Today is the end of the first week of school for my kids. Schedules are being slowly pieced together and we may have what passes as normalcy any day now.
I am so grateful that the GNOME Foundation allows me to have a flexible schedule so that I can work around parenting needs. This flexibility came in very handy these last couple of weeks when camp was mostly over and school had not yet begun. It was especially daunting as my husband was out of town and I was still jet-lagged from GUADEC myself. Amazingly enough (at least to me), we more than just survived; the kids, the house, our routines — all has improved during this period.
Granted, this achievement is not as great as it sounds. We did start off on a pretty rocky footing. Between medical perturbations, the aforementioned jet-lag, and the mess created when everyone returns home, we started at a pretty low point.
Thankfully the kids are now old enough I can talk to them like adults. Okay, I have always talked to them like adults, but now they respond in kind. I gave them the “stand together or fall apart” speech. I reminded them we were all members of a family. Most importantly I told them that mommy is not infallible and gave them the power to tell me when I am forgetting something important.
Delegating power is a very good motivator. I learned this lesson by watching the GNOME Board empower groups of interested people into more active members of our community. It allows everyone to be more productive and more things get done. Putting this lesson in my own home made everyone happier and everyone has clean laundry!