Wednesday, October 12, 2011

School Mom, Harder than it looks!

I have been so overwhelmed with all of the things that come along with school aged kids.  It seemed easy on paper.  Drop your kid off at school and pick them up.  I'll have 2 in school and I'll only have 2 at home.  It will be like it was when I had the 2 little ones at home when I only had 2 kids.  We'll go shopping, go to the park, go out for coffee with my mom.  I organized and organized and organized again.  Everything was in place; schedules, menu plans, organizations we'd be part of and not be part of.

It wasn't enough.

Nobody explains to you how exhausted you'll be.  When you have little sleep and an additional workload to conquer every day you're lucky not to fall asleep during the day when you should be watching the toddler and infant.  I'm not a big coffee drinker and never have been.  I guess you could say I'm a "social coffee drinker", because I must admit when I go with my friends to Starbucks I will get a Carmel Frappucino occasionally.  Let me tell you though, I understand my mother on a whole new level now.  

I have become addicted to coffee out of necessity.
I strongly believe coffee should be something moms can use as a tax write off at the end of the year.  It is a work expense!  I go through 4-6 cups of coffee on a normal day just to keep up with the driving, the cooking, the cleaning, the refereeing, the homework and after school snacks, the bedtime routines...not to mention the mental exhaustion with dealing with the school system, the teachers, the other moms and just the plain politics of it all.  I'm a night owl, but by 6pm I want to curl up in a little ball and drift off into dreamland...of course my night doesn't end at bedtime and I am always up late anyways.  It is inevitable.  By the time I can get to sleep I'm so stressed out that I can't shut my head off and I guess I'm admitting a guilty pleasure here but to de-stress I do something horrible.  I watch awful reality tv and eat and eat and eat.  Now usually it's just whatever was for dinner that I never got to eat because someone spilt their milk and someone else wanted seconds and someone had a temper tantrum because they didn't want to eat and someone else needed more to drink and by the end of it bath time has arrived.  >_<

I am not complaining.  I love that my kids are gaining their independence and are so proud of themselves.  They have friends and self-confidence and are very artistic, creative, and intelligent and are able to let those qualities shine through more then being at home with 3 siblings.  I guess what I have come to realize is that my life is transitioning into a new phase.  I'm sad to turn the page, but I am excited about the next chapter.  My babies are growing up, but they are more amazing every day.  As far as my new work load...I'm trying to learn to love my new life, establish a new routine that works us, become more family oriented around our home, and survive it all.  I have cut down on the organizations we are part of and the extracurricular activities.  I have come to realize that you can't do it all and shouldn't do it all.  Our family is number one and that needs to be the priority, not helping out whoever asks the most or seems the most desperate. 

Priorities have shifted.  I no longer look for mom friends to join me on my journey.  We are all so different and I just embrace that we come in and out of each others lives and if that person can inspire you, even for just a few months, they were important and will always be important.  We shape each other.  We encourage each other.  We support each other.  My top priority is not finding a mom in a mom's group to ease me through my loneliness and cheerlead me in the right direction.  I don't feel lonely anymore.  I feel empowered.  The other moms have lifted me off the ground.  They have given me wings to fly.  I'm flying solo in motherhood and I don't mind.  My journey is different and we should never compare, but I do know I will see my friends from time to time on this journey that we all take.

The hardest thing about my new chapter of motherhood, SCHOOL MOM, is that I'm starting over.  I have to learn new rules and figure out who I am and what I hope to accomplish.  I need to shift into a new mode.  What an important role I have taken on in my next chapter.  I hope I can do it to the best of my ability.  I hope I can get better at it.  I am so lucky to have been given this opportunity in my life, but I feel like I'm a first time mom.  How different my life has become...

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