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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back to School

Tomorrow is the start of the school year here.  Back to work for me and the kids will be not only changing their school schedule, but they'll also be changing schools.

The daycare/preschool we've attended since Norah was 10 weeks old is closing.  We got notification of its closure last spring, and it was emotional news for us, and it wasn't easy scouting out new places and finding a center that best suited all of our expected needs.  In the end, we found one that we feel is the best fit for our family, but really, it's hard to entirely know until we get into the groove of having the kids attend.

For those who know us, or who have been reading for awhile, you know that even though I'm a full time professor, I've managed for the past 3 years to work out a teaching schedule that has allowed me to stay at home every day for half the day during the academic year.  I've appreciated this schedule in many ways, but it hasn't been without its difficulties too: In order to be home half the day, I've had to to teach 2 night classes each term (I actually enjoy night class students -- they tend to be a more mature group -- but those teaching days tend to be exhausting); plus, there have been other small hurdles.  For example, when I've been sick or when I've had meetings, we have either had to pay the drop in rate at school ($20 an hour for the 2 kids) or Jerry has had to take time off to be at home when I can't be.

So, for several reasons -- the new school's available scheduling, a need for me to keep a more "regular" work schedule, and the idea that both kids may benefit from a fuller day at school (Norah, especially, is at an age where she can get more out of the curriculum if she's there all day) -- the kids will be attending school full time and I'll be working more normal Mon-Fri hours.  Although, that being said, because I have the sweetest gig out there, my full-time-normal-hours are still just 6 hours a day, so I'll be dropping the kids off between 8:30-9 and picking them up around 3:30. 

By many working moms' standards, that's hardly a "full" day's schedule, so I know I am still extremely fortunate to have the kind of full-time career that I do that also allows me so much time at home.

Anyhoo, what I'm circling around to, is that tomorrow is a new start for me and for the kids.  New school for them, new schedule for all of us.  And even though I think it will be best for all of us, I am feeling the typical mom-separation-anxiety-emotions about this new start.

I imagine the first week or two will be a bit of an adjustment -- on the practical end and on the emotional end.  Practically, I am gonna have to get us all out the door around 8:15-8:30, which is a change for us who've been used to lolly-gagging all morning long.  Plus, the new school doesn't provide lunch, so I'll be making lunches each day too.  Blergh.  Emotionally, Caleb will cry each day, for sure; Norah will likely be cool with everything for a week or so and then have a complete meltdown once she realizes this new school is for good; and I will most likely cry in my car after dropping them off for the first week or so -- but then we'll all get settled and I think the year will go smoothly.

So that's what's on my mind today.

One bright, shiny thing to look forward to, however, is that with my new schedule and more time each day on campus, I have more time to run.  Granted, that'll mostly be treadmill running, but hey, running is running!  And, I need the running.  This week, I'm gonna top out at less than 30 miles for the week, and I can tell that my brain has gone soft on me: I've been making all kinds of emotionally charged decisions the past few days that have been questionable.  If I were running more this week, I might've just run past those thoughts; instead, I went ahead and expressed them.

Definitely need more running.


MCM Mama said...

You are right. The new normal will take a bit to get used to and then after a bit it will seem like it's always been that way. And then in a few years when Norah starts elementary school, you'll end up with a different new normal.

I have one more year of two kids in elementary school and then my normal changes. Now that's a transition I'm not looking forward to. I'm not ready for middle school!

Cali Family said...

You can do it. Just knowing that it will be a transition is good. Remember to give yourself a break and allow for the crying AND the running!

I'll be right there with you in another week. Full time day care for two kiddos and a wacky teaching schedule for me. And making those lunches. Blergh indeed!!

Erin said...

Same situation at this house. We went to orientation today, met the teachers, and tomorrow; our worlds flip upside down.

I am looking forward to the time with the kids (I will now be doing drop off in the morning) but also dreading the chaos to get us out the door. I figure the easiest one to change is me so I am going to try to keep the kids on their 6:45am departure.

Good luck and if you want to meet for drinks to compare sobbing in the car stories, you know how to reach me :)

Ryan said...

You and the kids will be fine. The absolute worst part is going to be making the Lunches. That is what Jerry is for though.

If I were you and was facing the aspect of all the treadmill running, I would drop about $50 on new tunes for your ipod.

Alice said...

Glad you're feeling better and I feel your pain on changing daycares. Our kids started at one in June when I went back 4 days a week and in July moved to one that did 5 days for the price of the 4 at the other. And lucky for us our almost 3 year old cried herself silly every day at daycare 1 but LOVES our new one! She literally runs away from us calling "Bye Mommy/Daddy" and runs into her room while we drop the baby off! So maybe next week won't be so bad. I hope you have a good first week and that you adjust to your treadmill runs. I'm spoiled at work too because my university building has a shower on the 4th floor because so many of our faculty bike in so we can actually shower at the office.

Erika . . . with a K said...

No matter how long your work day is... it is hard leaving your little ones at daycare! You all will adjust, don't worry. And running will make everything feel better!

fancy nancy said...

That's my work day and I think it's full time!! I always have those anxiety feelings when the school year is about to begin. Hang in there...I'm sure it will all work out!