Kevin comes home…

Kevin comes home tomorrow, after a week away in Madison doing math with colleagues. I did okay solo parenting at first -- really well, actually, the first few days. The house got cleaner, even, and I made progress on work, and Kavi did all her homework daily, and it was all pretty swimming.

But then yesterday, I had a seriously long work day -- was working from 5 a.m. until 10:30 at night. Got six hours of sleep. And today I walked to and from the train, and I got tired, and by the time I'd gotten the kids @ 5, I was already exhausted. So Wendy's for dinner, which is sub-optimal, but okay once in a while. I wouldn't beat myself up over that.

But then there was the yelling. I just -- needed half an hour to myself, a quiet half hour, and they just wouldn't / couldn't give it to me. So from 5 - 7, we did dinner and homework and they tried to play and I tried to watch dumb shows on my computer and it was all punctuated by me yelling every five minutes or so, when they started fighting or spilled the milk on the newly-mopped floor or Kavi refused to read out loud to Anand or or or...

And of course, my yelling just made them behave worse, so it was an unpleasant cycle until FINALLY I convinced them to go upstairs and watch tv together. At 7 p.m., silence descended, and I managed to get myself into a shower, a nice long hot shower, and it's still quiet, and half an hour later, I finally feel calm and myself again. I should be able to go up now, and give them their baths, and put them to bed.

I wouldn't bother writing all this up, except that it reminds me, once again, how much easier it is to be my ideal parenting self when I am well-rested and not overworked. And if I can't manage those two, if I at least have a partner or some paid childcare to let me walk away for half an hour when I need to.

And maybe we should all cut each other some slack, parenting-wise, but also, we need better social supports for parents of little ones, if we want those littles to grow up happy and stable and strong.

That's all.

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