This week was all about GraviTrax, recess and self-guided activities.

Mommy needed a week to get her sh*t together, so that was the focus instead of fumbling through lessons I’m not prepared to teach.

The boys started each day by building a new GraviTrax creation, sometimes doing this for hours. They worked together really well on it, there was no fighting, screaming or crying, and they were interested enough that they moved on to creating their own designs eventually.

It’s been a relief to see them so mutually excited about spending time on something that doesn’t involve controllers and headsets. We’d definitely been allowing them to over-indulge in video game time during the packing and moving period, and it has been tough to transition them out of that kind of access. I’m not saying it was the best method of keeping them occupied, but given our circumstances, we didn’t really have any other options.

That being said, the world is a tough and scary place right now, so I’m not going to apologize for letting my kids have a little extra Fortnite time. They haven’t seen their friends in months, and have had their whole lives turned upside down to protect our family.

I managed to rope The Teenager into helping the kids make cookies from scratch so they could work with organization and following a recipe. They’re becoming more capable with measuring and following directions, but nobody in this house likes to get their hands yucky. It’s amusing to watch them struggle not to touch the slimy butter and recoil from the cold, drippy egg whites.

I feel the same way, I just wear gloves before I work with textures that disgust me.

Maybe I should have offered them some gloves.

Anyways, they made the cookies and it was all a success except cleanup. This is the one area my kids really fail hard at. And I know that’s largely my fault; I need to hold them accountable. It’s just so much faster to do it myself sometimes, and I don’t have a lot of time to waste during the day.

I feel a big cleaning “lesson” coming on so they appreciate how much work goes in to keeping things remotely sanitary around here. We can dedicate a whole morning to that one of these days, I think.

The boys still did reading and writing daily, it was just self-directed while I mostly worked on getting homeschooling stuff organized enough to comprehend. I really wanted to dedicate most of the week to school stuff, but a large part of that time has been spent working as well.

I wasn’t planning on working so much, or really at all, while we homeschooled, but it just kind of happened. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work right now, so it seems like a waste to not take advantage of it, especially during times like these.

The problem comes with the balance, though – or lack thereof.

You can’t work and take care of kids and teach them and feed them and keep a house in order all at the same time without something slipping. For me, usually everything suffers and I end up doing less than my best in all areas, which can be devastating to my self esteem. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. It sucks to have to choose between being an effective boss/worker/employee and a good parent and a remotely capable teacher. It’s impossible. Is anyone doing all of this well?

I did in fact get in touch with their contact teacher, who helped me through the ILPs and gave me a rundown for what a day could look like. That made things so much simpler. Now we have a checklist, and starting next week, we will be actually doing something resembling an organized education (knock on wood).

Wish us luck.