Back To Work!

I can’t believe it has been 7 weeks already. Last week DH went into the doctor’s and was given the okay to go back to work. There are mixed feelings all around, but life goes on and Baruch Hashem his foot is healing properly. He still has one more week without being able to put pressure on the foot, and it will take a bit before he can think about his dream of running a marathon 😉 but he is definitely on his way.

As my newest role as a caregiver to my husband 24/7 changes to something like 6/5 and 24/2 I can actually take half a breath and take a look at how things went. The first several days after the accident was just a blur. We were all just trying to manage and survive. From traveling back and forth from the hospital to home and back again several times a day, to trying to keep beautiful boys quiet so Daddy can sleep was a job in itself. One of the challenges of homeschooling children is when someone is sick you still have everyone at home. I do not know about girls, (and yes, even though I am one myself!) but I do know that one of the big things boys like is noise. One boy loves to make various (um, annoying) sounds, one boy just has a loud, deep penetrating voice and one boy is not old enough to remember to keep his high shrill voice down to something manageable to others. Somehow we managed. We made it though and life went on.

I would have loved to have just spent time with my husband over the last 7 weeks, but there were 4 wonderful reasons why I couldn’t do that. I guess they were a good thing. Well, I know they were a good thing. I tried to continue on with our schooling as much as possible after the first week. Except for when there were doctor visits, we actually got most things done. Except math. I think the one thing that kept us on track as much as possible was the fact that the boys had scheduled times to log onto Room613. The fact that they had classes that could not wait 5 minutes before starting was such a big help. I use that time to teach other classes to other boys. The problem with math is that I have it scheduled at the end of the day AFTER their classes with Rabbi Resnick. By the time 3pm came around, Daddy was going crazy and looking for TLC. I cannot blame him.

I still have a hard time imagining how difficult it is to need help with everything. Even making his way to use the bathroom was a production. He couldn’t get up for a glass of water, if something fell he was at the mercy of whoever was around (if anyone) to help him pick it up and trying to take a shower to feel human was such a long process. I know he tried hard not to ask the same person for help all the time (Baruch Hashem there were 5 other people around!) but he felt so imposing that he even went to far as to try to not ask anyone for help. For that I have constantly given him mussar. I never once felt like he was imposing and tried to make sure he saw me with a smile, even if he had to ask me to get up in the middle of the night. But I can understand.

Having to juggle between putting on my teacher’s hat and my caregiver’s hat took a lot out of me – and my time. I had scheduled extra time in between classes to help give me time to do a bit of cleaning here and there and to help spend some quality time with Mr. Big Boy #4 and yes, even some down time for me, but that was all taken up with my other new career. I have to admit that Daddy was really a good sport and usually told me he could wait for whatever it was until I had my break though that did make me feel bad to have to make him wait. What all this really meant for me was that I was constantly on the move. I had no me time, no time to mop the floor, no time to give to a little boy, no time to do nothing. By the time 3pm came around, I was doing my hardest to try to get myself to make supper, never mind math. DH mentioned this morning, “Oh, you were not on the computer yesterday?” No. That is another thing. No computer, no internet and no email – no time.

Then, after looking at house, I decided to implement a secret plan. I spent the last 4 days working on it. I am not finished, but I am a long ways over, and by now it is not secret. I made the executive decision to move all 4 boys into one room. Yes, one room for 4 boys, a 1:4 ratio. We have a 3 bedroom house. I know. You can tell me that the past 6 weeks turned me crazy.

Really, I am doing this to help out a very creative boy (see previous post!) as you can tell from this embarrassing photo (which was about half

Half way cleaned up by Mommy.

way through the cleaning!). This was the amazing job of one boy over the course of just 2 months. The entire floor actually looked as bad as the part still covered in the photo when I first dared to go in and clean. Yes, only 2 months! I go and wipe out everything in the room every few months and try all sort of tricks but so far nothing works. I am just lucky to have one of these amazingly creative boys that just are unable to keep anything clean. I have talked to several Mothers over the past year or so who have similar minded children. It is good to know it is not me. I went ahead and got even more crazy, picked out a nice real color and started painting the walls. Not even DH knew what my plan was until the night before I finished painting. Boys helped me put together one set of bunk beds last night, and they all helped me organize clothing. I have decided that since there will be limited space in this room now, we can’t have 4 sets of drawers. I bought each boy 4 storage bins that fit under the bed. We are not done, I still want to get each boy a nice sized box with a lid and a combination lock that is their personal property.

As far as the new room, I am not quite sure what I am going to do with it. I do know that I want my sewing machines to be in there so I have a place to sew, but I do not need a lot of room for that. We shall see. The green I picked out for the boys is good for the boys but not what I want for any other part of the house. It was nice to have boys tell me I was doing a wonderful job and that they were liking the room and the color. It was also fun to have them all ask me whose room it was going to be only to be told, “I will tell you when I’m finished!” I was busy the entire day – from painting to preparing meals to cleaning two bathrooms down to mopping them, taking Daddy and one boy to the JCC to exercise and hang out in the pool, to shopping and then finally exercising myself. By the time we got home and organized clothes, it was 10:30 and the boys were STILL UP! How did it get so late? Then to walk into the kitchen and feel that everything went wrong and that perhaps my priorities were totally wrong. Perhaps I should have spent all that time I spent on painting on cleaning the house. Perhaps a pent up Daddy would have been happier? He tells me it was not me and not the house just the circumstance of him being pent up, but perhaps I could have alleviated things a bit by having different priorities. I don’t know.

Almost done!

What ever the case is, I cannot turn back the time and DH really likes how I did the boys’ bedroom. Today is MLK day and schools are closed. We are a school so we will be closed as well. I usually have school on statutory holidays for why not? But today, we are being flexible and I am not going to feel guilty. Today, we are cleaning the house, I am going to practice my music for the girl’s middle school performance tomorrow and we are going to try to get two sessions of math in. HA! That last goal is really funny, but I’ll really be satisfied with one session for each boy, but don’t tell them that!

I drove my Dear Husband to work this morning. Things there have also gone through a change. We are not sure what Hashem has planned for us, but after the past 7 weeks, we know that no matter what, everything really is for the best. I am going to miss seeing his wonderful face during the day. I think that I will like retirement. In the meantime I have something to look forward too, and oh, I think we shall be able to get a few more math lessons in in the meantime and the house is getting cleaner as I type. 😉