Monday, September 17, 2012

Things are Getting Wild and Woolly…

I was starting to think it was never going to get here. September. The first day of school. The advent of being able to ship the kids off to school for a nice, steady six hours out of the day. 

Mr. A is on his second year of Middle School. Princess C is in fourth, and G-Money is now a second grader. We’ve been doing this whole “school” thang for a while now. This year, however, we’re shaking things up a bit. We’ve tossed the joy of afterschool daycare into the mix.

For the last six years, I’ve worked from home as a marketing copywriter. While the convenience of working from home has made working and raising kids much, much easier, there are a couple of bumps I didn’t expect when I first started out.

Quite frankly, that industry is wearing. Me. Out.

So. Starting next week, I’ll be working a 40 hour week at the nursing home down the street. Neither the job nor the pay are particularly glamorous, but I’m looking forward to it.Being around people all day. Doing a job that doesn't focus on increasing the bottom line. Don't get me wrong, I've loved working in marketing, but it’ll be a change of pace that I am quite desperately in need of.

The flip side, of course, is that I need someone to run herd on the kids when they get home from school. Their dad works from home, so he’ll be here in case of emergencies or sick days, but his hands are pretty full during the day. Three kids rampaging through the house is a little past his productivity quota.

So. G-Money is staying with a friend of ours who has an in-home daycare. He’s there every day until five. The first couple of days were rough, but he’s slowly settling in. Our friend’s son is usually quite devastated when it’s time for him to leave, so that’s made things a little sticky.

Princess C is doing the afterschool program at the school until 5:30 each night. They keep her hopping-dance and karate and arts and crafts and swimming and outdoor time, on top of that whole homework thing. She’s coming home tired and a little cranky, but I figure that’s not awful. Just means they’re keeping her running. She’ll get used to the longer days soon enough. 

Both of the younger two have had mixed emotions about their new afterschool arrangements. On one hand, they’re enjoying themselves. On the other, they miss those afterschool hours with mom.

Not so much so with my oldest. Mr. A is flexing his wings (and his independence) by coming home after school. He gets his own snack, is responsible for his own homework, and gets to decide what to do with his time after that. We had a little trouble getting him to settle in and actually DO the work the first day or two, making me very glad we started this routine before I went back to work. That way, I could actually be here to help him through it.

The flip side to all of this daycare happiness? Our evenings are a lot more rushed. The kids have afterschool activities, which means I often pick up the younger two and have a half an hour (or less) to get them where they need to go. Late dinners and skipped baths aren’t the end of the world, but with dance on Monday and Wednesday and Tae Kwon Do on Thursday, we’re going to be doing some serious running. Last week was a bit of a fail in the efficiency/finding our groove thing. I’m hoping this week will be better.