Let me start by stating that I love my husband.
He is a fabulous father and the kids and I LOVE spending time with him. When he's here. And therein lies the problem.
From Monday to Friday his typical schedule is like this:
Up at 5:30 AM
Out the door by 6
At school early to grade papers
7:30 - 2:45 Teach
3 - 5 Work on theater-related stuff (this week that means practicing with a group of kids that will be presenting a one act at this weekend's state theater conference that he will be attending with them - from Thursday night until early Sunday morning....another story for another time)
5:20 -5:45 Home to see kids and me
5:45 Leave to go back to school for evening rehearsal of the fall show
10:30 or so Home
On Tuesdays I teach Hebrew School from 3:30 to 5:30, so he comes home at 3:30 to stay with the kids and then leaves at 5:45 for rehearsal.
Most Saturdays he spends the majority of the day at school for additional rehearsal.
On Sundays I teach Religious School from 9-1. We always have dinner at his parents' on Sundays, a great tradition which, for some reason, has stretched out to now mean he brings the kids there for lunch and stays ALL afternoon through dinnertime. I do housework, grocery shopping, planning, etc. from 1:30 - 4 and then join them for dinner.
Does anyone think I'm being unreasonable when I say I'm feeling overwhelmed and like a single parent?!!!
I love being a mom, and I love teaching, and I love that I have worked out a schedule that allows me to do both. I currently teach three mornings a week from 9-12, but frequently end up subbing on the days I'm not teaching my own class, and come January that will increase to five mornings a week. J is at the same school, so she comes with me in the morning to "help" me set up my room, and comes to my room when the day is done. I drop the boys off at school or at a friend's house to bring them to school in the morning, and have many different people helping me by picking them up at 11:30 and bringing them to school to play until my school day is done. That means absolutely no kid-free quiet moments for me.
I really do enjoy running the household, but taking care of the groceries, the meal planning, the cooking, the clean-up, the picking up, the bills, the incoming paperwork, the holiday shopping, the house cleaning, AND the laundry is a lot to squeeze in. Add to that the fact that A has Asperger's and B is going through testing to figure out just what is going on in his head and J is just quite challenging most of the time, and that I have researched many different strategies to try with all of them that I am trying to put in our regular weekly schedule.
Add to that my birthday party business that I am trying to run (a fun and quite necessary financial addition to our overall income) and expand.
Add to that my clinical depression and narcolepsy that I take meds for but really have to work on to stay on top of. And the fact that insurance won't pay for more than 25% of my narcolepsy meds so I'm still trying to figure out alternative ways to pay for it.
I am by no means saying that DH doesn't do anything around here. He works incredibly long hours at school, even though if we worked out the hourly rate for all the theater work he is doing it would be next to nothing. He unloads the dishwasher for us every morning (a BIG help) and takes out the trash and the recycling. When he is here in the late afternoons for his chance to see us, I put him to work bathing the kids (C'mon, it's one-on-one quality time with each child!) to make our bedtime routine easier. This Sunday since I didn't have Religious School, he helped by cleaning up the downstairs while I worked some on the computer before we got together with his parents at 11 to buy the kids new shoes (my in-laws buy them shoes each season - sweet!) and help them pick out their Christmas tree. It was definitely helpful to have the clean-up taken off my Sunday To Do list. But do I sound like I'm whining when I say it's just not enough?!
I've talked with DH about this A LOT. He made a HUGE decision last week that he would not be assistant directing the spring show at the High School any more. Instead, he will be directing the Middle School show beginning in January, which means he makes the rehearsal schedule, gets more responsiblity and the recognition (and pay) that he deserves. He plans to have rehearsal three - four afternoons a week from 3 - 5, meaning that he will be home before 5:30 every day and not going out after that. That is, except for the evenings he will have rehearsal at our favorite community theater for the first show he will be actually be part of there in awhile.
So I'm going to keep telling myself that it WILL get easier by the end of December when he has winter break, and then in January, when his schedule changes a lot.
But A has been having a really rough time (since last Wednesday - I should have tried to structure our time off from school more, but damnit, I needed a little break!) which translates into lots more meltdowns (which now include screaming as well as throwing himself to the floor and crying loudly) and difficulty in responding to directions/commands. And J keeps whining about everything. And B is so hyped up I might have to send him upstairs for the rest of his "quiet time" since he keeps jumping on the couch instead of sitting or lying there so we can all have a little down-time.
I welcome ANY and ALL advice, words of wisdom, whatever!
I'm going to keep repeating that it will get better. And taking lots of deep breaths. Always good. In and out. Repeat.