My sister-in-law’s birthday is today. She decided that for her birthday, she wanted to go camping with as much of each side of her family as possible (as in, our family and her husband’s). This is great – except for the fact that we are leaving in less than a week and I really need to be home getting things done. I explained to the birthday girl that we would probably come out tonight and then I may just stay home tomorrow until Mike gets home from work around three and then come out. I told her right off the bat that we wouldn’t be camping, just visiting, which she expected. We don’t really have a tent and aren’t set up for it, and the family seems to be okay with this. But even visiting requires packing and thinking of a dozen things you will need for three children of different ages. I think what my sister-in-law wanted to hear from me was that I would come out with the kids in the morning for breakfast and then Mike would come out when he was done work. The trouble with that is my kids’ need for naps. Erik is small enough that he can sleep anywhere and Jenny can sleep in a bed, so she could take a nap in someone’s tent, but Elias hasn’t learned to sleep out of a playpen yet and I’m not about to cart the playpen out to the campsite. Grrr. So the best thing for me would be to stay home Saturday morning and get some work done and give the kids an early nap and go out at three o’clock. But the response I got from my sister-in-law made it sound like she’s going to be very disappointed if we don’t go out all day tomorrow. Ahhhh!!! Why does this have to be so difficult?!?
The facts are – 1)all those projects I listed still need doing, although I did take the recycling in and cleared the countertops in the kitchen. I also took a few things to the shed, so I am a tiny way through the list. 2)I hate it when my kids don’t nap and the fact is that for all the help I’m promised, it’s me who deals with them when they’re grumpy, which they definitely are when they haven’t had naps. 3)Erik had shots today which means that I didn’t get any work done today. 4)I am not looking forward to the process of packing for our trip, but if I can get a bit more housework done before we go, it will be easier. If I have to pack a bunch of stuff and then wash it all after this weekend and turn around and do it again on Wednesday, I’m going to be stressed out and grumpy for the first half of the week and it may prove to be a bad beginning to my trip.
So what do I do? I keep people happy. I go in the morning. I hope that I can get enough done this afternoon and the beginning of next week to be ready for leaving on Wednesday. I sit around in the heat at the lake, wishing I wasn’t there, just to keep people happy.
I really need to learn how to say no.