Thursdays are our family’s barometer. By Thursday, usually we’re either up to date with (or a little ahead of) where we should be in school and work, or we’ve caught up the ground we’ve lost in previous weeks. Unless, of course, we’re behind in everything and life is pure and unrelenting chaos.
It’s easy to tell, too. For one thing, there’s the chaos percolating everywhere, not relenting even a little bit. For another thing, there’s the vacant, staring eyes of shell-shocked, self-employed parents with no concept of how to win back the ground they’ve lost. But really, you could see those things on any day of the week in our house.
Nope, the true test of how the week has gone is the kids. Like little gas-sniffing canaries in the deep, dark mines where we hack out our living, they’re either bright yellow and singing contentedly, utterly oblivious to their cages; or they’re on their backs, one grey, papery little spindle-leg in the air, eyes comically slit into bleak little X’s, tongues lolling to one side … you get it.
Obviously the children aren’t actually dead every Thursday. In fact, they’re very much alive, screaming at each other and tearing their hair out as they run around the house in a frustrated circuit of pent-up meaninglessness.
Or, if it’s been a good week, Thursdays are days of blissful calm that seem to stretch endlessly into balmy sunsets on the porch, joy and smiles all round. All it takes is a steady diet all week long of just enough, structured work to keep them engaged and occupied, while not being so much that it overwhelms them. It’s like a magic charm: they’re so busy and happy right now, making stuff and being nice and oozing waves of contentment all over the place. It’s absolutely wonderful, and to my delight, this was one of those very weeks.
Now, all I need to do is figure out how to switch from “Mommy mode” to “Business babe” and we’ll have a smoothly run home AND an income. Wish me luck!