I wrote this last week but had to get a bit of space from it before I could polish and post it:
Yesterday evening was way too stressful.
Jared had to be at meetings from the moment he got home from work until 11pm last night and Tuesday afternoon and evening involves activities that have to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle (with pieces that don't quite fit the way they should). On top of the regular homework and reading and dinner, I often have a PTA meeting, Eliza has dance, then just as Eliza's getting home and everyone's hungry, I'm supposed to be at Scouts, then I rush home from Scouts to tuck kids in bed and work on the Power of Moms newsletter that goes out on Wednesday mornings bright and early and one night a month I've got my Learning Circle meeting at 8:30.
Last night, on top of the regular Tuesday activities, all the kids needed more help than usual with their homework. I was trying to get a nice dinner ready and packed up for Jared so he could grab it quick and run to the church since that would be his only chance to eat all evening, the cute little neighbors who we haven't seen in like a month and who I feel like we too often have to turn away came over to ask if the kids could play, and right when everything else was happening, Isaac remembered that he was supposed to be at a birthday party 15 minutes ago (why was he given an invitation on the same day of the party? why did he forget to mention it right when he got home?).
I tried to tell Isaac that the birthday party just couldn't happen since Jared would need our one and only car (Jared's car is not working right now) but then Jared called and said he had a borrowed car for the night so Isaac begged me to please take him to the birthday party since it was for a kid who doesn't have very many friends and Isaac was worried no one was going to show up for the party since the kid just gave out the invitations that day and Isaac had heard kids saying some not-so-nice things about this kid. What do you say to a kid who really wants to help another kid who might be lonely on his birthday?. The invitation wasn't totally clear so I told Isaac to try calling the RSVP number to see what the actual plans were for the party so we could see if we could get him to the party even though we were late.
Isaac called and instead of just finding out information, he told the mom that he'd be right over - to this arcade place on the other side of town where the kid and his mom had gone after no one had shown up at the kid's house for the party. What to do? Leave Liza to walk home on her own from dance (it is very close but it's dark and cold) and leave dinner on the stove for Jared and hope he'll actually grab it without me being there to make sure he takes it with him (I'm really trying to be a more attentive wife) and let the twins go play with the pleading neighbors while I carve out 30 minutes to run Isaac across town to this party with no present in hand, then have to go back over there and pick him up and take another 30 minutes out of the evening right when I need to be putting kids to bed OR call the mom back and tell her that actually Isaac won't be coming. I hate it when my heart is pulled in so many directions at once!
I ended up being more frustrated with Isaac than I should have been but agreed to take him over to the arcade. I had Isaac put some money in an envelope for a present and make a card while I tried to reach Jared to tell him his dinner was ready for him to grab when he came home to get some paperwork (couldn't reach him, he ended up just going without dinner until 11pm and didn't complain a bit), sent the twins over to the neighbors', and told Ashton to watch for Liza and go get her if he didn't see her arrive home from dance right on time.
When we got to the arcade, I was able to talk the mom of the birthday boy into bringing Isaac home when they were done playing which considerably lessened my stress (but then I was a little stressed about leaving him with people I don't really know - but they seemed nice!). And just as we arrived a couple other kids showed up as well so I think it turned out to be a nice party for Isaac's friend and everything turned out OK.
You know, it pretty much always turns out OK in the end. But I just hate those moments when I feel so so torn and stressed and I just can't be there for everyone I want to be there for! I wish I could figure out how to better handle crazy situations in the heat of the moment when everything seems so contradictory and crazy. I know I need to remind myself that it'll all work out fine in the end - it always does - but sometimes it's so HARD to remember that.