As a mom of two children in school. With one child still at home. As a nursing student. With classes at night. After a long day of mothering. With a one-hour drive each way.
Everything is new to me. I've always worked. I've never had two children in school.
But everything is the same too. The same kids. The same dishes and laundry. The same errands and shopping.
This morning I forgot to write checks and fill out the forms for school pictures. I thought getting back to school within an hour with the forms would be sufficient, but both girls had to retake their photos. Not the end of the world. But I don't like being the flakey parent. And I feel like I shouldn't be, since I'm not working right now.
Well, I'm doing some hotel childcare on the weekends, based on demand. And trying to list items on eBay, but even that hasn't been happening, even though I'm at home much of each day.
I'm not one to need a strict schedule. But I like routine. And I've yet to establish a new one for this next phase of life.
Summer's rhythm was pretty easy, and fun to find. Maybe I'd get up early to run, maybe I'd sleep until one of the little girls woke me up (which was around 7am). About half of the week we'd do a fun activity--Sea World, the beach, the Bay, swimming in someone's pool. Which was still work because I was making lunches, packing snacks, and keeping the house in order. A few days a week we'd mostly hang at home, run a few errands. Our swimsuits got a lot of use this summer.
But now school is in. For me and the kids. Gracie is in kindergarten, still figuring it all out. Miss Rose is in third grade, and they have hit the ground running and I know it's going to get more intense. Not to mention all three kids are playing sports, on three different teams.
Mondays I leave right when Bean gets home, and Lily has soccer practice at 5:30pm.
Tuesdays I take Lily to Grammie's house, and they pick the girls up from school and I get home from my class about 6:30pm. Oh, and Miss Rose now has flag football practice from 5-6:30pm.
Wednesdays I leave 15-20 minutes before Bean gets home and the kids hang with my mom. Before I leave, I need to have Gracie and Lily dressed for soccer practice, because their practices are one after the other, at two different parks.
I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining. Because I'm truly not. I am still so excited about pursuing my dream of being a nurse. And I'm so thankful our children are able to play sports. As I sat tonight at Miss Rose's practice, at a park I grew up coming to, there were probably over 100 kids participating in various sports practices. Due to finances and moving a lot, I never played sports growing up. I may whine a bit, but I'm truly grateful and my heart is full watching them be able to participate.
Getting home late two nights a week, and then sometimes babysitting late on the weekends, my internal clock is all messed up. I am accustomed to being home in the evenings, winding down and being in bed at a decent time. But at least half of the week now, that is not the case. It's hard to go straight to bed after getting home from school and a one hour drive.
Poking and prodding two children to be ready for school on time is challenging too. We are finding what works there too. Gracie doesn't really hit the ground with her feet running. She wants to play and dawdle, like she did all summer, and the past 5 years for that matter.
Part of me wanted to get mad at myself this morning. I should have my act together. I should have done their picture forms the night before, or days before when I first got them.
But all I felt was grace. Grace for forgetting. Grace for not being in that rhythm yet. Grace in accepting this is all new to me, to us.
Grace that we are all right where we are supposed to be.
It's not often that I'm able to give myself grace. But today I was.
Lily is adjusting better to being the only child at home. I'm working on developing new routines and plans for the daily things of life. I'm breathing in and out. And doing the next thing. Loving my family and walking the path laid before me. I feel blessed to be home more during this season and even when the finances are scary, we are trusting.
Rhythm will come.