Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Change of plans

You know how sometimes you think you've got everything all figured out and everyone is on the same page, and then all of a sudden you realize everyone isn't happy and plans need to change? I'm sure every parent can relate. That's been my family this last week and the mom guilt is strong with this one. Remember my post back in May when I talked about pulling the kids out of school with the intent to homeschool them? About that...

Everything was fine until last week when we decided to drive around town looking for a park to play at. We only knew of one right by us, and when we'd tried to go the week before it was barricaded off with caution tape and they were re-laying some bark chips around it. Instead of the park, I had the bright idea of driving by one of the elementary schools to see if they had a decent looking play area, and that's when saw it: the back to school extravaganza. 

The parking lot was packed and the surrounding streets were lined with cars and people walking toward the school. There were folding tables set up with big balloons and lines of families at each table. The playground was crawling with little kids and parents clustered around it, some filling out paperwork. We drove slowly, gawking at the festivities, and I said into the rear view mirror "Well, I guess we're not playing here tonight. Aren't you glad you guys aren't in one of those lines right now?" I thought for sure I'd get a resounding "Yeah!" from both of them, but instead they were silent and were giving each other sideways glances while avoiding my eyes in the mirror. I couldn't believe it. "You wish you were going back to school next week?! I yelled into the mirror. "But we're homeschooling!" I couldn't believe they were acting as though they suddenly wanted to go back to school and were missing out on something. I was actually really annoyed. I told them the park was canceled, and instead we hit up the McDonalds drive-thru and went home to eat and figure out what the heck we were going to do about school. 

Long story short- my kids liked the idea of homeschooling but were missing the daily kid-to-kid interaction. What I was doing for them socially wasn't enough- something I was painfully aware of. I knew this part of homeschooling was going to be especially difficult for me. I'm a homebody. I'm not super social and I'm OK with staying home a lot of days. I like the occasional outing and I do get out to run errands and meet up with friends with kids for fun stuff. But not enough for my two older ones, apparently. And being in a totally new town (in an oddly kid-less neighborhood) they want the opportunity to be around kids their age on a daily basis, and I get it. I really do.

I told them if they wanted to enroll in public school here in our new little town I would be OK with it. As soon as I contested to enrolling them they both cheered up and started excitedly talking about back to school, which further reaffirmed the decision for me.

I thought we were all on the same page with homeschooling, but somewhere along the way these last few months they changed their minds. And you know what? That's OK. I tried fighting it at first, but why? It's not what they want now that we are here, and honestly, it's not what I want right now either.  There's no need for mom guilt here. We still have a lot going on, even with the dust finally settling from our move. I'm still really stressed out. I just started seeing a therapist myself. Maybe me being home with all four kids all day and being solely in charge of their education isn't the right fit for me us at the moment. Under normal circumstances? Maybe. But right now? These aren't normal circumstances. I kind of knew this months ago, but I fought it hard because homeschooling was the plan we'd made and I felt like I couldn't back out of it. I'm letting it go though, for now at least. Plans change. Goals are reevaluated. I think school here in our new town will be good for them. We know we aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so it's a great opportunity for them to make some good friends I hope!

In other exciting news, I also decided enrolling Harper in preschool was a must! I think it will be really good for her to be around other four year olds and learn to take direction from other adults (because who wants to listen to mom?) It's just 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, and she's going to love it. We went to her first open house night to check it out and of course she loved the playground the most, haha.

I'm looking forward to the one on one time I'll be getting with Josiah during those few hours she's gone. He just started back up doing occupational therapy (OT) at his new pediatric center closer to home and he has a new speech evaluation next week to see what our next steps are. The time at home with me will be great for him and the goals we've set for his development. It can be overwhelming having so many people at home all day and it gets really loud and chaotic which frustrates him. Some quiet time with mommy will be so good for him (and me).

I'm really looking forward to this new routine. I think it's exactly what everyone needs right now in this moment!

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