I’m tired. Already. School has been in session for a week now, and I’m worn out.
I start the mornings at around six-ish every morning. Jessie is almost always up, and she’s showering and puttering around. I wake Sam up around quarter of seven. I try to get the lunches packed the night before (and almost always fail at this). I (to paraphrase Dolly) stumble out of bed, into the kitchen and flick on the coffee. Then I start more laundry, there’s always some hanging out ready to wash, transfer and fold. I usually do that until coffee is ready and then finish (or start…) the lunches. The kids are pretty structured for lunches this year, which makes it easy. Sam always wants a peanut butter and fluff sandwich with the crusts cut off, a bag of chips, two drinks, and a dessert. Jessie always takes roast beef on a cut baguette, chips, apple, bottle of water and dessert. Julie is more flexible – and she likes to pack it herself.
I leave the house around quarter of eight, and bring Sam to school. Then I loop around and drop Jessie off at the bus stop. Julie doesn’t go to school every day (she’s at preschool twice a week) but she can’t be dropped off until nine. I almost always have to go to the grocery store anyway, so we make a thing out of it and head to Price Chopper.
The afternoons are kind of haphazard. I do pick up at one school at eleven thirty, another one at two thirty, and one at three ten. Next week, I’ll start picking up one of Sammy’s buddies at a fourth school at three forty. Then the afternoons will be a blur of dance class, religious school, boy scouts, bat mitzvah studying, running the gift shop and trying to get dinner on the table before eight o’clock.
Did I mention that Marc is working full time (in retail, at the moment) and we have one car?
I know this sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m not. There isn’t anything I’d like to give up, after all, and I’m really happy about how well all of them are doing at school. I’ve got three busy and content kids, with volunteer commitments that I, well, volunteered to do. I’ve got a husband who’s working a zillions hours, with studying and going to the gym (which is so necessary for him), and he’s not around anywhere near as much as I’d like.
I think what I’m trying to do is make sure that this stage of my life (which is so different from being home with little kids, when the days revolved around naptime) is still FUN. That I don’t get lost in the running around and constantly trying to catch up with what I didn’t get to the day before. Staying on top of the housework, the writing, the blog, and making sure that quality one-on-one time with each kid (and husband) doesn’t get reduced to one more thing on the list to get done.
I’m grateful this year for the time of the Jewish holidays. I love Rosh Hashanah every year (it’s one of my favorite holidays) but this year, I’m really thinking that it’s time for a reset. A time to settle in, and recognize the new stage in my life, and make conscious and deliberate choices about how I think about my life. It’s not just about running around like a chicken with my head cut off, it’s about being able to manage all the different pieces of my life, and still smile while I’m doing it.
Because these three are watching everything I do – and the last thing I want is their memories of their childhood to be of me, frantically running late and swearing under my breath about it.