As a new mom, we are often told that "this too shall pass" or "you are in a demanding season of parenting right now" as a way of encouragement to get through the exhausting early days of parenting infants and the endless running of a toddler.
When Caleb started school last fall I found myself in a frustrating state of spending an extensive amount of time behind the wheel of my car shuttling. Buckling little ones in and out of car seats, nap times interrupted for car pools, and inconsistent meal times became a new norm. I often told myself "this too shall pass."
As it turned out, Caleb wasn't ready for school just yet and neither was I ready to move into that season of motherhood! Yet now, I find myself here again. Shuffling, buckling, and transporting for a good portion of each afternoon, with no passing in sight.
I think I am ready now, to embrace this new season of motherhood in our family. While I am not into super scheduling kids, my older boys are beginning to have needs that cannot be met fully within the home. Without a homsechool community, Aidan particularly, needs opportunities to be around his peers and away from home. My image of a home where brotherly companionship is enough is not a reality right now for my energetic, athletic, and super social almost 9 year old.
That was hard for me to let go of.
Equally hard was letting go of the ideal that I could somehow completely meet Caleb's additional needs alone. I am not a speech or occupational therapist or a psychiatrist. While we have finally found providers for these roles that see my place as vital to his growth and success (and respect our decision to homeschool), I cannot do it without them. This all translates into more shuffling, buckling and transporting.
Intermixed into this new reality is the fact that my husband is coming close to being ABD (all but dissertation) and the demands on his time are becoming more and more....well, demanding! He will be less available this year to help me with our scheduling and appointment running.
So we enter a new season.
One where I pray daily that Lucie will travel as well as her big brother Logan did as an infant, as we learn to deal with the overlap of the infant/toddler and big kid stages. A season of planning ahead for snacks in the car and learning to work around those stolen naps come bedtime. This might be a season where our family enjoys breakfast together each morning (Praise God Tim's schedule is at least that flexible!) and dinner becomes more free form.
I have heard of so many homeschooling families that find they have to say no to some opportunities, even good opportunities, simply to preserve their home life. As I turned down a dinner invitation for this weekend, I am beginning to understand. As a new mom I cherished those opportunities to "get out of the house", and in many ways I still do, but although I was slow to realize it I do not ned them in the same way I once did. What I now find myself craving is time for just the 6 (soon to be 7!) of us, and when we can find it, time for just Tim and I. This is when my recharging happens.
Tim and I have spent much time this summer discussing our priorities for activities and the needs of each of the members of our family, balanced with time and finances. We will busy, but I think with lots and lots of grace we will adjust to this new normal!
A new season to be sure.