When Life has Other Plans

I’ve been working really hard to make writing a part of my daily routine. That means finding chunks of time throughout the day in between preschool drop off and pick ups, during therapy sessions when Olive is busy with her behavioral therapist and Willow is either playing with them or napping. If I’m lucky, all these individual chunks of time equal two or three hours of writing every day. I’m trying to make this blog a weekly habit and I’m pushing myself to submit 2-3 pieces every week to different publications (starting this week).

One of the wonderful services that the Navy offers EFMP families is 40 hours a week of respite care. I started taking advantage of it during the last deployment and it has been a wonderful help for me to be able to run errands and get groceries without my kids and for Matt and I to be able to go on a monthly date night. I’ve recently realized that if I use my allocated respite hours for writing, this is the most efficient way for me to write and another great way to use my alone and child free time. I camp out at a Starbucks (the local one nestled in a Barnes & Noble has become my new favorite hangout), order a beverage, set up my laptop, and use the time to write untethered by the other responsibilties and distractions of my daily life as a stay at home mother of two.

I had my lovely child care specialist scheduled today while Olive was going to have her ABA session with her therapist so I would have five hours of straight writing bliss (I even planned to bring my book and treat myself to an hour of reading while I was there *sigh*). But of course life had other plans today. We’ve been passing around the cold bug the last month but it seems to have hit Willow especially hard. She’s had it since September 23rd. She was sick for almost a week and then seemed to be better for a few days and then seemed to get it again but with a bad cough. I really thought she was on the mend the last couple days but woke up again with what looked like the ooze from Ghostbusters seeping out of her orifices and a cough that would rival a COPD patient.

It’s a gray area when you have a lot of helpers (between therapists and child care workers) in and out of your home on a daily basis and one of your children get a cold. On one hand, she doesn’t have a fever or a rash which would be an immediate cancellation, but on the other hand I don’t believe its fair to ask people to come into my home to administer services when either of my children is visibly sick. I don’t cancel for every sniffle, but when other people are going to have to wipe kid’s snotty face and try to habitually avoid the direction of her cough, I draw the line and cancel. I first canceled respite and then called to make Willow a doctor’s appointment. Of course any doctor’s appointment during business hours (espeically with a round trip down town since that’s where the Naval hospital is) also means canceling ABA for the day so once I secured her doctor’s appointment, I had to text her therapists that were scheduled for that day as well.

And then I stood in my kitchen being pouty for twenty minutes and sipping coffee as I slowly realized my plans for child free bliss in a coffee shop, surrounded by books was out the window. Instead, I’m drinking more coffee, wiping snotty noses, writing this (and this is probably the only writing that will be accomplished today) with PJ Masks in the background and waiting for preschool pick up. The rest of the day will be spent carting kids to and from the doctor’s appointments, rage cleaning while I wish I was writing, and making this lovely meatloaf recipe (and lamenting the fact that I’m missing out on Starbucks coffee and nothing but the quiet in my head).

The part of me that demands I make the most of this day is also demanding I find other time to write today and to spend the time I’m not writing, snuggling these adorable, but super snotty toddlers. There’s still half a pack of unopened play-doh and two bins full of kinetic sand. So I guess my day is looking up after all.


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