Article by Wendy McCance
It’s been a challenging year. In fact, it’s been so busy that I haven’t spent much time on blogging or any personal writing for that matter. My brain is fried and I am simply exhausted. I am ready for a summer break too!
I always thought that when the kids got older that I would have more free time. Well as it turns out, that isn’t quite true. Those first few years of high school before a child gets their driver’s license can be seriously overwhelming. All of a sudden these kids are more independent and involved in much more than in previous years.
My days are lived out in a car. When I escape the car there is household chores and my job as a writer that tends to be stuffed into moments of quiet that might not exist for me until the wee hours of the morning.
When the kids were young, it was easy to say not today when asked to be driven somewhere. If you were worn out, a play date was not the end all. There were still kids on the block to play with. Activities were not as frequent. Maybe there was a dance class two days a week for an hour at a time or there was a child’s birthday party that lasted a few hours, but it was scattered moments that were much easier to manage.
These days there are sports that run 6 or 7 days a week. There is practice and games and it’s up to the parent to drive both ways. Many of the games are not right in the neighborhood and it becomes a full day affair to get your child back and forth throughout the day. There are jobs and clubs and volunteering. There is also the need to be social by going shopping or to the movies or getting nails done. Forget playing with a kid on the block. What would you do? Nope, now there must be an activity involved that takes you well away from the neighborhood. Each and every thing a teen does requires an understanding parent who is willing to spend yet another day driving.
This summer my second child will get their license and one year from now my youngest will have theirs as well. I am counting down to freedom that is approaching but at what feels like a snail’s pace.
I have become grumpy and a bit depressed as my time to myself has dwindled. I have big plans for what I will do once the kids are driving on their own. Hell, I might even have enough time to polish my nails without worrying about them being dry before running out the door.
I am thrilled that the kids are so busy and that they have such active lives, I just got it wrong when I was setting up my own life. If I had seen into the future and had known how wearing this would have been on me, I would have made sure to save up for a driver to escort the kids around. No, seriously. Imagine the time I would have had available to work or lounge or have some semblance of a social life. If only I had known what was to come as the kids hit there high school years.
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