Hello, September. You sure look different…

I have weird butterflies as I open the “Add New Post” page.

Is it because it’s been so long since I’ve done so? Is it because I’m not quite sure what to say? How to say? Is it excitement? Trepidation?

Blogger’s guilt?

I truly have no idea. I do know that this posts marks the end of my longest hiatus at robustorbust in the nearly seven(!) months I’ve been blogging here. This three week break was not planned. Maybe it was a “dog days of summer” thing. Maybe it was a subconscious response to the feelings of my last post. Maybe it was the result of prepping for (and decompressing from) a six-day trip to visit family back in Iowa.

I shut my laptop down and let it rest the entire time we were gone. That’s the most sleep my MacBook has gotten in the more than 2.5 years we’ve been together.

We had a great trip. Both girls traveled well. They slept well. They interacted with family. They held it together when schedules were disrupted and weathered a few car naps (and plane naps!) not too much worse for the wear. They were champs.

And now we’re home. Home feels familiar…and strangely foreign.

There is change in the air here.

The change is not a surprise. We knew some was coming. I start my two-day per week internship next week. At the end of the month I add a day of classes. And homework (bah!). I’m also keeping the support group I facilitate one night a week. Me being out of the house is not totally new (thus Dot goes to daycare) but three days is the most since D was born. Since M&M was born the most I’ve been gone is one afternoon and one evening, with a handful of weekend seminars. The change in my schedule alone is enough to leave our family reeling a bit.

Then, there have been a few surprises in recent weeks that yanked our plans from here to there and back again. My firm belief that everything happens for a reason has kept me calm[er] and allowed me to be receptive to new things, new ways, new definition of success. Rolling with the punches, if you will. I struggle with spontaneity and flexibility but I’m finding some semblance of fun in the process of creative survival. Well, I’m trying 😉

I’m being so vague. I’m sorry.

One bump in the road was my childcare grant not getting renewed. There is a long and frustrating backstory here, but what’s done is done. This resulted in a big scramble for us and will heavily impact our financial state for the next year. And of course money is convenience. It’s options. It allows you to cut corners and indulge in comforts. To be quite blunt, we’ll be missing the wiggle room.

I personally feel like the rug was pulled out under me a bit. The rug I’d been meticulously putting into place for the past two years. I had to alter the way I hoped our year was going to go and re-distribute resources and commitments in search of that elusive balance between family, work, school, self, money, leisure, and the general pursuit of happiness (and healthfulness!).

I always say the best plan is not to get too attached to any one plan. So this was a good chance to listen to myself.

And then another wrench came along. A big one. For the moment Tony will no longer be predominantly working from home. Not only does this cause us[me?] to once again scramble around like a chicken with it’s head cut off to try to meet our childcare needs (he was going to stay home with M&M for some portion of two days each week), but this rocks the structure and style of our family to the core.

He began working from home when Dot was born. There was a season during the 2009-2010 academic year that I went to school two days a week and Daddy sometimes went into the office. Dot was two and went to daycare three days a week. That was the most we’ve ran in different directions.

It’s amazing how much an extra body complicates the situation.

If it was still just us and Dot we’d have this, no problem. But M&M. She’s still my baby! I’m ready to expand my horizons but I hate that it comes at the cost of leaving her. I hate even more that we’ve fallen into the position of patching together childcare. I want better for her. I wish I’d have known to prepare for these upsets months ago. I also accept that there’s nothing to be changed now.

There’s more to be said about our situation. I hope to get to it soon. And, of course, there’s a lot of good to come from this. I know that. I want you to know that too (that there is; that I know it). Still, we’ve got growing pains.

And change is so often bittersweet.

I’ll miss this season. I’ll miss late summer and long days and “simply” stay-at-home motherhood. I’ll miss knowing what my baby ate and whether or not she pooped without having to ask anyone. I’ll miss having the option to shower and determining my own dress code. I’ll miss homemade hot lunches.

Oh, and the husband. I guess I’ll miss him too.

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