It has been a ridiculously busy summer in our house. June was the only month that really felt like summer with swimming playdates and walks by the lake and Summerfest. As soon as July hit, it was a whirlwind. I was gone for teacher training at Suzuki Institutes over half of the month and my husband switched jobs. While he is on orientation, he has switched from his normal shift in the evenings to day shift. Most other times of the year, this wouldn’t be as big a deal. In fact, it might even be better, because he is home in the evenings to watch Otto while I teach. But it’s August, and as my fellow teachers know, planning for the upcoming school year takes loads of time. Even if I am not teaching in a classroom, there’s still calendars to figure out, lessons to plan, and policies to rewrite. I was overwhelmed with the thought of getting it all done before September. However, we’re almost halfway through the month, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like I might actually accomplish everything I set out to do. (I kinda have to, right?) Here’s how I’ve done it:
I let Otto play by himself. Okay, honestly, I do this all the time. We have a very independent 2-year-old who likes playing by himself. Awesome, right? But with all I need to get done, I’ve broken my rule of not using my computer and phone around him. When Kyle is working his normal shift, I will go work in my office (ahem… a corner or our bedroom) for 2-3 hours 2 or 3 days a week. This is usually when I get all my administrative work done. Well, this time has been gone with Kyle working day shift and I have more computer tasks than any other time of the year. Now I try to get up before Otto does so I can ready for the day. I wake Otto up (so happy he’s still sleeping in) and we eat breakfast. Then I turn on some music for him and get to work while he plays. I check on him often and this has been working great for us for the past couple of weeks!
I got help. We have been blessed so far that we haven’t needed a regular babysitter while I teach. Right now I keep my teaching hours in the later afternoon and evenings so my mom is able to come after work and pick up Otto so my parents can watch him while I have lessons. I have now realized that if Kyle was working day shift, we would have to pay for a babysitter at least a couple of times a week. It has totally given me a new appreciation for the evening hours we keep. While he’s been working day shift, however, I’ve been having someone come and watch Otto a couple of times a week. I’m so glad that it’s summer time, because a couple of my younger cousins have been able to come over to play with him, which he absolutely loves because he knows them so well. Plus, having family come makes it a bit more frugal than just hiring someone I don’t even know. It’s been a great solution for us!
Finally, when neither of these things is an option, I’m trying to really just enjoy my time being with my son one on one. He’s at such a great age and learning so much. We work on letters and numbers. We play tee ball. We listen to music and dance. As the old cliché goes, time really does pass too quickly. I feel like I blinked and he was 2. I’m sure I’ll blink again and he’ll be 18. For now, I’m focusing on being grateful for these days, even if they aren’t my most “productive.”
Space is still open in my studio for the fall! Visit my website for more information on violin lessons and early childhood music education!