Be Real: Logistics & Connections
It’s summer. Finally!
The kids are out of school and that means its summer camps, spending time with grandparents, visiting the beach, Funland (a Rehoboth Beach tradition), travel, and of course – logistics!
I’ve talked to several parents of young children (think Pre-K to about 4th grade) and logistics always becomes a part of the convo.
Hypothetical Little Timmy has to be at the outdoor camp by 8:30 a.m., but sister Suzy has to be all the way across the county no later than 9 a.m. How can we make that happen?
A lot of these conversations turn into moms helping moms. If I take Little Timmy, then you can take sister Suzy and maybe you will have time to pick up my kid, too.
These logistics are only complicated because of other responsibilities – cough – jobs, yard work, gym time, etc.
The parenting game quickly becomes all about scheduling. We all pull out our calendars – many of them color-coordinated for each member of the family – and sit down to the task. Push this drop-off earlier by a little bit and I might have time to go to the store, hit the gym, and get back in order to pick up and then drop off at the sitter’s house.
Ask Mom to come into town for these three days, so that I can be fully present for an important work meeting or event.
Ask the husband/partner to pick up dinner on this day, so perhaps I can have 12 minutes of alone time in my car (or go to the gym…maybe) before I have to jump back into the craziness.
All of these logistics might look on paper like we have the most amazing summer planned ever! However, what it often also means is that we focus too much on the plan and not enough on the actually enjoying our time and the human connections that are so important.
Connecting & Down-Shifting
So, if you have been reading my blog each month, you likely know that I have been in a bit of a funk following the passing of my dad. I have tried to get out of it and focus more on the things I need to do, but it just hung on. Yes, I know there will always be sad moments, but this was more than grief – it was more like a brain fog where I just couldn’t focus.
Then, one day I was working here at Beebe, and a volunteer stopped me in the hall to ask me a question. We chatted and I helped answer her questions. Then we parted ways.
I noticed I immediately felt great. I had a smile on my face and more of a bounce in my step.
A little later that day, I similarly helped a patient who was looking for the cafeteria. Again, I helped and I felt great. He was grateful too and told me that I made his day.
There is something here – something to this human connection. When I was staying in my office, nose to the grind-stone, I was missing out on this connection. I wasn’t helping others and therefore I wasn’t being helped.
It’s similar to all the planning that goes into our summertime activities. If I just focus on getting it all in, on the schedules and calendars, on the logistics, then I miss the most important part of summer – the relaxing and enjoying moments with my kids and family.
We all need to down-shift. Yes, we have to conquer logistics, but we also have to remind ourselves that when we are there – at the beach, the arcade, the barbecue – the logistics are done. The planning must be put on hold. And, we must sit, put our feet up, bask in the human connections, and force our overactive mom brains to down-shift and find that all-important sense of calm.