In which the bershon might kill me

Seasonal Angst

I need everyone to know Seattle Public Schools does not start until Wednesday. Next week. The ninth. Next week. NEXXXXXT WEEEEEK. And! The teachers union just voted to authorize a strike! Mediation begins tomorrow, but it's entirely possible school WON'T start on the ninth. If that comes to pass, I bequeath the blog to the first comment on this post. 

(HA. Have just ensured no one comments on this post.)

Tomorrow a pair of sainted grandparents pick up the children and whisk them away for the weekend GOD BLESS THEM. I know I've bored you with this piece of trivia before, but I'll repeat it again - each year on Labor Day weekend we get together with three other couples we've known since college and do a rehashing of our year. What was awesome, what was not awesome, some prayer, some amateur counseling, and lots and lots of eating. I think this is our ELEVENTH year, you guys. And when you have been rehashing your year with the same friends for ELEVEN YEARS, you start to [finally] identify some patterns. As in, every single end-of-August, Phillip and Maggie, no matter HOW lovely a year it's been, IMPLODE. 

As I've been already rehashing this for a week or so now (I am an introverted internal processor, this is what we DO) with all sorts of people, even including Phillip himself, I have all sorts of insight into our August Dramz. It goes something like this:


Phillip: Need to get work stuff done so we can go on trips! Vacation! Paying for vacation! Money! Budget! WORK! 

Maggie: SUMMER! WHEE! *dances*


Phillip: Need to get work stuff done because we went on all those trips! Still paying for them! Money! Budget! WORK! 

Maggie: Hmm. Despite library visits, neighbor kids, grandparents, tons o' outings, and emergency afternoons at friends' houses, there is still a LOT OF TIME that these kids are hovering around me asking for snacks and iPad time and more snacks and what's for dinner and what can they do now and OMG ALL THE TALKING LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY. 


Phillip: STA-RESSSSSSS! House is a mess! Kids are terrible! We've spent too much money! I am working so hard! No one appreciates me! Least of all that woman I live with who last spoke to me four days ago!

Maggie: *passed out on couch, earplugs in ears*


During one of our Um, What Is Going On With Us conversations Phillip swore up and down that the kids not being in school doesn't affect him because HE does the same thing every day, no matter what time of year it is. True that. HOWEVER. It sure does affect the moods of his wife and children at the end of the day when he comes home, and it undoubtedly affects what they are DOING. There is no snack, homework, piano practice, reading, dinner routine in the summer. There's no structure. There's no set time for, say, cleaning up the living room so Phillip has an actual path through the house when he gets home. I say we will ALL be happier family members when the routine picks up again. 

But it's also true that by the end of the summer I am half as productive as I was at the beginning. Maybe I love babies so much because they don't talk to me. I love my big kids, you know that, but the incessant chatter and needing and in-my-space-ing is haaaaaarrrrrd. Any energy I had for doing fun stuff and going places is long gone by the end of August. At the end of August the only place that looks good is my BED. 

So I'm not, you know, asking Phillip about his day. Or being super aware of what's going on with him. Or, ah, making sure there's something other than cereal for dinner. Pretty bad at that last one. 

Even though we've had a GREAT! YEAR!, seems like our couples weekend rolls around and things are NOT! THAT! GREAT! But. The benefit of eleven years of weekending and twelve years of marriage:

Maggie: Seems like we do this every year. 

Phillip: Huh. Sounds about right. 

Maggie: It'll get better in a week. 

Phillip: Yeah, you're probably right, okay I'm gonna keep watching this stupid PRE-SEASON SO IT DOESN'T EVEN COUNT football game if that's fine with you. 

Maggie: *passed out on couch*

[You know what? Any weekend is going to be better than last year's weekend, which coincided with the "temporarily raised anxiety levels" symptom in my ramp up to the correct SSRI dosage, wherein I sat shaking and sweating and speechless while my friends drove me to Target for my emergency Klonopin prescription. I have good friends. I also still have that bottle of Klonopin. I haven't needed it since that day, but I like to keep it around. #preparedness This year? DECIDEDLY LESS ANXIETY, THANK THE LORD. More poundage, but a lot less crazy, PHEW.]


Things I do not have energy to tell you about because see above: my wine tasting weekend in Walla Walla, my big seven-year-old girl's birthday, my haircut dilemma, more cries of desperation re: school not starting waaaahhhh. 

What do you think? Do you have a yearly pattern like this? SEASONAL ANGST? I think we have some others, but this is probably the most pronounced one. And it's another thing where having good friends/community is SO HELPFUL because you can be whining about something and they'll look at you with annoyance and say, "GAWD, I swear you guys do this EVERY YEAR."




Ok, I bequeath the blog to the SECOND commenter. But I had to comment because you just described my exact summer. We are the same person. Married to the same guy.

(Except that school has started here and I tell you IT WILL BE BETTER. There will be some silence in your future. HOLD ON. Don't be too jealous, though. I still have a one-year-old and today she cried and screamed the entire time Paul was at preschool - and Margaret at school - because preschool is effing up her naps.)


Really enjoyed this post. I go through seasonal angst about work, for sure. And can we please hear about Molly's bday??? One day?

It's a moot point now, cause school starts soon, but I wonder what you and your sibs did when you were little? Did parents used to have to be cruise directors? I mean, your kids have siblings , a neighbor friend and I'm guessing toys too. Come on, kids! And I know all kids are like this, I wonder how I'll deal with it when mine go through this phase. Because I don't see myself as the cruise director type. I will give attention, play with a kid, etc but no one can do it for all waking hours iof a day.

Enjoy your weekend. Things will change soon.


We definitely go through seasonal angst. Ours comes from the fact that my husband works like a madman all school year and is off in the summer. So during the school year I get pretty used to being expected to do it all, and then summer rolls around he he has opinions, and plans, and changes things up and my brain doesn't adjust well to not being in charge. And then when he goes back to work, I'm used to having him around, and having his input on things and then POOF. Back to work. All me. Resentment. It resets after a week or two on both ends, but it happens every year.

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