Last night we got home from a seven day vacation in Cape Cod with my family.
On Friday my twelve year old leaves for a twelve day Boy Scout camping trip out of state for the National Jamboree with 45,000 other Scouts. Yes, I said 45,000.
For scheduling I was careful with regard to the time before my son leaves. This is his longest time away from us and the farthest also. I wanted a calm time beforehand for his emotional well being. I wanted him rested up before he left. I also wanted time to do the packing and any last minute trips to buy stuff we forgot.
The only appointment on the calendar was to get our teeth cleaned, an appointment I had difficulty making due to the busy family schedule during the school year and the dentist's distance from our homeschool activities.
We had to postpone our family vacation at the last minute because a mandatory important meeting was called for the Jambo trip. Instead of leaving Friday at 9am we had to attend a family picnic and left right from there at 7pm on Saturday. So we lost two days of vacation due to my son's participation in this thing. We wound up driving mostly in the dark and getting to the house and throwing the stuff indoors then falling into bed at midnight.
At that picnic thing we found out we have to bring my son's stuff (through rush hour traffic) to be packed onto a truck for shipment to the Jamboree one evening this week. This means I have another appointment and that I have to have him packed two days earlier than I thought. Great.
Also, the morning we were leaving for the trip my son spent over an hour on the phone with a homeschooled friend of his. He begged to arrange for the boy to spend an afternoon here in this week. I agreed and slotted it to overlap with the guitar lesson for my younger son (multi-tasking).
On the way home from the trip last night I asked my husband how we would celebrate his mother's birthday. He decided to invite her here for a home cooked meal from scratch TODAY. He wants me to make a cake from scratch for her. He is inviting his two brothers who like to scruitinize my house for cleanliness and lack of clutter. My plan for the day had entailed unpacking, checking on the garden, tidying up the house since when we're gone the cats still use the litter box and the dust still accummulates. I also was going to start packing for my son's camping trip. Now instead I will be cleaning the house and tidying up and making a cake and entertaining his family.
After getting home my son talked on the phone with another homeschooled friend who is begging him to go see The Last Airbender before they both leave for Jambo lest it leave movie theatres while they are away. I added that onto the schedule.
In catching up with reading my emails I see an important meeting with the person in charge of the homeschool Science Olympiad team has just been added this week in between now and when I have to bring the gear for the trip. This meeting is not just the business part there is also social fun time for three hours at a lake. This extravaganza will take an entire afternoon and we'll get home in time to go to bed.
As it stands right now my only time to shop for last minute stuff for my son will be two mornings this week, since the afternoons are booked up with appointments. Also on those mornings or at night we will have to pack for the trip.
I'm sharing this just to show how hard it is to find balance and how difficult it is to lead a laid back lifestyle when you homeschool and do some community events. It is hard for me, the mother, to control it all. Oh, I meant to say "manage it all" (you know how our society hates that word control). My husband resents having to "ask permission" before he schedules things for the whole family to do and also for projects that I have to do alone (like bake a cake from scratch).
So much for having some rest and relaxation on our family vacation. I am so stressed out about all of this I woke up at 3:30 a.m. after just four hours of sleep with my mind reeling. By the time the party is over today I will be thoroughly exhausted and facing a rat race of a week to boot.
Okay my husband is awake now so I'm going to review the schedule with him and see what he thinks about this craziness. I wonder if we can put off the birthday celebration until next week?
Update: He didn't budge. I asked that he buy something instead of me making a cake from scratch since now I have to clean the house today. And my husband feels he can help pack my son while is mother is here for her visit. The fact that this is on a day when I have PMS is just not good timing.