For about four years, J and I would visit my mom approximately every other week (not counting that bad/sad/dark period when my mom was ill and living many states away). Since I worked only sporadically and am close to my mom, it was pretty easy to have frequent visits. During that same four-year period, I would also go to multiple grocery stores most weeks, to get the best price on things. Particularly during the school year, when I had many hours most weekdays to myself, it just made sense. Plus, for some odd reason, I get a rush when I combine double coupons with a sale at one store and then price match with two or three different circulars at another store.
When I went back to work full time last April, I tried to continue to do those very things. But eventually I realized that I cannot live my life as if I am home many hours during the week when I am typically out of the house at just after 7:30 a.m. and I do not return until close to 6 p.m.
My mom has not taken my fewer visits (every three to four weeks) very well. And neither have I. Neither of us is getting any younger, so I appreciate our time together. As notable is that I appreciate the time away from home. I know that some people love to be with their spouses all the time. Me? I need space!
Saying good bye to the multiple grocery trips a week has been equally challenging, but that is more financial. I try to remind myself that when I worked five years ago, I did not do it, and I worked four days a week, not five as I do now. Yet I still feel bad, and it still bothers me, so I try to do it one or two weeks a month. Mostly the saving-money part outweighs the crankiness at giving up a couple of hours a weekend. Mostly.
This weekend was a weekend at home. Earlish Saturday morning, I grocery shopped at two different stores and managed to get stocked up on enough stuff that I should be able to skip the store next week, when we head back to my mom's. I also had a to-do list that involved some other errands (return things, gather up and drop off stuff at Goodwill, buy the Frozen DVD, visit Phipps, something else). But unfortunately, the kid's stomach had different plans, one that would involve her lying in bed the entire day and keeping nothing down. So there went my plans. I will spare you the details. But even when the sickness was gone by bedtime, I slept horribly because every time my kid moved (she slept with me just in case), I sat up in a panic. I don't think I slept more than an hour or so at a time.
Now it is after 5 p.m. on Sunday night, and the weekend is just about over. Although I am disappointed that I did not get too much accomplished, today I did manage to get three loads of laundry done, a bathroom cleaned, a book report typed, and my checkbook balanced (and by balanced, I mean I wrote in the amounts that were on my online banking statement). Friday night, before the sickness overtook our house, J and I watched The Princess Bride, which was every bit as good as I remember from many years ago. And I even managed to get to level 3 of French in Duolingo in about 1.5 hours after that (I started Spanish about two weeks ago, but it is not going well, so I needed to feel some sort of accomoplishment).
I am hopeful I can learn to balance things better, particularly since I lead such a boring life. And I am cautiously optimistic I can learn to forgive myself when I don't live up to my expectations as well as the expectations of others.But I am also realistic enough to know that within a few weeks I will probably be complaining about not having enough time to do X and disappointing Y.
But until then...