New Year

This is my twelfth time starting a new school year. I’m sure it’s easier than it was in the early years, but with all the requirements from home it doesn’t feel that much easier.

I definitely don’t feel nervous about welcoming the kids tomorrow, or filling the time in my five classes. I’m not even nervous about Back to School Night. (Yes, it’s on the first day of school. Yes it’s crazy.) But there is this undercurrent of stress, this clenching of teeth, this erupting over minor disturbances, these tears falling semi-regularly.

It’s just a lot. A lot starting my daughter in Kindergarten. A lot attempting this diet. A lot starting a new school year. A lot dealing with in-laws who are taking care of our son again (only until he’s two and can start at preschool/daycare–thank god!) A lot trying not to destroy my marriage (I’ve come close).

It’s just a lot. My house looks like a hurricane hit it. The laundry is piling up. I haven’t figured out yet when anything is going to get done. I wake up at 6am, spend 90 minutes getting my daughter (and myself) ready for school. I high tail it to work at peak commuting time. I try to get more done at work than fits in the hours because I can’t stay later, even when I need to. I watch the clock until it’s time to go, pick up my daughter from after care before meeting my in-laws with my son at home (yes we are so lucky that they drive him home–did I mention it’s only two months until my son can start daycare? Help from family is always a double edged sword). Then it’s trying to make dinner while my kids attempt to brutalize each other. And then trying to get them to eat dinner without making myself crazy. And then counting the hour and a half until bedtime.

I never see my son. I miss my son.

It feels like there are no moments for me. And it’s exhausting. I’m not sure yet when I’ll exercise, let alone pick up the living room or fold laundry.

It’s a long day, for all of us. I’m sure we’ll find a rhythm. I’m sure it will be okay. But right now, it feels overwhelming.

It turns out I struggle as much with transitions as my daughter does. I just want to fast forward a month, when everything feels more manageable. The in between time will feel looooong, and be rough.

16 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time. You really do an amazing amount in one day, its inspiring. Hopefully it’ll feel like a routine soon.

  2. I feel that way daily. I work 10 hour days and by the time I drop off at 6:30 and pick up at 5PM dinner bath bed, I have seen my girls for a total of 10 minutes. My house is a wreck and my husband feels neglected – but we cant afford me not to work and I need that day off to clean, run errands and play a bit with the children I barely see. It’s a season and you’ll make it. It’s not a fun one but hopefully it gets easier and things get more bareable. My mom is a teacher and dreads the first month of school and the last few weeks of school for the last 20 something years. 🙂

    1. I keep reminding myself that it’s a season. It will change. I know this. But these days, while I’m loving them, are hard. As you clearly know. 😉

  3. Transition is so hard, and harder on our kids than on us, which then turns into our problem on top of our own transition challenges. We are starting slowly here with moving bedtimes earlier and nap ending earlier. I don’t know how I’m going to get my non-morning kid (Matthew) to school 15 minutes earlier this year than last year, when last year’s time was hard for him.

    Is kindergarten going ok?

    1. Kindergarten is going better this week. Last week was a lot of “I hate Kindergarten,” and “I hate after care,” which was really hard for me to hear. It’s hard because I think she really likes Kindergarten, but her feelings about after care bleed into her feelings about school, it’s hard for her to parse them out, which I totally understand. But this week has been much better and I hope it continues to improve.

  4. I agree with other commenters’ points that it generally gets easier as kids get older, and that sometimes stress just has to be endured. And I’m relatively new here, so I may not know (or I may have forgotten) what you’ve said about this aspect of your household systems, but I don’t see your husband in here anywhere — except in your trying not to destroy your marriage. Might he do the laundry/get your daughter ready for school/ make dinner/keep the kids from brutalizing each other? Even if just for the next two months, until your DS starts daycare?

    1. My husband does help. He does the dishes and cleans the kitchen, which is no small task. He can’t be around to help with dinner because now that my daughter wakes up at 6am to get to school by 7:50, she is ready for dinner by 5:30. And my husband doesn’t get home until 6:30, so he’s not even eating with us, let alone cooking. He has never done he laundry. And he does do some pick up, just not much. He helps, but he could do more, and me wanting him to do more has been as issue since the beginning of our relationship. I think he sees how untenable the situation is and will step up eventually, but it will take him a while. That is just who he is.

  5. I just want to empathize. I struggle for the first month back to work as well, and with all you have going on, it’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed. There’s never enough time to get it all done and it’s frustrating and stressful. I hope it gets easier for you soon.

    1. The first month back is so hard. I know I’m so lucky I get summer break, but sometimes I long for consistency and wish I could avoid these massive transitions.

  6. I was an absolute mess this time last year. I suspect that the double transition was harder on me than it was on either kid – and I wasn’t even working! I have so much sympathy for all that you are dealing with as I struggle to keep our house livable (my standards are low) and take care of everyone and I barely work outside the house at all.

    1. My daughter is already having an easier time of it (though last week was hell). I really hope that in a week I’ll be feeling a lot better. I tend to stress out over transitions initially but I get in the groove pretty quickly. I hope that happens this year.

  7. I keep erasing and rewriting.
    You are being a good parent.
    You and your husband are jointly keeping a roof over your heads, clothes on your children and food on your table. Your children are being cared for and educated. You will find the new patterns and routines and it will fall into place.
    Kindergarten and the new diet will also fall into place. Transitions are tough and doing two right now and knowing the new childcare transition is upcoming is simply tough.
    Am glad the grands are helping with your son, and hope they tell you what good parents you two are being.
    You will get through this. You are being a good parent.

    1. Thank you. It means a lot to have someone say that to me. I don’t hear it much at home (though I do hear it).

  8. I am so sorry. You are living thru some hard stuff, and you are doing it well. You love your kids and doing good things for them. I do hope you find some time for yourself.

    1. That is going to be the challenge. It looks like evenings are my new “me time” because the one good thing about waking my daughter up at 6:30am is that she falls asleep at 8:30 or 9 instead of 10:30 or 11 and that has been really nice. 😉

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