First two weeks:
I’ve missed my kids so much this week. But, I still managed to go bonkers when I couldn’t gather them for prayer and get them out the door in a reasonable amount of time. Did they leave feeling like I’m dying without them?
I wrote about this recently but felt like it was too Eeyore to post, but for the sake of sharing real life with fellow journeyers I think I will. Because, though I hate going through hard times, I do know there is value there.
The following is from my first week home without my kids (and without the job at the school I had planned on).
My morning was filled with Ted talks. Then a nap, then the sounds of clicking nails from our 7 pound dog following me everywhere I went.
My emotions were wandering and kept in check while busy listening and doing. But,
How much of this stuff really matters? I’m painting and I know a comfortable place to land is important but I don’t want to “dream of my mansions above” or my mansions here. I miss my people.
I feel the need to exhale from 15 1/2 years of non-stop mothering and/or homeschooling. But what does that look like? I feel like guarding each second and calculating my moves to ensure they are both meaningful and restorative and that the silence while one hour exhilarating doesn’t ooze melancholy the next.
I catch glimpses of time to sing or learn an instrument or do the many other things I’ve back-burnerd or thrown out. But, I can’t help but wonder, if I could do without them then, why devote time to them now? I’ve never felt that way about singing though. That dream never leaves me.
But these are blueish days- even brimming with possibilities. I know I’ll find my niche in my new situation. I think it’s ok to feel the rawness of adjustments.
The good news is we are all healthy and safe and in a good place.
Rereading this I realize, I didn’t mention about that feeling I’ve heard of but not experienced of not wanting to get out of bed. That’s how I felt after a nap. I didn’t want to wake up to quiet and alone.
Other Back-To-School tid-bits:
“I’m a late mom, not a bad mom. I’m a late mom, not a bad mom. I’m a….” What I tried to tell myself as I was twenty minutes late picking the kids up the second day of school.
After taking my treasures to school and turning into our awkwardly angled garage I managed to wedge the car against the side of the garage. It wouldn’t go forward or backward without, well . . . sounds. I got out to determine my best options. Yep, not good either way but worse to go forward. The side of the car and the garage door frame exchanged paint then I tried again.
One month into school:
I feel like I’ve been through many challenges and adjustments but all of them have been with the liveliness of my treasures mixing their lives with mine. Sometimes I have felt like that was the challenge by itself. But, this shell of a home feels empty and the ways I’ve learned to deal with my challenges are without my family here now.
Sometimes it’s fine but sometimes I just long to be with my family again and the hours feel so long. I know I should serve or clean or make progress on something but sometimes I just can’t.
Last week I upped my exercise commitment to ensure it is long enough and vigorous enough, it’s been only “good enough” for a while now. I know good exercise is essential to well-being and I am thankful for access to better health through exercise.
Two months into the school year:
I bought a gym membership again to have the support of a fitness class. At home I almost always cut my workouts short. I got lost in the dark many times on my way to and from the gym. It’s only 12 minutes away but new is new. I thanked Heavenly Father for helping me get up and out knowing He was blessing my efforts to help myself.
I volunteered like crazy at the school. I corrected cursive for hours at a time, corrected math papers, chaperoned field trips and sometimes subbed. Subbing was fun as I got over my nerves and into loving and teaching the students.
I knew I couldn’t be home more than an hour or two at a time without sinking. When not at the school I carefully crafted where I would be and when. I went to the library (instead of home) to brush up on my math and plan for my new 8th grade tutoring student! What? could I do this?! I went to the temple, chasing promises given by President Nelson.
Casually I searched for jobs nearby in education not even sure what to do. I walked in to check on an application and walked out with a new job. I soon found myself working with kids just five minutes from my home and our family’s school.
I have not found utopia, or in other words, a situation without challenges. However, I am finding my footing and I am so thankful for that. God’s promises are real and He is so forgiving when we get short-sighted in the thick of things. I know, forget, and then am reminded that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” – Romans 8:28
It’s hard, but good things are happening.