First things first: I am not dead.
Second: I am *barely* surviving this working full-time outside of the house thing.
I know it's been an age since my last post, and even that post was a random placeholder to make up for the age that had passed since my previous post.... but I am still out here, just exhausted and trying to figure out how I am going to fit it all in.
The school year started for me about 3 weeks ago, with new teacher trainings & orientations & beautiful harbor cruises with my administrators. Lovely and welcoming and motivating. But definitely a reminder of all the stuff I had to get together before students arrived, which happened the Wednesday before Labor Day. So far, I love the job. I knew that I would, but it is validating to have that job satisfaction at the end of every day. The toughest part, as you might imagine, is finding any semblance of balance between work and home. I feel very fortunate that the demands of my job are, relatively speaking, not insurmountable (I am not breaking my back with physical labor, rubbing tired eyes during an overnight shift, dealing with traffic on a lengthy commute, or any other things on the long list of work-related challenges); however, I am nonetheless absolutely WIPED OUT at the end of every day. I have been putting wishes out in the universe for energy and patience and the perspective I need to make it through this transition phase, which I know will be the hardest time period of the job. And I am surviving. But barely.
Our weekdays now start at 5:15 with the beeping of Mike's alarm clock. We alternate who gets up first to take the earlier shower, and then quietly work around each other to get dressed, have breakfast, pack up our cars for the day ahead. We are in the habit of packing lunches for the three of us the night before, and having all of Natalie's daycare stuff packed in advance, too.
Somewhere between 5:45 and 6:00, Natalie's internal alarm clock kicks in and she's up for the day. Mike has to be out the door by 6:15 (he commutes an hour to his school each way), so he has been taking the lead on getting the Natster dressed and downstairs for breakfast so they can have some time together before spending the day apart. By the time Mike is out the door, our goal is to have food on the table for Natalie's breakfast. The last half hour at home before hitting the road for daycare is spent reading books and combing hair and watching Yo, Gabba Gabba if time allows.
I have to be at work no later than 7:25, and Natalie's daycare doesn't open until 7:30... so we're paying one of her teachers to arrive early and give her some solo attention while I race off to my classroom. It's worked out so far, and I aim to get us out of the house in time to spend about 10 minutes alone together in the parking lot before bringing her in to her teacher because it seems to make the transition a little easier if I'm not rushing her in.
The mornings are HARD, and I'm usually just barely catching my breath when students arrive in my classroom for the day. The workdays have flown by so far, though, and I'm truly excited about the months ahead with these students. It's been tough to leave school "on time," and I've gotten in the habit of putting in an hour or so of extra photocopying & grading & organizing to get ready for the next day. Then it's time to pick up Natalie, have some supper, maybe make a fire in the backyard, and off to bed for all of us. We've been collapsing into bed before 9 o'clock every night so far, and sleep feels So Good.
I guess I'm sharing all of this with you guys because part of me wants to prove that I have been busy and I'm not trying to neglect the blog.... as if somehow I need to prove that. I think I mostly want to prove it to myself. I've been missing my online community something fierce, and I want to set aside some time to continue nurturing this part of me that exists on BabyMooHoo, but if something's gotta give at the end of my day, it's going to be the internet, every time. My goal is to get in the habit of being a Weekend Blogger, filling you in on how this new chapter of our lives is going and trying to keep up with the exciting things going on for all of you. I miss you & this place, but I just haven't figured out how to squeeze it all in. I'm workin' on it!