(First, I do not want any comments about how it’s going to get easier and how it’s early in the year and an abbreviated schedule and grade school is different and we’ll hit our stride and NO. I KNOW ALL THAT. BUT RIGHT NOW I’M MAD.)
When my mom homeschooled us she got a lot of questions, like are you part of a cult? Do you have a moral problem with shaving your legs? How do you handle not having any time to yourself?
No, no, and she always maintained that because homeschooling was generally focused on independent learning, she had way more time to herself than she did when she was shuttling us back and forth to school.
I would always hear her say that and go, “Great story, mom,” and just go back to crossing off days on the calendar until my kids were in school and I could go back to my previous life of being thin and fabulous and watching a lot of Netflix and knowing popular songs. Because I was told I was going to have soooo much time! My husband asked what I was going to do with myself. I thought about getting a job at a community college or maybe getting my PhD.
I mean, I’m not stupid, so I figured I’d start slow. I’d join a gym with childcare so that I could go work out during the mornings while Squeaks was in kindergarten. Once they were both full-day, then I’d tackle the advanced post-graduate work. I mean, I was going to have so much time!
What do I do all day? Well, I get up earlier than I used to, have to get myself presentable (and by presentable I have to make it look like we make at least 25k more than we do and I weigh 25 lbs less because geography), get the baby up, get the kid up, offer a plethora of breakfast options that will be rejected, make the one weird breakfast thing that isn’t rejected, cajole until she actually eats the thing, feed the baby, change the baby, change the baby again because he’s thrown up, get her in her uniform, make sure the uniform is clean, comb hair (oh GOD the hair combing) get shoes on and bag packed with a snack that she might actually eat, and in the car, drive to school, drive back from school, deal with a cranky baby who doesn’t get a nap because we have to turn around and drive BACK to school, pick up a cranky kid, drive home, get yelled at by cranky kid for the next hour and a half until she calms down (shades of my sister who was fond of yelling that she was going to wet the car), make lunch that actually has to be consumed but is healthy because we’re in school now and need energy so not mac and cheese, feed baby, clean baby up because he’s so exhausted he has rubbed his cereal into his hair, deposit him in his crib where he will sleep for about an hour and a half before he wakes up screaming because he’s overtired, try to get the kid to at least play quietly in her room for a while so I can like think about dinner and laundry (both of which will be done completely incorrectly according to the child), have the kid refuse to do so because she’s so amped up from school, and…well, I don’t even want to get into dinner and bedtime because ugh.
I’m not whining. Really. This is parenting. Mostly this is all stuff I would do no matter what. But having to do it on a schedule? And wash, rinse, repeat for the next nine months? Geez it’s a lot more work!
Once again, my mother was correct.
I really have to start realizing that earlier.
(The uniform is pretty cute though.)