Friday, August 23, 2013

The One Where The Not-So-Little-Bugs Go Back To School

The calm and balanced mind is the strong and great mind; the hurried and agitated mind is the weak one. –Wallace D. Wattles

Yesterday was the first day back to school for the Not-So-Little Bugs. I wrote this post all day in my head yesterday, but there just wasn't a minute to squeeze in actually typing it out. The moment has almost passed and this post is almost irrelevant, but I wanted to capture at least a little of what I was thinking of yesterday, because I'm still thinking some of it today.

This is Grasshopper. Yesterday was his first day of 8th grade. I remember being in 8th grade. I can hardly believe I have an 8th grader.

This is LadyBug. Yesterday was her first day of 6th grade. I can remember being in 6th grade too.

And this is me on my first day of being the mother of a 6th grader and an 8th grader. {Sidebar: I didn't decide we were taking milestone photos until after Mr. Bug had left for work yesterday and he didn't get/ignored my text requesting that he snap a selfie and e-mail it to me.}

I never was one to get teary when my kids went to school. In years past I may not have been excited about it, but the reason for that is that we had to get back on a regular schedule with early mornings, strict bedtimes and homework. Leading up to the start of school this year, I was ambivalent. Staying on top of homework was at the top of my list of anxieties. In the perks column, with school back in I get to sleep in between thirty minutes and an hour every morning and I'm so over a 9:00 pm bedtime. {Sidebar: I considered keeping an earlier schedule in order to have a little sewing time in the morning, but I know myself and I would never be content with the amount of time available and would be grumpy to have to put away my project to go to work. Work first, then play seems to work best for me.}. And now that school has started and I've had two guilt-free work-days in a row now where I haven't had to worry about the Not-So-Little Bugs being alone, trying to mediate disputes or meet needs over the phone, and making it home well before they get out of school so that I can have a bit of time to decompress after work has been a huge relief. And that trumps tricky homework schedules any day.

If there hadn't been a need for it, I don't think I would have ever chosen to go back to work when my kids were this young. It has been hard, but it has also been good. My hours at work kind of grew to more than I expected, though, which was very stressful where the balancing act is concerned. At the beginning of the summer I asked to reduce my hours back to what I'd been hired for. I hoped that I could keep them steady at that level even after summer, and it looks like it is going to work out on both ends. A coworker who is a single mom needs more hours in order to qualify for health benefits so she has been picking up the slack for me. And the reduction in wages that accompanies fewer work hours hasn't pinched our budget too much. Finding the right balance has been hard for me over the last several years. At the risk of jinxing myself, I think I've maybe got it. At any rate, I'm glad the kids are back in school.

Speaking of which, they should be home any minute now and I want to hear all about their days.


Shay said...

First day back at school is always exciting. (for Mum's and Kids !)I cant believe how fast the Summer has gone for you guys. It seems like all the kids just went on Summer Vacation.

Take it from someone who works full time and has for the last 28 years- balance is always elusive !

Jennifer Lovell said...

Such mixed emotions for back to school time. We have a 7th grader and an 8th grader here--high school is just around the corner for both of us! Sometimes I just feel giddy that my kids have survived this long, let alone me, ha ha :).

Your hair looks so pretty and long in this picture of you! And, I'm not used to seeing you without glasses. Your eyes are so pretty here, too.

Love ya!

Paulette said...

Gotta love those first day of school pics (yours too, what a great idea, and you look marvelous!). Yep, one wonders where the time goes and how they grow up so fast.

I am glad to hear your negotiations on the work-life balance may be long term. It is so important to strike a happy medium. Good for you!

Vicki said...

All 3 of you look great, your hair is so long! Maybe I'll take a picture of myself on my first day of being a mom to an 8th grader and a 4th grader. (In 12 days.)

I appreciate your thoughts about working outside the home, too. I am ambivalent about my SAHM status but still feel like it's best for my kids (and I know I'm lucky to be able to be home with them.)

I hope you guys all have a great year!

Richard Healey said...

Oh the joys of school. With 3 in school one at college I am feeling old. I am glad to hear you survived the first day of school. My wife takes it much harder then me to drop them off. Now if I could just get off work before they got home that would be nice.