Today was quite a day. Sparing the details, I now understand a lot more about my own childhood. And I understand a lot more about my own mom's habits. Things I am going to start putting into practice:
1. Try to have at least one thing to do a day. Especially if it means putting your kids in a nursery for a short amount of time (see: tennis, bowling from my own childhood)
2. If you have nowhere to go, you MUST enforce time in their rooms for the kids. It must last at least one hour, so you can watch an entire soap opera. (I'm considering picking back up with Days of Our Lives.)
3. Cooking dinner is actually "me time." Do not let anyone disturb you when you are cooking dinner/me time. Sometimes you have to start prepping at 4:30 for a 6pm dinner. Even if it's browned pork chops & french fries.
4. Have a glass of wine as you are prepping dinner. Or two.
5. Even though dinner is "me time," don't let the other family members know. Act like it was a lot of work, and you need to go sit down and relax after dinner.
6. Parents should rule the radio. It's the only tangible part of the day that you can truly call your own. Every once in awhile, grant the kids their own music. But remember - your happy music can make rough patches of the day okay. (Currently, I'm listening to oldies '50s & early '60s music. And what a better mood I am in. Nothing like a little Chuck Berry or the Drifters to pick up a spirit.)
And the great experiment in staying at home continues...