evenings will become a little more frazzled in terms of picking up kids at two different locations, getting dinner ready, taking baths and doing our bedtime routine (all in a 2 1/2 hour period), I am dedicating myself to shutting everything off at 5pm and focusing on my family while I have the time. Monday, we got to play in our backyard. Tuesday, we did puzzles together. It’s been wonderful!
Last week, the kids were playing around in our bed while I folded laundry. I pulled out the camera to capture the moment. And then decided to use the timer and got in the pictures myself. Below is evidence of the fun we had.