I knew this day was coming, I just wasn’t expecting it so quickly. Over the summer, the girls and I decided to homeschool for a second year. A few weeks ago, I was in the middle of buying our curriculum when they told me they wanted to try going to school. I took a deep breath and listened to them talk through why they had changed their minds. During our conversation, I could see the excitement in each of their eyes. I knew this was our new path.
After spending the last two-and-a-half years at home with my girls, first virtual schooling and then homeschooling, the idea of them physically going to school left me feeling overly anxious. Especially since my youngest has Type 1 Diabetes. I had so many questions and so few answers. What are mornings going to look like for my late sleepers? Who will manage my five-year-old’s T1D while she’s at school? Will our afternoons be oozing attitudes and arguments from a day of overstimulation?
We are now in week three of school, and it’s been the transition of all transitions…for all of us. We are all learning and walking through it, but here are the four things that are saving my sanity right now:
Moving My Body
For as long as I can remember, moving my body has been an essential part of my life. Running, yoga, and lifting weights are my favorite, but even walking my dog brings me joy. After going through the morning rush to get the girls to school, I come home, open my Peloton App, and get sweating. For the next 40 to 50 minutes, I’m relieving any residual stress while getting stronger. I feel so much more relaxed and can handle anything my day brings after my sweat session.
Connecting with Friends
I loved having the girls with me most days for the last two-and-a-half years, but there have been days when I have had to put myself and my needs on the back burner. One of those needs is time with friends. I have had to pass on coffee dates, midday lunches, and even nightly get-togethers. Now that the girls are all in school, I can join my girlfriends for a random coffee or lunch date. I even have the time and attention to have an actual phone conversation with my girlfriends that live out of state. And occasionally, I’ll have the energy to go out to dinner or have a beverage or two with a friend in the evening.
Time For Errands & Appointments
I am a list-maker by nature and have a running list of random errands and appointments that I need to tackle. With the girls in school, I can now cross off an errand or appointment without having to bring the girls or hire a babysitter. It’s so nice to not waste brain power thinking about how I’m going to keep my girls entertained while I get my ring fixed or see my chiropractor or hire a babysitter for three hours when I’m due to see my endocrinologist.
Intentional Time with My Girls
Now that the girls are spending so much time in school, our time outside of school has become more intentional. Instead of doing chores after school, we focus on activities that create connections, like reading to each other or playing a board game. Our weekends are focused on doing things as a family: cheering on one of the girls’ sports teams, a family hike, or watching a movie together.
The transition from homeschool to public school has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. I’m ecstatic that they love school as much as they do, but I miss them dearly. I love that I can have opportunities to volunteer in their school and love on their teachers, but the after-school hangover is brutal. I know it will take us a few more weeks to get used to this routine. Until then, I’m giving us grace and focusing on the things that are saving my sanity.