Back to school

When we got married, Dave and I swore we would selectively invest our family time, meaning not getting roped into a lot of social obligation but focusing on the people who matter most. Thank god we did, because we don’t even always have time for that! We still find our dance card super full, especially in the fall. And the weekend was soooo full of fun friends, family celebrations, music and supporting causes we care about. None of those could be canceled, so even though we knew we were overbooked we girded ourselves and headed in.

This last few weeks have been really busy, but we’ve been chugging along fairly successfully despite a number of wrenches being thrown into the mix. The back to school germs get us every time though. And this year, I’m the lucky winner. I didn’t feel great Friday, and by late afternoon I hightailed it home to bed.

If we didn’t have kids, the story might have ended there. But first I had to wring my hands over missing an event with an organization I support, then feel guilty over cancelling the first visit of a new sitter who seems awesome. I tried to hang with the kids (but away from the kids) so they wouldn’t feel like I was missing. But I gave up and went to bed before they had dinner.

And I SLEPT for 14 hours Friday night. So this is where being sick as a mom gets weird. It turns out, the stuff a working mom of five dreams about often happens when illness strikes – only it’s all less fun. AND it means the other parent is working double time, which stinks. So as I lay in bed with a novel (that I couldn’t concentrate on), getting a minute of quiet (while listening to the kids tear into Dave downstairs), and enjoying a refreshing beverage (flat Sprite), I realized that our weekend plans were going to have to change.

We were busy because nothing could be skipped – all good stuff! The thing is, anything can be canceled. We may not want to make those choices, but shit happens. By Saturday morning, we’d readjusted the whole weekend so my germs could party in solitude. While it’s always hard to say no to something fun or someone we love, no one wants us around when we don’t feel good. So I missed fun stuff but got to rest, and we all had to miss some other stuff. Life goes on.

Here’s my takeaway though. Our turbocharged schedule isn’t as iron clad as it looks. We don’t have to say yes to all of the fun stuff, if it means we’re doing so much we can’t have fun at any of it. So we’ll be making plans more carefully, as we come out of the fall sprint. Because if I can cancel if I’m sick, we can cancel if we’re crazed.