Transition – When the Kids are all in School
I have been home raising babies for years. My oldest will be eight years old in just a few weeks and my youngest four. I’ve been home with all of them since they were born. And, when I say home I mean there were days upon days I probably never stepped foot out of my house. With three small children very close in age it took me awhile to gear up for that kind of thing. And, I have had two babies born in November right before the long winter so taking them all out into the cold and snow was never hight on my list of priorities.
Well, that has all changed. I don’t even think twice about getting them all into the van with me to do anything. Go grocery shopping, sure! Go run errands all over town, why not? And I feel like we have really turned the page here with how we get around as a family of five. They can get in and out of the car on their own and help one another. Most days it is smooth sailing managing their schedules and now it is more managing their moods.
So now that they are not needing me as much to do all the little things for them I sometimes wonder what is next for me. Like, what is my place while they are doing their thing? I’m still carpooling everyone around so the Mom Taxi service will never be at a loss. Our time is so short Monday thru Friday. I see them when they wake up until when they get on the bus or I drop them off. And then again in the late afternoon after school in-between activities, dinner, and before bedtime. I think maybe a total of 3 or so hours a day. I have the most time with Anthony since he is in school just three days. I like that I have the flexibility to volunteer for other activities at their schools and spend more time with them. I’m here to drop something off to them if they forget it at home like a water bottle or show and tell stuffy!
I don’t know if I mentioned it on here or not, but last year I started to volunteer a lot of my time back to the kids school and activities. I am a co-treasurer of the school PTO, I also am the co-chairperson for the book fair and I took on the giant that is Girl Scout cookies sales for Gabriella’s Daisy troop. I enjoy all of my time spent doing these things because it gives me more time with my kids. But, I took all of these things on without thinking about how I really wanted to manage my time once my kids were in school. I like to spend time at their school and I like to spend time with the other moms who volunteer. It has been a great way for me to make new friends here in Connecticut and not just rely on playdates and my kids making friends so I can chat with those moms.
My latest venture in volunteering has me co-leading Valentina’s Girl Scout Daisy troop. I’m currently taking the course to be a troop leader. I was hesitant to take on another thing, but Valentina really wants to be a scout just like her sister and there was no troop for the incoming kindergarten class. So, when another mom mentioned she would co-lead with me I felt like I had to do it. I was a Girl Scout too and I loved everything about it and I didn’t want Valentina to miss out on an opportunity.
I remember so many people telling me, “Just wait, soon they will all be in school and you’ll have time to yourself!” Well, that time has come and it is different than I expected although I don’t know what I really expected. If that makes any sense. I know I’m probably rambling but these are the thoughts swirling in my head – sometimes in the middle of the night!
Have you reached this phase of life with your own kids? What did this transition look like for you? I’m sure as time goes on and Anthony goes to kindergarten next year my free time will evolve again.