Spring Break

Cherry Blossoms–a sure sign of Spring Break in D.C.!

The kids are on Spring Break this week.  I really love having them all home; I actually feel like it makes my days easier and more fun when they’re all here.

There are downsides, of course.  I’ve been running the dishwasher at least twice, sometimes three times a day, every day, all week.  The kids like to change clothes a lot and they put clean clothes they’ve only worn for an hour in the hamper almost every time they change, then I have to pick through the laundry and give them back clean things to put away before I can take the dirty clothes to the laundry room.  I’ve had to replace the toilet paper rolls and the paper towel roll about twice as often this week.

But I’ll take those annoyances, because I’ve also watched  as B and G created “Sibling Scouts”, then each took a younger child (B with Q and G with O) aside to do a project or activity with them.  I watched Gabe sit down and silently read to himself.  We’ve played quite a few card games and board games and read a lot of books out loud.  We’ve watched several movies.  We’ve played outside, although not very much because it is unseasonably cold.  It’s been a really relaxed week just hanging around the house.

All morning today, though, I felt really unsettled and anxious and found myself getting mad at the kids for no real reason.  I was yelling a lot and grumbling under my breath over nothing major.

I had a talk with myself over a cup of peppermint tea while the kids were playing and tried to figure out what my problem was.

Honestly, my problem turned out to be that I suck at relaxing.

Usually I try to get a LOT of stuff done on the kids’ school breaks.  I think of projects to keep them busy, to keep me busy, to occupy our time.  This break, I didn’t do that.  We haven’t done a painting or craft project all week.  I haven’t cleaned out or reorganized a single drawer or cabinet.  I haven’t sewed or knitted or spray painted anything.  We haven’t even baked cookies.  We haven’t gone anywhere cool, like the zoo or in to DC to see the cherry blossoms or even the park around the corner.  We haven’t really left the house much at all.

I’ve done normal, every day things–laundry, bed-making, dish-washing–puttering chores that I do everyday.  I’ve done normal fun stuff–reading, card games, board games, movies.  But in my head, this week was not supposed to be normal.  It’s SPRING BREAK.  We have to GET STUFF DONE.  We have to GO PLACES.

But we aren’t.  We’re just playing and cleaning and hanging out.  Nothing extra, nothing more than normal life.  And for some reason that made me uncomfortable.

But instead of jumping in to projects and relieving my anxiety, I decided to try to chill the heck out.  Every school break does not need to be made into a major event of fun! and reorganization!

The boys are napping.  I may read a book while they sleep, I may fold laundry.  I will not see what needs to be spray painted or organized or rearranged.  When they wake up, we may watch another movie.

What about you–do you ever have trouble just relaxing?  How do you cope?


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