To a genuinely well meaning friend/acquaintence/family member: An advance apology.
It's not your fault that you happened to be the unlucky person to ask me what I am doing with all my free time on the day I snapped. Here's an outline of how it's been spent, in case anyone has been (justifiably) afraid to ask.
From the day I sent the kids to school in early September until 2 weeks ago, I was picking apples. Out of the 12 working days since I finished that job, I have had sick children home for 10. Judging by the hacking, sore throats and crying, tomorrow is not promising.
Oddly enough, having the kids in school has not eliminated the need to cook, do dishes, shop, clean the house, pay bills or do yard work (to be fair I rarely get to the cleaning or yard work and Jeremy does a bunch of the food stuff). I teach an exercise class and coach gymnastics twice a week as well as fit in small social work contracts. The return to school has added germs, packing lunches, rushed mornings, pick ups, drop offs, special events, exhausted kids, and paperwork. Of course there are lots of good parts to it too, but I'm in black hat mode today.
The unspoken-for time I have had has been glorious. I feel naughty going for mid-morning coffee and am revelling in the occasional daytime pottery sessions, but it's somehow not living up to that holy grail of "all the spare time I'll have when I'm not facilitating home learning". Yet. I'm not really unhappy with our choice and am not pulling the plug. I'm just grouchy, adjusting, and still busy. I think it's called "life". First world problems.
Update: It's morning, the sun came out for a while and I've learned (again) that blogging when I'm tired is a bad idea. Putting on the yellow hat. Life is good, even if there are crazy moments. For all the families I've irritated that somehow make things work when both parents have full time jobs, I am in awe of what you manage to do.