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Katy England Katy England
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Conflict resolution (03-23-2016)

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I used to know what my opinions about things were. And some days I still have a decent handle on it. But on others, I'm a mess of conflicting emotions about stuff. Today is a snow day. I feel really weird about it. On the one hand, it's annoying, because instead of a half day in which I can do work, I have to try to cram it into a smaller window of time. On the other hand, I'm weirdly happy that they have some nice fresh snow to play with. This is beyond bizarre; I stopped enjoying snow around the same time I started having to drive in it.

Then my son came down with a sudden and gross stomach bug. I was somewhat relived he had it on a snow day, because otherwise it would have happened while he was in school and I would have had to bring him home. And who knows how much work I would have gotten done at that point. See, when I have less time, sometimes I can actually get more done.

I cranked out two stories before the kids came down to breakfast. But I wouldn't have done that if they had had school. I would have done something normal like drink a hot cup of coffee or clean a room. When the kids are home, I rarely drink hot coffee. Maybe a sip. Then something happens and by the time I make it back around to my coffee mug, it's tepid at best. Stone cold at worst.

But on such days when I have extra kid stuff to do, I also kind of hate it. It means I'm often glued to my laptop, trying to eke out some words while the kids play or watch a show. And yes, I do take breaks on occasion to play with them or read them a book, but I don't like that I'm stuck to my laptop like white on rice on some days. Especially on days when they want to play.

I'm even conflicted about being conflicted. I know I'm blessed to have a job that allows me to stay home on a snowy day and do my work in the pockets of time available to me.

And I'd be surprised if absolutely everyone doesn't feel conflict like this, whether it's conflicted about not playing with a kid when you need to cook dinner to pick up around the house, conflicted about dropping your beans at school or daycare, or conflicted about being at work while a spouse is at home. And sometimes, instead of seeing each other as all trying to do our best, we get hung up on who is doing something better. Sometimes we do that to ourselves I see people bringing their kids everywhere, and think I should be doing that more.

But you also have to remember to count the awesome things you're doing. Like after-dinner dance parties, post-bad dream hugs and tickle fights. It's just a good idea to remember to relax about the conflict and just enjoy the good stuff. Until the next conflict.

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