As a working mother, at this time of year I feel like I’m staring at the GPS of my life and it’s stuck on that all-too-familiar screen that simply reads, “Recalculating.” With new school schedules, sports schedules, activity schedules, meal times, bus times, dropoff and pickup times, homework times, and bedtimes….everything is one big tangle of newness. I don’t quite have my bearings yet; I’m venturing a guess that you might not either.
And believe me, I’m the kind of girl who cherishes having her bearings. I’m not so great at living in a state of perpetual adaptation. But that’s what September brings, so that’s my life right now. As a result, until our schedule settles into place, I’m trying things on for size but not forcing myself to make any declarations of how things will be until I’m good and ready. I’m living with the questions instead of having all the answers.
I’m watching my three munchkins wrestle with the changes, too. Except rather than living with the questions, my kiddos are looking to me to have the answers. Sometimes they don’t even ask them out loud, preferring that I infer the question from their little upturned, tear-stained faces. Other times, they actually ask.
“Why am I so hungry at bedtime?” (Because we had dinner at 5:45 – which is the only way it works before soccer – and you’re used to eating an hour later.)
“Why did we miss the bus?” (Because, for the love of God, it hasn’t come at the same time two days in a row since school started!)
“Why don’t I have a lunchbox this year? I had one last year! Remember?” (Because this year you get home from kindergarten at 11:15 and last year you were in preschool till 1:00. It doesn’t make sense to me either, honey. In fact, so far I’ve forgotten this fact – TWICE – and packed a lunch for you in last year’s lunchbox!)
“Why are my clothes all laid out in a row on the floor?” (Because I refuse to dig for matching socks at 6:45 AM. Plus, this way we stand a better than 50% chance of you putting on all the pieces of your outfit and me making it downstairs dressed, too.)
“Why can’t I play on your iPad?” (Because you have 30 minutes of reading to squeeze into the next 24 minutes.)
“What’s my Edline password? Xtramath password? Superkids password? Go Math password? Disney Junior password? Magazine drive website password? School lunch code? Bus number? Bus SEAT number?” (AAAAAARGH.)
“Why are you going to Meet the Teacher night? Didn’t you just GO to Meet the Teacher night?” (I am on my 5th event so far this month with a title that includes the words “Meet the Teacher.” I’ll keep going as long as I keep getting invited. I like teachers. Especially yours.)
“Did you really go to bed at 8:30 last night, Mom?” (Yup.)
This is not our easy season, fellow moms. Buckle up for a little turbulence till things settle out. In a few weeks, we’ll all have the hang of this and we’ll be sailing through October with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand. Pinky swear. Till then, let’s use “Recalculating” as our mantra and sneak in a little deep breathing here and there. We’ve got this.