Saturday, August 23, 2014

And Breathe

I'm seven days into the new school year. A new school year that brought lots of new changes. Chief among them is the change in time. For the last decade I've taught four, 60 minutes classes, and a half-hour intervention bell. Now, I teach five, 50 minute classes, and a 50 minute research bell. Our school day hours didn't change, so I basically have 50 minutes less each week to impart all there is to know about 8th grade Language Arts to my students...and I have 28 more students to teach. And that pesky research period to supervise and monitor. And 50 minutes less planning time each week than I previously had (you know, that time when I'm supposed to grade and plan and make copies so I don't have to stay after school to do it or come in on weekends).

I'm not complaining though. The schedule is exhausting. Being 29 weeks pregnant doesn't help. But seven days in (and with about 75% of their names learned...yes, it takes me awhile), and I know it will be okay. I just need to breathe.

We were busy at our house last week. Monday we had C's first grade orientation. Tuesday was small group. Wednesday was "take C school supply shopping day" (lucky girl doesn't start until Monday). Thursday I had my Open House and One Ordinary Dad took the kiddos to B's Open House at his preschool/daycare. Last night we had Suzuki orientation for C's school (she played violin last year, but she's going to give cello a try this year-- I'm super pumped; plus, we bought a violin, so she can still play it if she wants, but we're all about exposure to different instruments and trying new things).

My in-laws graciously invited the kiddos over for a sleepover last night. One Ordinary Dad and I got to enjoy some food truck goodness and a free jazz concert after the Suzuki orientation before we came home and collapsed. I slept hard. A good nine hours.
Today, One Ordinary Dad is giving more time to just breathe. He's picking up the kiddos from his parents' house and then taking them to the museum-- a favorite spot. I'm planning to read and rest and knit and enjoy these few hours alone.

Let's face it, sometimes we all need that time to recharge. I used to struggle and feel guilty about it. Days when One Ordinary Dad would take the kids somewhere would leave me feeling guilty that I wasn't out there with them. But the reality is that I'm a better mom when I ask for that time off every once in a while. When I tell my husband that if he could just give me some time alone to regroup, I promise to come back a better person. Sometimes this looks like him going off on adventures with our kids. Sometimes it looks like the three of them playing at home while I wander around Ikea or a bookstore. I've found this happens about every six weeks or so-- this need to recharge. I've stopped feeling guilty about needing that time, because I know it does wonders to restore my soul. I'm thankful that my husband gets this and gives me that time (don't worry, I give it to him when he needs it too).

I want to encourage any other mamas out there to not feel guilty about needing that breathing room. It's okay to ask your husband or in-laws or parents or the teenager across the street (well, you'll have to pay her) to have some fun with your kiddos while you bow out and rest. In fact, if you look in the Bible you'll remember that even God rested. Take a Sabbath. Take a breather. And don't feel guilty. You do a lot.

Thankfully this week is not full, not at all. Other than our normal small group, we will simply be getting back into the routine of school now that C will finally be back. And counting down the days until we are a family of five.

Blessings and REST to you,
One Ordinary Mom

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