Figuring it out as I go would be a good way to describe my September. Each week has presented different factors that haven’t allowed me to settle into a new routine yet. Day by day I’m figuring it out as I go knowing that tomorrow will be completely different. Not a lot of a stability. However unsteady I have felt this month, Jesus has been greater than my emotions, anxiety or stumbles. He has truly been my solid ground.
One big piece of the puzzle fell into place this week. Owen has started riding the bus home from school. There are many reasons why this was a good decision for our family. As long as Owen has a positive experience on the bus then this will become our new normal. I’m looking forward to having this part of my day come together in a consistent way.
Not only am I helping my kids adapt to a new schedule, I am adapting my schedule to work around them. I’m finding my new flow. Mondays will be dedicated to MOPS & MOMSnext. Tuesdays, I will volunteer in Owen’s classroom. The cool thing about Tuesdays this year is that Owen & I both have Tuesday birthdays, so we’ll get to have some extra time together on those special days. On Wednesdays I have a weekly phone date with a friend and then I teach 4th-6th grade girls at church in the evening. I have a great group of new 4th graders. I am excited for the year ahead with them. Thursdays will be coffee connection days or appointment days or errands days. It might also be a home day depending on the busy weekend ahead. I like that Thursday is a flex day. Friday will most likely be errands with Jeremy and Graham. Saturday will be a family day. Sunday is church in the mornings and growth groups in the evening. It’s amazing how each day of the week has filled in with a purpose. After the whirlwind month of September is over, I plan on using nap time to dive back into working on my book. My goal for the end of the year is to see this project move forward.
Having my kids away from me for part of the day has heightened my sense of intentionality when I am present with them. I’m making meaningful conversation with them – asking about their day, what they are learning, how they are feeling. I try stay close and offer plenty of hugs, kisses and snuggles. Owen just started having homework packets this week and I enjoy sitting beside him as he does his homework. Reading is so important to me so reading the books that the school sends home daily is a joy for me and a great connection point for Owen and I. There have been many sad feelings for me as I miss my children through this transition, but I’m also finding new ways to draw close to them and support them through their new endeavors. It’s a different season of parenting. I’m walking into it with my eyes wide open, not wanting to miss a beat. I want to use the time I have with them to the full. God is so good to me. He has drawn our family closer together through the transitions. Although it might be hard to give my kids some independence, I know that God is always with them. They are never alone. He is watching over them when they are with me and when we are apart.
One big September project that I tackled this month was purging the playroom. I went through and tossed all the happy meal toys. I got rid of anything cheap, broken, the party favor type items. I also boxed up some toys that they boys have outgrown. I hide the box of toys for a few months to see if anything is noticed and missed. When nothing is said then I donate the toys. September is a good time to do this purge since the boys’ birthdays are right around the corner. Out with the old and in with the new. If we expect more to come into the house then we need to make space by sending some out. This process is always extremely gratifying. So far no items have been noted as missing. I should be in the clear since it’s been a week now since the purge happened.
As you can see, I’m just tying to roll with it – whatever the day hands me. Adjusting to change is not easy for my personality type. Graham and I are struggling the most with the new schedule. I’m not three though so I can’t vent my emotions and fears through tantrums. I won’t lie – I’ve shed my fair share of tears through this process. My prayer life has deepened as I’ve called out to God to calm my heart, remove my anxiety and keep my boys safe. I apologize for sounding like a broken record . I’m just over here waiting for things to feel normal again. And I do realize that “normal” probably isn’t the best word. I’m waiting to feel settled and in routine. I don’t know when that will happen so until then I’m just figuring it out as I go.