This school year if off to a flying start. We have added so much to our plate. We are growing weary from our crazy schedule. Not that I have room to complain, we did choose this chaos. I have to admit, a lot of guilt played into our choices.
Last year we took it easy. No church.what.so.ever! No outside activities for the girls except an after school choir for K which was super easy because it was once a week at right after school, at school. I just worked and extra hour and picked her up. I don't think we knew how good we had it....er, I mean I totally knew how good we had it.
Anyhoo, this year I felt guilty. Guilty that we weren't making any new friendships through a church community. I felt guilty that I wasn't raising my kids to be in a church family for the last year. Guilty that I hadn't given both my girls an opportunity to do something extra like so many other moms. So....we dived in head first. We found a church that we both feel is a better fit for us. We allowed each child the choice of one extra curricular activity and then there's just our normal life stuff that has to get done in the middle. Doesn't sound like much until you actually see how it fits into our schedule.
Mon-B has soccer practice after school, housework
Tues-Free day after school except our daily housework chores
Wed-Youth group for the kids, housechores
Thurs-K has girl scouts out in the boonies 45 minutes from the house. housechores
Fri-supposed to be free but often taken by extra girl scout events, housechores
Sat-B has soccer game, grocery day, lawnmowing day
Sun-Church AM, small group PM
For some people this schedule would be a walk in the park, I've got to say for us, it just feels like a little much. I am a homebody. I don't like running around from here to there. The only free time we seem to get always seems to get swallowed up by something: play date for K with Reeds Spring friends she begged me for, shopping for clothing so my kids actually fit in their clothing, shopping for my Christmas program costumes, shopping for halloween costumes, hair cut appts, doctor appointments, a visit from family.
I am longing for a weekend of nothing! I keep telling myself this is just the season we are in and I have to accept it. I would feel too guilty to take my kids out of their activities just so I can feel less scattered. I know how selfish that would be. I know how good it is for them to have opportunities to do these things. So....I'm sucking it up and trying to put on my happy face. Just not my cup of tea.
In other news, this year at work I feel more confident than ever and yet, I am so uneasy about the changes going on in education. This year has been a year of the toughest cases with students I have ever seen in my life and the way they are being handled is just so different than the way I think they ought to be handled. Let's just say, I prefer the way problem students were handled back in the day when I was in elementary school. I NEVER saw problems in school then like I see now in school; Problems that would make you cringe if you heard about them. It makes me sad. It makes me sad all the bureaucracy that has taken over our field. It makes me sad that teachers, good, good teachers can't just teach kids but rather be consumed with paperwork and constantly consumed with teaching for testing purposes. It makes me sad that admin are being forced to evaluate good teachers down so they can show on paper that they "have room to grow." Even the evaluation of students makes me sad. Gone are the days of A's, B's, C's. It is now the days of 1,2,3 and 4's. I really hate it! Things aren't exactly black and white, they are very fuzzy and grey. It' s all...subjective.
Needless to say, it is an interesting time to be a teacher. Things have changed so much even from the time I was teaching before I took time off to be a mom. The one thing that keeps me going is that I work with such an outstanding group of professionals who love what they do and love those students, as I do, with all their hearts. We stand united in purpose. Those hugs from the littles and excitement they show when we do our fun activities keeps me going. The relationships with my older kids and seeing them grow as musicians because of my guidance keeps me going. The challenge of always wanting to get better and do better keeps me going. The joy of creating fun engaging lessons and programs keeps me going. The opportunity to give kids of poverty hope and love they may not receive at home keeps me going. All these things keep me going when all that other crap starts clouding my feelings about what I do. I'd love to think that when the day comes for me to retire I will go out on a high note, but I can't help but wonder if rather, I will leave out of frustration of it all. I will leave because the job as I knew it when I graduated college no longer exists. Boy I hope not. Just the thought of it all makes me....weary.
So anyhoo....it's been an interesting two months. Through it all, I know I am incredibly blessed and I count my blessings. I have two beautiful, smart, funny, sweet, children. I have a loving, supportive marriage and real partnership with my man. I have a nice home that fits our needs. I have a reliable vehicle that fits our needs. We have wiggle room in our budget that we didn't have for years before I worked. We have an adorable ham of a cat that I adore. We have a church that I think we can finally call home. We are making new friendships in our church. Our children LOVE church so much one of them actually cries when we don't go. We are all healthy. We have a supportive family. We both have jobs that we love and provide for our needs. We have wonderful neighbors that are part of our family and support system. We live in a beautiful area of the world that offers a lot for us to do as a family.
So in this monstrosity of a post I end on this. Through the busy chaos of our life choices at the moment, through the waves of change in what I do, I hold fast to God and and know that it is all part of his plan and he's got it all under control. Can I get an Amen? LOL.