Let Me Check My Schedule
Yes, I still carry a planner, and yes I use it multiple times a day. I also have an old-school paper calendar on my fridge. Lastly, I have a family calendar app on my phone, but no one in my family has accepted the invite and as much as I am on my phone, this is the one I use the least. I use color-coded highlighters on the paper calendar and try to write our plans and events as far in advance as I can. If there is a blank space in my planner and I am invited to something, chances are I am saying “yes.”
RSVP – YES!
I am one of those people who almost always says yes. I try to be and do all the things, but I am constantly overbooking myself. Then comes the guilt of canceling something and feeling that I have disappointed someone. More often than not, that someone is me. I admit I have FOMO bad, despite all my pre and post-anxiety. I love going out and being social and never want to miss an event. My weekends (and sometimes weeknights) are booked up months in advance, especially during the holidays, Mardi Gras, and festival season (so basically all year long).
However, it’s not just my social life that I manage. I also have two kids and a husband. In the past, most of the kids’ social life was under my full control, but knowing how important and how much I love being included, I wanted to make sure my kids were able to be a part of all the things they were invited to and wanted to attend. So, in turn, a lot of my plans were altered to fit theirs. Our weekends were consumed by competitive gymnastics for many years. Between practices and meet season, we were usually out of other social events from December through June. Now that she is fully retired from gymnastics, our weekends are open again. My oldest is also a driver now, so she has taken over her own social calendar. She still checks in with me to see if we have family things happening, and we use a family calendar to make sure everyone is aware of upcoming events. She is very much following in my footsteps of a full social life, while my husband and my son are usually content to stay home on their days off.
A Fine Balance
So what happens when someone who likes to go to and be a part of all the things marries someone who absolutely does not want to do all the things? It is truly a fine balance mixed with compromise.
I do love to sit at home and have lazy days too, but now that my kids are older and doing their own things, being home can be very lonely. I work the night shift, so on my days off, when everyone is at school and my husband is at work, it’s just me and the dogs. I have my set cleaning day (Thursday) and of course, I do the daily housekeeping things, but after all that is done, sometimes I feel at a loss of what to do. When they all get home, it’s usually normal evening routines and then everyone heads to their space to decompress from the day. It’s not as depressing as I am making it sound, but it is setting the foundation for why I enjoy going and doing all the things. I am an only child so being alone isn’t new to me. As a child, I had a pretty filled calendar as well. I am just a person that needs to stay “busy.”
My husband works a pretty normal schedule; he doesn’t sit in an office or at a desk all day. He is on his feet and physically moving more often than not at work, so when he gets home he wants to sit on the sofa, watch TV, and relax. I fully appreciate this, because there is a reason I do not work a 9-5/M-F job. There is no way I could just have two days off a week. The flexibility of a nurse’s schedule cannot be beaten. He also loves to golf, so most of his days start with a round (or two) of golf, followed by a nap, and then we may go to dinner. He will do events like Jazz Fest, Zurich (obviously), and weddings if he has plenty of notice; he is not a very spontaneous person. He likes to know how long we will be somewhere and an idea of an ending time, whereas I am always up for a pre or after-party. If there are two events or a multi-day event, I can usually convince him to go to at least one day, and the other day I will go solo, with one of the kids, or a friend. However, if he does show up, he is always the life of the party, everyone loves him, and he always says how much fun he had.
Parenting The Opposite
Parenting is tough no matter what, but when you are parenting a child who has a totally different personality than you, it can really be a challenge! My husband and my daughter are totally opposite; she’s like me and has a jam-packed schedule at all times. School and work take top priority for her, but once she is done with those two things, she is on the move. She started driving earlier this year, which as scary as it is, has been so nice. She is responsible and lets us know where she is going and when she will be home. We have Life 360 so that gives us extra peace of mind.
Our youngest is 14 and he has always been a homebody. When he was little, he would always ask for jammie days, meaning he wanted not to get out of his pajamas, play with his guys, and watch movies all day. At 14, he is your typical boy and is on his Playstation with his friends all hours of the day and night, with breaks for basketball throughout the day. He has started to venture out with friends, but he still prefers the home life. When he was little, I quickly learned that he was not a “go baby” like his sister. While it did take some adjusting, we all adapted. As he got older, I would leave him for short periods, like running to the store or picking my daughter up at the gym. We would leave FaceTime on and he knew the rules about things he could and could not touch, not to open the door, etc. Now that he is old enough to stay home, more often than not when given the choice, he will.
Let’s Go Or Not
While our family is fairly divided down the middle as far as our social lives, we do try and meet on neutral ground for most things. We do family dinner once a week, my kids both crawl into my bed at the end of the day to catch up and have some snuggles (yes, the teens still love Mom hugs), and we go on trips together. The time goes by so fast and in the blink of an eye, I am closer than I want to admit to an empty house. I feel like I have to squeeze in as much time with them as I can. I hope. as they continue to grow. that the fests and events I love to go to will still appeal to them and we can experience them together as adults one day. I suppose I will have to pick up golf so that I can do more than wave down the drink cart on the course, and my husband and I can have an empty nest activity together. I love going and doing and experiencing things. We get one shot at this crazy thing called life. To me, it is too short to miss out and experience all the fun that is out there, but I also love my jammies and lazy days.