I hate crowds. Like...seriously hate them. I hate going places alone I've never been, being surrounded by people I don't know, having to put myself out there and do things....it's basically my worst nightmare. Throw in three kids, two of which are go-go-go boys, and it's even worse.
There's no FKO this summer. Kathy is leaving (I'm not a fan of that decision) and the whole program is kind of up in the air as to whether or not it will continue at all. I got us on a waiting list at FBC's MDO program, but haven't heard anything. Plus, since it's Asher's last summer before he starts school, I figured, Hey, I'll keep them home and we'll do stuff! It'll be great!
I may have lost my damn mind.
Doing stuff means going places. Or planning things to do at home (which we all know is not going to happen). It means being in crowds. It means planning at least a little bit what we're doing.
I've spent the past couple of months going over websites for the museums, libraries, universities, theaters and more and creating a comprehensive calendar of EVERYTHING happening all summer long in Abilene for my kids' age range. Ok, not everything, but about 95% of everything.
It's exhausting. And that was just the writing it down part. I even bought a planner just for ease of keeping things straight and then spent a couple of hours over the past couple of days transferring everything into it.
The great thing is, there's tons to do. The Grace has art stuff every week, book readings once a month, random events throughout the summer. The library has about a dozen activities every single week at the three different locations. There's the CALF, various churchs' VBS's, the kids' movie series at the local theaters, the splash pads, the pools, the state park, the regular parks, the zoo, putt-putt golf, the museums...on and on it goes.
Plus there's the "Hey, let's just stay home because Mommy needs a mental health day."
I'm trying to plan 1-2 activities a day for us and so far, we've done ok. Monday we went to Chik-fil-A to play, then to Dollar Tree and Walmart to grab a couple things for Memorial Day weekend. Tuesday was the last day of FKO, so I got a last day to myself. I stayed home and vegged out. Wednesday we had plans but they all fell apart so we ended up at the Used Bookstore, which was great because who doesn't need more books? (Don't look at my shelves full of unread books) Today was the Grace for story time and playing in the morning and back in the evening for an art adventure. Tomorrow is a play date and possibly something else (maybe the library).
We're doing ok so far, but today I was feeling the strain of it.
I know my kids are good kids, I really do, but when I'm out in public with them, I get stressed out by their behavior and the fact that WE'RE IN PUBLIC PLACES AND WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT GET YOUR HANDS OFF THAT CHILD/OUT OF YOUR PANTS/AWAY FROM THAT OBJECT IF YOU HAVE TO PEE WE GO TO THE POTTY and so get snappy. I get anxious and angry and feel like everyone is watching me and judging me based on my kids (which they're totally not, they're trying to keep their own kids from climbing the walls...I mean, I don't judge them based on their kids(ok, some kids I totally do because wow.)) and that makes everything worse and it just spirals out of control. It sometimes takes a day or so to calm me down, and in the meantime there's still snappiness and fussing at people at home to contend with. There may or may not have been tears this morning in a search for shoes (Seriously, if he would just put them away when he gets home instead of kicking them off like a can-can dancer like I've been telling him to for six months he'd be able to find them).
It's so hard for me to go and do stuff with my kids and I know that I don't have to, but at the same time, I don't want them sitting around on the computer or watching tv all summer. I want them doing stuff and enjoying themselves. Most of what we have planned is either super cheap or totally free. If I had to pay more for what we're doing, we for sure wouldn't do it. (I'm cheap like that.) But they enjoy the library, they love the Grace's children's museum, they like story time and the splash pad and art projects. Everything on our list is things they either already enjoy or I'm about 90% sure they will. I just have to get my mind wrapped around the whole "leaving the house" thing.
Either way, it'll be an interesting summer.