Q: I haven’t been able to get life back on schedule since winter break ended. I’m married, with two kids, and I’m back in college. I thought once the kids went back to school life would get back to normal but I’m exhausted, not motivated, and wondering how to get through the next semester. Help!
Amy: Holy crow, woman. You have a full plate, and then some. Mazel Tov on going back to school. I remember how hard that stuff was when I was too young to appreciate it – can’t imagine it’s easier with all the adult responsibilities piled on top of homework. Best of luck to you.
Getting back on schedule with the family after a long break is harder than teaching a chicken taekwondo, which doesn’t sound like a good time. Humans are creatures of habit, and high family dynamics are at their most beneficial when schedules and plans are in place and working daily. The only way to get back to neutral is to make a thorough calendar of your classwork, the children’s responsibilities, and maybe even include housework and meals if you’re feeling overly ambitious. Then, make it happen. Keep coffee and wine on hand and use intermittently until summer break hits and everything is a mess again. You’re welcome.
Q: I’m recently divorced and have teenage kids who have boyfriends and girlfriends. How do I handle the most romantic day of the year when I’m the only single person in my home?
Amy: While I’m sorry you are no longer “coupled” I commend you for getting to a place that is healthier and better for you and your family. “Well, Amy, how do you know things are better now?” Hmm, I guess I don’t, but everything ends badly, or it wouldn’t end in the first place. Right?
With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, and your children seem to be in the throes of young love/lust, it’s best that you remind yourself not to project your successes and failures onto your offspring. All parents inadvertently do this. I’ve caught myself guilty of it from time to time, and I think it is worthy to remind ourselves that while we’ve given them life, they are using our gift to live theirs. Ohh and Ahh over the teddy bears and chocolate hearts. Help them make reservations and pool their allowance for a romantic dinner. Teach them about safe choices with their partner and their body, and consent – let’s not forget about that. And after they leave the house, pour yourself an expensive glass of your favorite whatever and take an indulgent bubble bath, or get a mani-pedi or a massage or a girls’ night, and pat yourself on the back for raising well-adjusted kids in a world that needs to be professionally fitted for undergarments, cause most of it is slacking.
Amy Hunter grew up in the suburbs of Long Island singing Barbara Streisand hits into her hairbrush. When she’s not writing her hilarity fueled parenting memoir as The Outnumbered Mother, she’s a Naples living, butt wiping, soccer team carting, gourmet chef attempting, tennis skirt wearing, non-tennis playing, self-proclaimed bad mamma jamma to three sons and a very understanding husband. You can find Amy online at the www.Theoutnumberedmother.com.