Most of you reading this have school aged children and have been where I currently am before. And where am I currently? Somewhere on the line of insanity + maybe being too busy to deal with it I suppose. Okay, okay, it is NOT that bad, but it is kinda crazy.
I knew when we moved and our kids started different schools, that life would be tough. But there's no way to prepare for that kind of a transition until you're IN it. It has been almost six weeks and I thought I would share a few things that I'm learning:
-Our kids need SPACE. Seven hours a day they are surrounded by peers, and are getting excellent reports about their behavior, daily. But when they come home, they are so burned out of being so stinken good, and it's been vital that they have time to unwind, alone. (They don't always want to, so it's sometimes a challenge to enforce that Pierson for instance, eat a snack and play in his room or the family room, if even for five minutes--alone.) If they don't do this though, they are at each other's throats tenfold, and meltdowns begin QUICK.
-They need extra attention. This can mean lots of extra hugs, holding one or both of them on my lap to hug them tight; or it can look like stopping everything to do a dance party because they are craving fun with ME.
-Both of them are changing, and drastically. For instance, Pierson is turning into like, a real KID. He has been so upset with me numerous times because I haven't been able to understand his emotions and where he's coming from--This week I literally asked my husband to help mediate our conversation because I was on the verge of either laughing or just sobbing! And Reese is riding the line of wanting to do everything by herself + still wanting MOM 24/7, so as you can imagine, that's tough.
-Immune systems are being tested. The kids had in-home childcare their ENTIRE lives. Within the last year they started going to the YMCA childcare when we would work out, but that's obviously not the same thing as school. Reese is going on her second round of illness and is currently in bed next to me with a 101° fever. I'm 99.9% sure that Pierson will end up with it too (that's what happened a few weeks ago!) but hey, fingers crossed?
-I need patience and grace as a mother and human being probably more than EVER. I think I've apologized at least fifty times for losing my temper, for snapping so quickly, and for not being the best mom that I can be to both of the kids. But outside of being a mom, I've been super slow to respond to emails, forgetful of deadlines and social media posts, and that is SO NOT ME. Grace, upon grace, upon grace, upon more grace- right?
-My husband is a Superhero. But really. Through it all, (including me having a literal breakdown because I was SO sick of driving and being in traffic) he's been my rock. He helps me get organized, breaks things down for me when I'm feeling overwhelmed, and ALWAYS asks how he can help. He's all our stronghold, and on top of being an amazing husband, he is an incredible father.
-Never compare. My son is five years old, and I currently have a classroom of TEN 5 and 6-year olds. This is brand new for me, I have NEVER taught that age level, and to be honest, I've been overwhelmed the entire six weeks I've been at this. At first it was confusing to me how my 5-year old could be so different from others, and I've finally realized my own ignorance. I call that class 'my babies,' because they are my babies for an entire morning. While my kindergartner can sit in his chair, be quiet, and follow classroom rules, these ones need a lot of help and guidance to learn those expectations. Not all of them have stable households or a mother or father who has helped them learn this school stuff. Asa has always helped me by saying, "They are someone's Pierson." So I treat them like they are my own. I get down on their level, talk quietly when I need to, speak firmly when it's clear the tone needs switching, I tickle and hug and dance, daily. Did I mention they are all boys right now?! Oh what a learning curve, but I'm realizing now what a gift this can be.
-The grass is greener where you water it. This was actually part of a lesson at church this summer and it has really stuck with me. I love the environment that I'm in teaching wise now. The staff is so great and supportive, it is warm and inviting, and I adore the other teacher next to me. We have great assistants, and really, I do see why God moved me there. The same phrase is true within community though as well. Instead of wishing for anything different, I am embracing the friendships we have NOW, the fellowship and community where we have been planted. And most importantly, my family is my rock. I hope to continue growth as a mother and a wife, and 'watering' that part of my life is THE most important.
Last year I was blessed to take five months off of work to stay home with the kids, but I knew I would be going back to the 'working mom' life. I feel like being a working teacher mom has its' own set of difficulties, but I also know that right now, it's where God has called me. I am enjoying blogging when I can, participating in partnerships with some pretty awesome companies, and posting to Instagram here and there.
If you've made it this far in the post, serious kudos to you. I've love to hear from you! What are some things you've learned as a mom so far this year? Do your kids go to public or private schools? Are they homeschooled? Tell me about it! Write a comment below or shoot me an e-mail, I love the community built within this space and I will *always* respond!
Happy weekend, y'all!