After enjoying a summer of working only one day a week, seeing friends and doing fun things the rest of the days, the time has come that I am back to work full time and school has started for the kids. Back to the early to bed early to rise schedule; I am not sure that this really will make us healthy, wealthy or wise per the idiom, but I do know that it does tend to isolate us. Neither kid takes naps, so that means dinner when we get home with bedtime shortly thereafter, which gives us no time to get out and do anything during the week and many protests of the kids having to go to bed before the other kids in the neighborhood. Being a single mom with little money for babysitters, going out on my own after they are asleep is not really an option either, not that I want to do that much having to get up early myself, but I do miss the contact with other adults outside of work. We have had beautiful late summer weather, so for now we can still play outside, but as winter approaches here in Minnesota, we rarely even see the neighbors as people do not really go outside for enjoyment for long enough periods of time for people to run into each other and chat. Weekends are when we have to meet up with friends to sustain us through the weeks, but even that brings problems as even many weekend get togethers start at the dinner hour. This gives us only an hour or so to connect and then we have to leave the party still going with kids kicking and screaming to get to bed at the normal time, because as I learned this past weekend again, if we let that slide even an hour or so, I will pay the next day. A day with two tantrumming kids is not fun, so I am the diligent hibernating mom who misses out and/or leaves early and becomes more prone to depression because of winter isolation. So, don’t forget us friends. We will try to emerge to see you this sometime this winter and will definitely be back in the spring.