Thursday, September 06, 2012
So how is it going, these first few days of the new school year and of my inaugural week as a stay-at-home mom with kids in school all day? Well, I'm so exhausted that last night I went to bed at 8 p.m., before it was even dark outside, so I must be doing something wrong.
No, really--a few nights before school began, I spent 3-1/2 hours in the middle of the night wide awake and wracked with mama-anxiety insomnia over school starting, and never caught up on that sleep. Then, every night since, I've accidentally woken up ridiculously early (like, 4:30 a.m.), been kept awake by thunderstorms in the night, or both--and because this week is stressful and new, once I'm awake, I can't fall back to sleep. In other words, by the time my children go to bed at night, I'm ready for it myself.
Not that there is truly anything to lie awake and worry about. Things have gone fine so far. Julia isn't sure the third grade is going to be much fun, since so far it seems to be largely not that much fun, according to her; and Genevieve collapses in exhausted meltdowns each evening at about 6:30, but I take those things in stride. You can't possibly love everything about third grade in two days' time; and new first-graders always have meltdowns at home in the evenings, because they're so exhausted from holding it together and working hard for seven or more hours each day at school. This is all completely normal.
As for me, the days have gone by too quickly for me to be too lonely. On the first day of school, I didn't sit down for more than a half-hour all day; yesterday, not much more. It's not that I'm working too hard; it's more that I'm working like I always do: I'm doing all the things I've always done (minus the kids' activities, of course; no, I'm not sitting alone at the playground!), and guess what?--those things do not include sitting around. I'm cooking, baking, cleaning, doing laundry, running errands, etc., all of which keep me busy and on my feet. The new addition to my daytime schedule is exercise--a luxury, getting that done during the day--and that does not include sitting around, either.
Ah, but it's only day three. Life is still fresh and new. The weekend is coming, when I will take the girls to the apple orchard and make them popcorn while we watch a movie and let them play as long as they want in a bubble bath in "Mama's big tub," because Christopher will be busy with a bike race, and we'll need fun things to do. We will relax and celebrate the first week done. We will rest up. We will go to birthday parties and playdates. We will eat dinner outside in the still-warm weather.