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Is it back to normal?

The summer can feel a bit uncontrolled, and that can be a challenge for some of us who can really thrive on consistency.  With new camps each week or piece-meal daycare to cover days when I could not work from home, the schedule was harried and days were looooooong.

The last stretch of the summer and first weeks of September are a real blur for us.  From HTC to a week-long trip to see family back in New York, we launched ourselves right into the new school year, with just a few moments to spare.  No rest for the weary! 

Our two girls are now basically situated in their schools ans school routines, and I feel like I can come up for a bit of air. I have been able to take a sigh and deep breath in the past few days at 8:45am, or sometimes earlier, depending on how early we make it to each of their schools. 

Now that school has started and the jitters may be a little bit behind us, has your household settled into a new rhythm?  Does it feel more balanced or more "back to normal"?  Inquiring mamas want to know!


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we still have yet to discover what "normal" is, but I definitely love the peaceful feeling after I drop Everett off at school and walk home. I'm up at a reasonable hour, I'm out in the cool air, I'm going to be hitting the computer soon for a productive day...

of course that can all disappear in the space of a few minor crises, but for now, the routine is really working for me! I feel like I've discovered a new quasi-sanity. why did I never try to instill a schedule in my household back when Everett was tiny?

now if I can only get them to sleep by 9 every night...

I think I'm really off in terms of the routine and the flow of the day. Well, actually it might be fine but I feel like a wreck. I think it is probably because I teach so I just spent the whole summer with my 1 year old. It was so great. Now I hardly see her and as soon as she cries between 5-6 AM, it's like boom--the race starts. The race to get up and get ready, juggle her and get her ready, to get out the door and to work, then to get everything prepped that didn't get done the day before, shove down food, teach, teach, teach, grade, grade, grade...by 6th period I trip over every other word that tries to come out of my mouth. Then I try to race home and cram in a few "quality" hours with my daughter. Then dinner, then bath time, then get her to bed. After that, there is nothing left. The day has been sucked away. And I know all the other working mamas pretty much do the same kind of routine as this and experience the same tired, frustrated feelings that come with it. So, I guess it all IS BACK TO NORMAL! I'm not really sure how to cope over all. I had a panic attack in New Seasons. It was crazy. I felt so confined that I wanted to pull off all of my clothes and just lie down on the floor and bawl (not to mention being irrationally upset that I couldn't find the avocados). Mother Natures was closed that day and it threw my whole overscheduled world into a tailspin...and then came the grocery store freakout. What do other mamas do to stop the spiralf? Oh, and my poor spouse. It's like "spouse who?"

"Normal" really is subjective. Just trying to have a family and work full time is by nature very crazy. For the most part, you can not control the nature of your work or how pleasant your child behaves, but you can hopefully take care of yourself as well as possible. I was recently on the verge of hopelessness trying to find balance and am now just focusing on being as healthy as possible. I am no longer eating the junk food and sugar that make me feel so cruddy and I am making the time to get to the gym and/or walk most days. You might have different ways of "taking care" of yourself, but basically if you remain healthy and strong, you'll be more able to handle the rigors of the life/work balance. I hear it gets easier when the kids get older, but am not holding my breath.

For us, crazy is indeed normal, but the summer crazy is different from the school-time crazy. We now have a 2nd grader and a preschooler, and the summer was filled with one week of camp here, a week of camp there. Days off, weekend trips, out-of-towners, evening picnics, staying up until the sun goes down at 9pm -- the summer crazy is fun, but I am happy to now be the in the school-year crazy.

We are still transitioning our younger daughter to her new school (lots of tearful mornings!) The fall days are definitely a race - dinner, bath, reading - and it falls dark so early. But, I do love cozy evenings when the kids are in bed by 8pm (early for us) and when I can enjoy a few moments to clean up, fold laundry, or start packing lunches in peace.

When the kids get older, it gets easier to some extent, but now our 2nd grader is asking if she can take piano and/or drum lessons, so now we have to consider how to juggle the time, cost, and logistics of that! With any age, I think it's always something.

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