August is, as always, August. Both kids are rough without school structures and therapies, Andrew and my work schedules remain full, childcare is costly and logistically complicated, it’s stupid hot, etc, etc, etc…but there are a few good things. Kind of good. You can note their goodness as you sink into the bog of August soul-sucking angst.
- Family rallies. We have a steady stream of family coming in to adjust the adult to child ratio, to watch the kids so we can squeeze work in, to facilitate the Camp Hagan schedule I set up to try to give the kids some sense of order. Aunt Kyla is here this week, Cousin Lena is coming for a long weekend, then Grandma Kathy comes on her heels…and then it will very nearly be the first day of school. It is wonderful not only to see family, but to feel their love and support in their sacrifice of time.
- Be in the now. The only way to get through August, I find, is to shut down the long-term thinking. It’s too much. It’s impossible. It’s an unreasonable time frame of hard. When you look at it, you get completely overwhelmed and kinda bitchy (I mean, I do anyway). So – you only look at today, and maybe a peek at tomorrow to be sure you have childcare. And you find that today, this hour, this minute, this breath, you are, in fact, doing it. You are okay. And the next breath. And the next. It’s – good? – to be reminded of that. It does take some mental discipline.
- Setting expectations. We’re not new to this August thang. So, when you say year after year to your job, your church, your friends, your facebook feed “August Hard. We can’t do August. No, it’s August.”…well, people eventually get it, and stop asking you to do things in August. My daily log in my BuJo has way less items on it, and that’s essential because I can’t do anything, it’s August…but it’s kind of nice to have a few less plates going in general.
- First Day of School Joy. I’ve heard other families talk about their kids (and even sometimes the parents, which I do not understand, but whatever) mourning the end of summer. Resisting the new school year. Whining about getting up in the morning. Not my family! We all eagerly see the day count get shorter and shorter, and on that First Day of School, there is so much rejoicing in our house. That much joy has to be a good thing.
This August is additionally hard as it’s our first in Trumplandia. The internal stress from the home combined with the external stress of poking the bear of North Korea/nuclear war and Nazi’s marching about in Virginia (good Lord, who’dve ever thought I’d type that sentence in freaking 2017…?) is at times simply too much. But we do have these small silver linings as well.