I feel dishonest of sorts. You see, while I have shared about the challenge Kindergarten has presented to us, I have failed to tell you how it has utterly, totally slayed me. I slam out my mornings in a vigor known only to moms terrified of misstepping the intricate school system and then, by the time lunch is squared away and I demand “rest time” of my kiddos out of desperation, I too am passing out come 1pm.
As I watch my professional life slide to the wayside and laundry pile up to my eyeballs, I feel stymied. Will I ever find order again? More importantly, will I ever remember to restock on mouthwash at the grocery store or am I destined to a life of halitosis?
I am tired. My feet flail in efforts to find the ground and truly, the notion of a routine fled somewhere between the folds of preschool drop-off and Kindgergarten pick-up.
Also there is Letter L Show-N-Share day. Good gracious. Why do we not have a stuffed ladybug readily at our disposal??
Vulnerability, true in state, can be a tricky thing. Very few people are a safe landing spot, but when I shared my current disaster with a kindred spirit, she encouraged me, “Treat this like you did the early days.” You know–the post-hospital days of horror, when you had no clue how tomorrow would figure itself out. When you just had to trust that somehow, it would figure itself out. That things would somehow start to make sense.
That if you just put one foot in front of the other, circumstances might start to sort themselves.
I have no idea why the emotional, physical, logistical, and social impact of this transition has been so traumatic for me. For us.
That’s not totally true.
I have learned that big events in my life, post mom-dying, tend to bury me. I lose all sense of logic, tend to burn things, and self-destruct in a cloud of unorganized grocery store lists and random Kohls promo codes. Honestly, I think this disorder might prevail even if my mom still lived–chaos is a natural state for me.
But…but. I recognize it. I get up every day, hopefully mix up my protein shake and fantasize that today will be The Day. The Day That I Finally Get It Together.
It will not. I will likely remember Show-n-Share and pick my son up on time. I will remember to feed my babes apple slices with their lunch and push water intake. I will then pass out post-lunch. But, God-willing, I will manage to tackle one small thing on my to-do list. It will not be a big thing, but the important thing is that I will have tried.
I will have put one step in front of the other.
Even when I didn’t know where that step should go.
Even when I didn’t know what the road would look like, where it was going, or what kind of footwear would be appropriate.
Even when I was scared, confused, and overwhelmed.
At least I made the step.
Image credit: depositphotos.com, ID:53667609,c opyright:miramiska
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Kathy Radigan says
I love that your friend compared the beginning of the school years to the early mom days because I found it to be a similar transition. As for homework, I sort of see it as Momwork, not that I don’t think it’s important, it is. But I think it trains us as much as it does our kids. I’ve been doing the school thing now for 10 years now and it still takes me a week or two (or month) to get my sea legs!!! I love that you are putting one step in front of the other, and I love that you are sharing your struggles so others know they are not alone!!! xoxox
Kathy, this comment was so helpful. I am glad I’m not alone in struggling with this and I love what you said about Momwork and it training us–too true! I feel like we all have to make this adjustment together. Thank you.
Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says
I am struggling this week, too. I can’t even blame it on kindergarten, new schools, or potty training. Mine are in 7th, 4th, & 2nd grades – same schools, same friends, sam routines that we should have under control since they are the same as last year. However, this week, our third week of school, I am so mentally out of it. It’s only Wednesday and I have already forgotten and appointment, showed up to my kids piano lessons at the wrong time, and, thanks to a healthy dose of PMS, cried & yelled far more than I have smiled and hugged. I keep saying to myself, “Get it together Lisa!!” but i like this advice better. One foot in front of the other. That’s probably all I can muster right now.
Ugh! Sorry to hear you are struggling so too, Lisa. I think it has to be an adjustment no matter what age our kids are–this is tough stuff! Praying for both of us to sort more soon…
Cynthia Gabriele Sprouts Consignment Boutique says
It gets better, like the terrible 2s & 3s! Having raised four daughters I can attest to that but, not for a while. As you said, one step at a time, marvel in what you have done not what is to be done!
I love this, Cindy–“marvel in what you have done not what is to be done”. Thank you for this!
Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0 says
This new world is strange and hard and crazy, but we’ll make it! Really, I promise! Maybe send a ladle to school?
We will! And ladles work 🙂
Janine Huldie says
You said it perfectly Meredith and actually just told Kevin today when he called at lunch that I was so overwhelmed and still didn’t get much work done today nor the last week. I actually got more done in the summer when both my girls were home for the summer. Not even sure why, but still I feel so disorganized and no matter what steps I try to take to organize myself, still come up lacking. So, thank you so much for writing and sharing this, because I feel a bit better knowing at the very least it isn’t just me feeling like this right now. Here is to hoping the next few weeks will sort themselves out and we will get our mojo back professionally speaking.
Yes! It’s the disorganization that’s killing me–despite working so hard to be good about it. I just feel EXHAUSTED. Know you get it, friend, and xo.
I’ve been super stressed lately, too, to the point it’s effecting my health. The small victories need to be celebrated, friend. We put so much stress on ourselves, we forget how amazing we are. You are.
I have a stuffed ladybug. How long do you think shipping takes to Philly? :p
This hit home–it is affecting my health. Yes, we need to step back and figure out ways to breathe–this is too much! You are amazing too–and can you backwards-overnight that ladybug? I needed it yesterday, but I think this would work…??
Real Life Parenting says
One foot in front of the other. It’s how I’ve made it to this point: with a Sophomore and an 8th grader.
This is the perfect encouragement I need! Thank you–yes, always, always just one foot in front of the other…
Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas says
Oh, Meredith. I’m so glad I read this! I’ve been an absolute mess from the day my second child was born, and I’m terrified of what will happen when my son starts kindergarten next year. From the outside, it looks like I’ll have more time, more freedom, more wiggle room in my career…but I know that’s not going to be the case. What IS that thing where we moms, who formerly had our sh*t together, suddenly become disorganized whirling dervishes?
I thank you for sharing, and offer my only conclusion: we need our moms friends. Honest, supportive, non-judgemental mom friends. They really are one of life’s greatest gifts.
“disorganized whirling dervishes”–Wendy, I love you! And yes, let’s be friends 🙂 xoxo
Oh friend. It is just so hard when it feels like everything is falling down around you to manage the chaos. And yet, as you eloquently said, it is just one foot in front of the other until the chaos settles into ho-hum regular chaos. Sending you hugs!-Ashley
Ashley, you totally get it. “ho-hum regular chaos” would indeed be bliss right now. Thank you…
Sisterhood of the Sensible Mom says
I did not get anything accomplished for three months when my youngest went to kindergarten. I feel like we are sold a story that we will have all of this time once the kids go to school. But like you said, between the drop-offs and the pick-ups, the time shrinks. Add to that meetings, PTA, and homework and the time disappears. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and be gentle on yourself. Ellen
Ellen, thanks. This validation is so helpful–and so appreciated.
Keesha Beckford says
Kindergarten has been so hard for all of us. We had to change schools, and my son is struggling with the fact that he is a big boy, but still very far from a grown man (as am I – “Really, you’re ready to go and you don’t even have SOCKS on?!!!”). I know that one day this will seem like the easy part, as does breastfeeding, diapers and all the rest of it from this vantage point. But man, I’m with you sister – this ain’t easy!
Keesha, so true. I think our vantage point keeps shifting whatever stage we’re at. And I’m sorry it’s been so rough for you too, friend 🙁