I could really use a personal assistant. Of course at this point I couldn’t afford one, but that’s beside the point, really.
I could use a family case manager, scheduler, minder person, robot, something.
So, I’m at a professional meeting, but I’m in the back of a room, tethered to cords in a power plug. I am paying attention at about a level of 37.4568%.
Work email responses are taking up about 15% of my attention.
Do you want to know where the rest of my attention for the last two hours has been spent?
Case managing me and Hope.
Let’s see, where did my adventures start?
Grade check in since several assignments were turned in. I needed to see if any had been graded and grades posted.
I responded to an email string about scheduling a meeting with the guidance counselor and the teacher for next week.
I updated the family calendar.
I checked the grades and progress in lower priority classes. Hmmm, assignments are missing.
Several emails to various teachers about missing assignments, class behavior, levels of engagement, what is salvageable.
Confirming medical appointments.
Emailing the family therapist about current concerns in advance of next appointment.
Responding to teacher emails, some good news, some bad news.
Making another medical appointment.
Updated my work “paid time off” account because clearly I’m going to be missing some time in the next few weeks.
Logging on to Blackboard to see what assignments are coming up.
Logging back on to the family calendar to put upcoming assignments on Hope’s part of the calendar.
Looking up how to control the family Chromebook remotely, so I can better supervise Hope’s online activity.
Looking up whether I want to waste money on getting a FitBark for Yappy, because #stressshopping and of course my dog needs an activity tracker…#nohedoesnt.
Confirming another medical appointment.
Researching silent migraines and teenagers.
A google scholar search on teenage neuroscience, because #nerd and #journalarticlesrelaxme
Check to see if Hope has updated her Amazon wishlist.
Contemplate whether I might be able to swing a holiday getaway.
Email Elihu to remind him to check the family calendar and update holiday availability.
Try to schedule time to baby shower gift shop for an event this weekend.
Email the tutor an updated schedule and confirm our assessment meeting for later this week.
Pay the nanny.
Check on Yappy through the wifi camera.
Send text to the housekeeper apologizing that the house is likely a hot mess more than usual.
Grab another grande iced coffee.
Some aspect of this happens nearly every day.
I know I’m not the only one. Managing a family is hard work. It’s consuming; it’s exhausting.
Managing a family with a member who has some unique concerns and/or special needs just sucks up time like a vacuum cleaner.
I could easily spend one full business day a week managing me and Hope. This is actually a light week because we only have one two or three appointments. Some weeks we have more like 4 or 5 appointments, not including regular tutor times, standing band practices, home games, other band performances or standing therapy appointments.
There is rarely a week that goes by that I don’t take a few hours off. I’m fortunate to have a super supportive office and I usually just make up the time somewhere else.
But there’s never a break. Even to take a break; it’s got to be scheduled. A lot of appointments have to be rescheduled or stack scheduled.
It helps that the tutor is in walking distance to the school, and the psychiatrist is next door to the tutor. The therapist is in the same building as the orthodontist. My therapist is near my office. The primary care doc is less than 3 miles from the dentist and therapist office. These are all great providers, but I’m not going to lie they were selected based on location, taking our insurance and specialization was frankly last on the list. It’s about managing and I can’t do that if I provider is outside of the 6 mile radius that I have created for us.
All support systems must be accessible if I were running a 10K. I don’t run, but that’s beside the point. If I might start running again, I should be able to hit every office during my run.
I gotta admit, that I was so naïve when I started this journey. I didn’t imagine that I would be a case manager as much as a parent. I see why some folks believe that kids should be in a two parent household—I don’t think it’s essential, obviously—but dang if I need a body double to help out.
The demands are unreal.
Are there services for this besides typical concierge/personal assistant services? I swear this is a money-making market opportunity for some enterprising person.
I need a family case manager.