So now that I’m seriously focused on my job search, or actually have narrowed down my focus and determined my plan of action, my life seems to have gotten crazy, kid-wise. The past week was non-stop. Today is Labor Day (actually, after I go to sleep and wake up it will be, but technically it’s after midnight, thus it’s the holiday). School starts for my kids on Thursday. And for the first time all summer, I am seriously ready for it to start. I will actually have real time again to do those freelance jobs and search for new ones without having to do the work late at night or while juggling kids’ activities. YAY! I can’t wait!
Of course, I’ll miss (as always) the relaxed pace of our days, the fun of summer activities, the beach, you name it. Bedtime is usually the one thing I’m consistently strict with (not that I’m not strict about anything else, but bedtime is usually a no-fail barring exceptions for activities, homework, etc). However, in the summer, on days when there’s nowhere we have to be early, I’m a pushover. Which means, I’ll also have more time at night, once the kids go to bed! Another YAY!
That is definitely balanced, however, with homework, the true evil of the school year. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for homework – I rarely think they have too much. I think it’s a very important part of the learning process. The issue is with my daughter. She HATES doing homework. Mind you, it’s not because it’s too hard for her – she’s a very smart girl (takes after her mom there) and when she sits down and focuses on the work in front of her, she generally breezes through it without much trouble. I love those nights! On those nights, she finishes early enough that we can all sit and play a game or watch a tv show or do something together. On those nights, I don’t feel like a slave-driver or a warden, and I’m not pulling my hair out by the time I put her to bed. I am just a regular, tired, happy mother. Which, by the way, is a great thing to be!
However, as I said, my daughter is my mini-me. While I don’t remember not wanting to do my homework when I was younger, I do remember how I didn’t do too much more than what I had to do to get by. I was very blessed with intelligence, which I completely didn’t believe at the time. I could get by making mostly Bs with some As and some Cs without studying too hard. So I did, and managed to stay in honors classes all the way through college. When I look back now, I wonder what I could have accomplished had I ever really applied myself (I will say that I think my last semester in college I decided to really apply myself and it was amazing how much more I got out of my classes, except for that business calculus class, that is!). My mother was constantly on my case about my grades, even though they weren’t bad. She just knew they could be so much better. Of course, that was when I was older than my daughter is now. I’m wondering if she put that parent’s curse on me – you know the one – where you tell your kids that one day they’ll have kids just like you?
While I can’t complain yet about my daughter’s overall grades, I do know in certain subjects (like spelling – I’ve always been great at spelling – why didn’t she get that gene?!) I have to really stay on her and make sure she not only does the required homework, but actually studies the subject matter before her tests. I’m hoping that since she’s going into middle school, which they SAY will make the kids much more independent (I can hope, right?), she will take more responsibility for sitting down and doing all of her homework without me constantly looking over her shoulder to remind her to focus and do it. She also takes great pride in making honor roll and earning good grades, so hopefully this past year’s successes will be an impetus.
So along with the homework, the school year starting also brings all of the activities and varied schedules. I become Mom Taxi again, more so than in the summer (although I’ve gotten used to it with daily football practice for the last few weeks). But at least practice is down to 3 nights a week plus a weekend game, instead of 5 nights a week plus a game. So I’m looking forward to seeing what the school year brings. PLUS, I’m looking forward to getting back to working regularly. Not to mention getting back into a regular routine. I love those days where there’s nothing we HAVE to do, but I actually get so much more done when I have more to do, if that makes any sense.
So after 3 more days, I’ll have a tease of both freedom and routine, and a chance to get used to our new schedule with one in elementary and one in middle school (different time schedules). Of course, the first 2 days are half days, which is why it’s a tease – they like half days but I prefer full days. That will come soon enough. Along with the endless homework, activities, birthday parties, etc.
Upon reflection, I think we’ll have to spend the next two days being lazy and enjoying the end of summer – maybe go to the beach on Tuesday (I try to avoid it on holidays – too crowded). I need a couple more days of fun with my kids without the pressure of school to hold me over until the next break.
Live, laugh, love – it’s what makes it worthwhile!