You know how sometimes a lot of togetherness can result in a wide array of emotions in each family member?
I feel a number of emotions: happy and exasperated, content and overwhelmed, at peace and annoyed… to name just a few. 🙄
Family life is not for wimps. Family life without routine, camps or scheduled outings for introverted mamas like me is…doable if there are periods of time where I can decompress by myself.
People who blog about this topic often make an effort to focus on the positive aspect of their own family togetherness, but there is a tone, like an undercurrent, that tells me there are other things going on. Sometimes it’s a slight sign of exasperation, other times it’s a little spot of humour.
Take LA from Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50 – she is on a trip with her family and recapping it via bulleted points. It’s fascinating to read, and she illustrates it with pictures, but there is an almost anticipatory lead-up to the inevitable togetherness:
I get this. Many people get this. 🙂
The time it took me to type out these few short sentences was way longer than it usually takes me to type up my blog post. The entire family was here, and my little corner on the main floor was populated with people coming and going, talking and muttering, arguing and asking, puttering and making noise.
I should have gone to the library.
My girl was baking a cake. My boy was instructed to put out the yard waste from the fence project we worked on two weeks ago. The husband is fixing minor house irritations that we suffered through the winter season. They all have to come in to my space to announce something, to show me something, to ask me something.
I can’t focus like this.
Then I went to help clear off some stuff on the counter, where my girl was baking, and I picked up the sugar container with the screw lid which wasn’t screwed on properly and the resulting mess required a vacuum cleaner, and a very strong hold on my dissipating patience. The sugar was everywhere: counter, floor, open drawer…then she stepped in it and…
All this was a preamble to what will happen next week. They want to go camping. I will be all alone for a few days…I think I’m not going camping.
And, while alone, I will feel weird. Odd. Not lonely exactly, but…incomplete.
Do you understand what I mean?
As much as I love my family, I sometimes (often) wish they weren’t here so much…
And when they are away, I miss them.
Does this make sense?
I want a balance of them being here, and not being here.
Gone but not far, near but not here.
Well we’ll see. I’ll be fine. They’ll be fine, too. And maybe that break will be exactly the right amount of time given that upon their return the one kid is in baseball playoffs, and a week later will start hockey practices.
And so we are coming to the end of week five of summer vacation. Still surviving, not ready for back to school yet, but there is a slight tugging that it won’t be much longer before the routine and chaos starts up again.
Know what I mean?