By the time you're reading this, I'll be on my way to my first day of the 2013-2014 school year. I haven't been in a classroom since January, and I haven't been starting the year un-pregnant since 2010. Back then, I worried about my outfits, my case or work load, and how often Ben and I would get to have dinner together. I was usually agonizing about whether or not to take a class for fun at the community college (how to sew or cooking 101) and putting off grad classes for my degree. I can honestly say I worked myself up to feel every bit as busy as I do now, which makes me question my ability to define "busy."
Things aren't hugely different. My sisters helped me pick out a week's worth of outfits last night, and I've been pouring over my class list. I'm meal planning for the first week of school and saving the good ones for nights that Ben is home. I'm registered for my fall classes and I feel all bustly and busy. I just have the addition of two small fries who need to have their shit organized, too. I've bought and delivered daycare supplies, typed out the van schedules for Milo's transportation to and from his speech groups, and had a power meeting about our new daycare-included budget with Ben while we fed ourselves and two sticky, yelling children breakfast. It should have been really overwhelming, but I felt kind of awesome that we were making a plan and laying it out for the family to hear. I'm better at this than I was without kids; this post that I wrote for a good college friend (Patrick's Quarterlife Crisis Series is definitely worth checking out) was my first realization that motherhood improves me.
This isn't easy for us, but we can't ignore our help. We've gotten financial, emotional, and physical babysitting support from our "village" of parents, sisters and brothers, best friends, and bosses. Ben was able to shift his schedule so I could go to my classes. I was able to attend meetings for school and even date my husband because generous people took turns babysitting. When it seemed like there wasn't another penny to stretch, many more pennies turned up. It's not unique to have a small family with two working parents, but it's still foreign ground to us. I can't let the help we've had go unmentioned. Beyond lucky, beyond blessed.
I'm always giddy at the beginning of the school year, and this time, even more so. Every new year over the past 3 or 4 has brought completely new challenges, and I love the fresh start to do with as I please. Working mama of two, wife, sister, daughter, teacher, gym-goer, book-reader, fledgling cook, social media junkie, storyteller, family historian, writer. Here we go!
Here are my thoughts on the eve of a new school year last year.