Thursday, May 8, 2008

From SoHo to So Tired

I did a lot of planning before my recent trip to the East coast, but I didn’t give much thought to coming back home. As Wallace says in Wallace and Gromit’s “The Wrong Trousers,” it’s been a touch painful on the re-entry.

Clearly, there are dos and don'ts for readjusting to life after a solo vacation. I found these out the hard way. Remember Goofus and Gallant in Highlights Magazine? [I can still remember the smell of those doctor’s waiting rooms while I read Goofus and Gallant’s Do’s and Don’ts, along with “What’s wrong with this picture?” But, I digress]. Goofus, the rude rascal, did the "do nots" while Gallant, that polite, thoughtful boy, was the "do" guy.
Below are some “dos” and “don’ts” for moms coming back home to their families after a trip away, particularly moms who are of a “certain age” and have children with special needs. As you can guess, I have been a bit of a Goofus.

DO: Arrive home early in the day so you can’t get your bearings and rest. Don’t even think about checking your e-mail or reading through all those school memos and notes. That way you can be bright and cheerful when the kids come home from school.

DON’T: Arrive home on a flight that lands at 5:00 pm, which is really 8:00 p.m. for your body, and try to listen eagerly to all the news from home while fighting sheer exhaustion. Check e-mails, school notes and so on, right away, not the next day like you told yourself you would do. Achieve maximum overload.

DO: Recognize that you are not 24 any more and that getting used to a new routine will take time and energy. Realize that you will need to readjust to the baseline noise of a household with kids.

DON’T: Beat yourself up about wandering around in a daze the day after you get back and not writing a blog post as planned.

DO: Be sure that you do not schedule any stressful meetings within 48 hours of returning home. Give yourself ample time to prepare for any such meeting.

DON’T: Agree to attend an IEP meeting two days after getting back, especially when you receive the IEP draft the day before.

DO: Remember, if you have a child with a disability, that they will be excited to see you and may trot out their “special behaviors” in honor of your return.

DON’T: Expect said child to be independent and well-behaved for you as he was, apparently, during your absence. Do not take it personally when your older son tells you “So-and-so was an angel with Dad.”

DON’T: Dwell too much on those vacation days of waking up late, enjoying old friends and family, eating out constantly, and rediscovering your shopping gene.

DO: Be grateful for the friends, family, fresh air and great coffee of home.


ByJane said...

oooooh, goofus and gallant--I refer to them every so often and usually NO ONE knows what I'm talking about!

babs m said...

Haha!! I'm off to a writer's conference this upcoming weekend for four days-- I shall keep your suggestions well in mind!! Welcome home!