The seven year itch

April 30th, 2012

No, not that one. But the Small Boy isn’t so small anymore, he’s seven and a half, and at four and a half the Boychen could drop the diminutive -chen any day now, and I’ve been a stay at home mom for all that time. I’ll be honest, there are days when it itches. Not a little I’m-tired-of-having-to-tell-you-three-times-to-put-on-your-shoes itch – though there is that; the repeating myself, it gets old – but a big I’ve-got-this-really-exciting-thing-I-want-to-do-and-not-enough-time-to-do-it itch. The kind of itch that makes me impatient with my children and not always the best mother. The balance, after seven and a half years, has tilted pretty far off in one direction; there’s always a boy at home because remember the Swiss school hours? Oh, the Swiss school hours.

I’m hoping that it goes without saying that I love my boys. But at this point, I could use a little breathing room. In fairness, R has proposed getting a nanny or au pair – we would have the space – but my whole problem is that the way my personality is constructed I need time alone, oh just alone in my house, and the thought of having another person in the house – well, I suspect it would introduce as much stress as it would relieve. (I’m keeping the idea in my back pocket, though…) Mostly, I’m holding out on any decisions like that until the fall, after the Boychen has been in Kindergarten for a while and I can see how much having those four mornings all to myself help. My thinking is, they will help a lot. Four mornings a week, that’s an embarrassment of riches around here, people.

Here’s the other thing that’s made the past month or so seem hard, made the past month seem like the boys are always on top of me: there’s no hockey. In spite of my complaining about the schedule, in spite of having to set an alarm for 5:35 on a Sunday morning to make it to a tournament, turns out I really miss the hockey. I miss the way it gave me a few hours to be something other than Mama, I miss the way it forced me to make friends with the other parents, I miss the way watching the Small Boy perfect his imitation of David Jobin’s defensive moves makes me smile (the boy has a good head for defense, I tell you). Crazy and all-consuming as it can be in the peak of the winter, I miss it.

It all comes down to balance, doesn’t it? Feeding all the different parts of you. Constantly checking in on your own life to see what is there and what is missing and what is hungry and what is flabby. Assessing, calibrating. I’m out of balance right now, but August is just around the corner.