Quiet versus Noisy

Our youngest Benjamin’s entry into kindergarten catapulted me from being a mom with a constant companion and thrice a week, half-day preschool drop off-pick up routine (making it difficult to get anything done) into a mom with all three kids in school all day long. The timing was great as the extra quiet time coincided with an increase of work hours and projects.

I was amazed by how much work I was able to get done, how quick it was to jump into an exercise class at the YMCA without fighting putting shoes, and the slowdown that sometimes accompanied dropping Benjamin off at the Kids Zone. Unencumbered by interruptions or guilt that I needed to attend to one of my kids, I was actually able to concentrate on what I was doing.

Understandably, the first time the kids didn’t have school was a complete jolt.

The free day tore me between the work I was now obligated to do, the needs of my kids, and my own desire to spend time with them. I could blow of the work and end up doing it late at night. I could ignore my kids and feel bad and guilty. It felt like a lose-lose.

Then I got smart. The next time I saw that the kids were scheduled to be out of school, I created a plan. I determined the structure and time I would need to complete my work tasks. I planned time to connect with the kids throughout the day: walking Daisy together, working on a project, eating lunch and dinner together. I would always update the kids what I was doing, when I would return, and the next thing we would be doing together.

It worked beautifully. Because the communication was good, the kids took our time away to be creative (set up a tent in the back yard) and to chill (lay on their backs and read and unwind). There was a rhythm to it: a coming together and a moving apart. Everyone seemed to be more content.

And I realized it’s not “quiet” versus “noisy” but rather a symphonic blend of the two.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Usually the answer isn’t “either / or”, but rather “both / and”.