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‘You don’t need to keep saying that’, he told me as we took our evening walk last night. ‘It’s fine.’

‘But I feel bad’, I told him. ‘Bad that I am unable to take you anywhere this summer…I also want to go somewhere’, I told my son.

Though summer has officially started today, the 30 days I have with my three children is drawing to a close and I have managed to spend close to no time with them. Having just started a new job two months prior to when they finished school, I had only two days of vacation to use and earned one more with my last paycheck. I reasoned I can then take those three days off to stay home with them right before they return to their father’s house where they will spend the next 30 days. I reasoned that at least I have a little time with them though I cannot take them anywhere this year.

Initially I planned to at least send them to summer day camp for one week whilst I went to work but those plans fell through as the account from which I had planned to pull the funds were used for other purposes and never returned.  The children were disappointed but I had no other option. At least they were able to spend some of those first several days with their father until I returned home from work to pick them up where we would then hurry through dinner and repeat the same the following day.

This week they spent their days at the apartment and had the company of their bunny all week long. He is quite cute but definitely not as playful as a cat would be. He does nothing more than sit in his cage and eat. Even when my daughter let him out of the cage, with the door left open, he would simply turn around after a minute to return to sitting in his hay and eating. It reminds me of the children sitting in their rooms on their devices and how they turn around after dinner and go back to their bedrooms to return to their devices.

The few hours I have with them throughout the day are hardly enough but at least it is something and we need to make the best of it. Today was a bit more rushed than other days as I hurried out the door to make it to work by 07,15 so that I could work a half hour of overtime and make up the time I needed to leave earlier for the children’s final swim meet which was near the city centre.

The day at work had worn me down as did the rush through my breakfast so by the time we got to the meet, I was practically lifeless. All I wanted to do was sleep. Over three hours later, when the meet was finished, we drove home and ate a very late dinner. The girls made salad with the ranch dressing they took from the meet and I made thin spaghetti and roasted the potatoes with herbs and olive oil.

With the weekend ahead of us, I look forward to spending more hours with the children. For those two days, there is not much of a schedule to keep and no scrambling to get out the door to get to work only to return for a few hours in the evening before the process repeats the following morning.

Despite the exhaustion and burnout I feel, I was happy to share a few hours with my three children. This might be a humdrum start to summer but there is still some hope we can make the best of the time we have left.