Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A New Phase of Life

August has been a month of change for our family. Each week, we’ve had someone starting school: the oldest began fourth grade, the middle started attending preschool a couple mornings a week, I started graduate school part-time, and this week my husband’s classes are beginning. Our lives are busy, but exciting.

I’m learning that without the right combination of things to keep me busy, I’m a wreck. I’m so grateful that I have been able to be home with my children while they’re young, but at the same time, my brain craves outside stimulation, something else to do and think about. I need that variety in my life; it’s refreshing and honestly it enables me to be more focused and engaged when I’m with my children. For the past seven years I have been a full-time stay-at-home mom, and I have often made myself feel guilty for wanting or needing a breather. I told myself that if I were a good mom, I wouldn’t need or even want time away from them. Please note that I held no one else to this standard, only myself!

The past year has been a whirlwind. I was solo parenting for 12+ hours a day some days while my husband was both working and going to school full time; we had our third child; we found out one of the kids has Asperger’s and another has apraxia; I’ve been taking the kids to several weekly therapy appointments. And the chaos, stress, and personal growth of the past year finally brought me to the point where I realized it was time to do something for me. It’s time to be honest and admit that yes, I want and need to do something in addition to mothering, and that is okay!

I am already seeing that I actually accomplish more when I’m busier, partially because I simply have more things that need to be done, and partially because I am forced to manage my time better.

I am so excited about the growth and future possibilities for our family. My husband and I are both preparing for careers we will love, I am taking steps to get back in shape (more on that later!), we are preparing to put our house on the market, and the kids are making huge improvements thanks to speech, occupational, and physical therapies. After a few years of feeling stuck in several aspects of life, things are looking up.

I am hopeful. :)

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