Help With Your Mother's Rule

Help With Your Mother's Rule is a forum for women who want trouble-shooting help with their Mother's Rules or about any aspect of the 5 Ps of the married vocation.

Ask Holly: This blog is composed of your questions. Contact me at the address listed on Holly's Helpers page and I will respond. Please share your unique ideas as well. The more ideas and experience we share, the more successful every mother will be in designing her own unique Mother's Rule.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Finding Time for a Day Out!!!

Dear Holly,
I am really feeling the need for a regular Mother's Day Out. I am an introvert and recharge by being by myself. Each Sunday evening, I drive an hour, attend mass, and then drive another hour back. But I really do not feel like that is enough. Plus, that mass will be ending in about 8 weeks. My husband works nights so sleeps during the day. I have 6 children aged from preschooler to sixteen. The 16yo babysits frequently for me -- including Sunday evenings when my husband is at work and I am at mass. The other main factor in my situation is our schedule for school: we are in school now and follow the liturgical calendar. So we take off Church Feast days (feasts, not memorials), birthdays, baptismal/first communion/confirmation/saint days. We usually get about 1 day off per week, but are scheduled Mon-Sat so in reality we get about 5 days per week of school. We take off all of Eastertide for our 'summer' break.

That was the setting, now the dilemma. I do not feel like I can take a MDO on a school day. I think you understand. I don't think I could count on it for the irregular day off. We just have too many other things going on: 16yo babysitting job, music lessons, mass, field trips, etc. I could probably swing it on Saturday afternoons and evenings since my husband usually has that night off, but we usually go to mass as a family that night since my husband cannot go in the mornings due to his work schedule (he stays up nights even when he is not working to not mess up his body clock). On Sunday mornings, I take some of my children with me and go to mass again. We are very involved in our parish and the boys are altar boys, plus I usually catch up with people on Sunday mornings. The mass is at 8:30. Then we go grocery shopping on our way home. Due to gas prices this is the best choice for a grocery shopping day.

I think that in reality, the best day for a MDO for me is Sunday starting from about noon until I would get home from the evening mass. But I am hesitant because then I really would not see my husband from Sunday morning to Monday morning. Plus, I feel like it would be putting a great deal of unfair expectations on the 16yo since she would have to watch the other children while my husband slept and then after he went to work and before I returned home -- all told about 5 hours. Is that fair to her? She is very gracious, but I don't want to take advantage of her. Finally, in reality, while not ideal, I would also use some of this time as school planning time and as shopping time. Like I said, not ideal, but at least I could get some uninterrupted planning time. Also, I think I would only do this about every other week.

I seem just stuck by this schedule and cannot think of any other options.

1 comment:

  1. First off, I do not think a 5 hour time-away is placing a burden on your 16 year old. My kids babysit for that amount of time. So I think if Sunday is your best day, then that would be reasonable. You could also offer your daughter a token payment for her efforts - a couple of bucks an hour - give or take. My kids enjoy this when I do it, although I do not always pay them, as it is part of their contribution to the family. If you feel that you are burdening her, look to the other times in your schedule where she may be doing too much...

    Secondly though, the issue about your husband and not seeing him if you do a Sunday day out: If you insist on maintaining your present life schedule, this is really only about 2 hours more than you already do on Sundays, so it seems to me to be less drastic an issue, since you are close to that now.

    However, if I were in your place, I'd be looking at putting things in order of priorities, and since my husband is a greater priority than my school schedule - I'd look at re-examining how the school schedule could be altered to suit our family needs, and yes, even Mom's day out. Your categorical dismissal of changing the school schedule as a basic principle - "I do not feel like I can take a MDO on a school day. I think you understand." - may be the crux of your dilemma. Putting your school schedule as the determining factor is in fact, placing the 4th P above your other first 3 Ps - school determines when everything else will follow, including time with hubby and your own restoration time. If I believe that the Ps are 'priorities' and do belong in a certain hierarchy, then my priorities would be disordered if I put the 4th one first, if I put the 4th one as the one around which everything else is scheduled.

    Personally, I'd look at altering this - especially since your Sundays are so active, since you already do grocery shopping on that day which means you don't have a full rest-Sabbath. I'd include Saturdays as part of the weekend break and alter how we celebrate feast days etc... does it always need to be a full day off? I would also wonder - could the irregularity of your breaks, and the lack of ability to count on them occurring at a certain time, might not also increase your feelings of stress? I know for our family, Friday evening is a great relief and mellow-out time, knowing the two days are coming for a change of pace.

    That way, you could do your day out on Saturday morning. If you counted up your school days, you may not find this is seriously interfering with your family school routine, and you could also have the kids doing their daily chores on this day. This is my two cents.