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Frazzled in the Fraser Valley

This summer has been a magical time for our family. We’ve gone on picture-perfect outings, I’ve managed to keep my house spotless and have already completed our back-to-school shopping.

Okay, if Maury was to read this, he would determine all aforementioned points are big fat blatant lies.

 

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Here’s the truth.

A. Many of our family outings have ended in bloody knees, sibling rivalry and a meltdown over:

Slurpees,

candy,

to hold mom’s hand,

to play with the donut Shopkin,

to sit beside Dad,

to sit beside Mom,

to walk Tucker,

to use the red pencil crayon.

 Catch my drift?

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B. Our laundry situation is INSANE. We’d need at least three machines to catch up with this growing mountain of mildew and grass stains. Molly and Zoe love to play ‘garage sale’ in our hallway, which involves taking all the junk that has been put away in their room and leaving it strewn all through the hall. Tucker loves to steal their Shopkinz and poop said Shopkinz in our basement.

C. Back-to-school shopping? Say what? Didn’t summer just start? Was a list mailed out? Can I just wing it and grab a handful of pens from our junk drawer and call it a day? How the heck are we going to afford all the new clothes, shoes and supplies after our dishwasher just broke down?

I just want to scream, hide under some blankets and watch 90210 reruns all day. Adulting in the summer is hard stuff, but I’m not ready for it to end just yet…

Dear Summer, SLOW DOWN. Signed, Frazzled in the Fraser Valley.

You know what gives me the most anxiety this time of year? COSTCO. Seriously, I somewhat get having Halloween costumes, but Christmas Trees? Really?

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If it wasn’t for their yoga pants and hot dogs, I wouldn’t dare visit this time of year. But I love hot dogs, which is probably why I need the stretchy yoga pants.

Quite the conundrum you see.

This summer seems to have flown by faster than any other year. We had so many big plans (see our family bucket list), but feels like we haven’t done as much as we had hoped.

I love being a freelancer, but it can be a struggle to work from home when the kids are out of school for summer. We figured we’d cut down on childcare costs by having me get up early to write. That way we’d have the whole day for fun and adventures, but it doesn’t always go that way.

We did the math and it wasn’t pretty. By the time we’d pay for childcare, I’d be making around $30 a day – wasn’t really worth it.

 

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But we had a plan…I’d wake up bright and early to get a head start on work.

Ha!

My girls and Tucker usually end up in our bed at one point in the night. The second I open my eyes, they seem to sense it. It could be 5 a.m. or 10 a.m., they really don’t discriminate.

The second I rise, so do they.

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And trust me, I do my very best to be quiet.

I’ve even gone as far as to army crawl through the bedroom and hold off making coffee or breakfast. But no, they sense mom is awake, so they come running after me, one by one – even the dog.

“Where’d ya go Mom?” says Molly, rubbing her tired eyes.

“I’m hungry, I want breakfast,” demands Zoe.

“Woof – feed me, cuddle me and take me for a walk before I poop on your carpet,” says Tucker… well, at least that’s my translation of his puppy eyes and tail wag, while I fiddle with the coffee filter.

I’d love to be able to write once they’re in bed, but that’s when my brain goes completely blank.

After 8 p.m., I’m lucky if I muster up enough energy to watch my PVR’d Housewives and drown myself in wine. No, remember I’m having a sober summer? Who’s big idea was that?

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Nowadays, I think us parents have it a lot harder in the summer than our parents did. When I was Molly’s age (7), I’d take off on my bike all day, visit friends and play in the forest to build forts.

I don’t recall having my mom accompany us on most play dates. Were play dates even a thing in the 80s? She didn’t follow me to our complex part when I was 7 or park a chair in the driveway while I played with the neighbours to make sure I didn’t get run over by a car.

She was able to get stuff done.

I swear our house was always spotless and there was some sort of baked treat on the counter. And she was a single mom to boot. I still bow to this woman!

In our townhouse complex, there’s no way I’d let my girls play out in the street. Cars speed by at all hours, teenagers party around the clubhouse and needles have been found recently at the toddler playground nearby.

Recently, Jason confronted a homeless couple sleeping in that same clubhouse and called 9-1-1. This was just steps away from OUR front door.

I know it’s not our fault, but I can’t help but feel really guilty about my girls’ childhood.

I also feel bad about the growing list of emails I haven’t responded to yet, about having to rewash that same load of laundry because I forgot to put it in the dryer (again), for NOT visiting with friends as much as I had hoped (not sure if I have any left at this point), and for not updating my blog more consistently or attending blog-related events.

Okay, it’s not all doom and gloom at the home front. We’ve had some great days at the pool, picnics at the park, museum visits and BBQ’s. I’ve also gained some amazing new clients and really enjoy this blog – even after 3 years, it is my passion project that makes me feel connected to the community.

I love having all this on the go, but it’s tough to do it all at the same time. Something has to give. Usually it’s my sanity or waistline.

I think it was Oprah who said it best:

“You can have it all. Just not all at once.”

School will be here before we know it, so I’m doing my best to take everything in stride before the sun sets on summer.

And you know what? I’m writing this very post from the park while my girls play. I’m not sure if this makes me a terrible mom or a brilliant one, but I’m just going to go with the latter (don’t you dare tell me otherwise, my mom ego, mixed with some fierce PMS seriously could’t handle it right now.

In just a mere matter of weeks, both of my girls will be in school full-time, which makes me want to bawl like a baby. And I have.

For now, I’m going to accept that I’m frazzled, take whatever help I can get and not worry about having a spotless home. Who’s with me?

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One of Vancouver’s top Mom Bloggers, Kristyl Clark is a work-at-home mom of two little Valley girls proving there is nothing bland about the burbs. Her adventurous family seems to always be out on some sort of crazy quest, from helicopter rides and wild river rafting, to top-secret paranormal investigations and living the high-life sampling the fine wines and foods of the Fraser Valley region. The ValleyMom.ca blog inspires her loyal fanbase through the trials and tribulations of suburban family living, guiding readers to local hotspots and hidden gems in her Canadian backyard

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