I was gone last week. Traveling for work, which isn’t a vacation, but not all bad either. One might think that I would be ready to soak up every moment I could with my family, but that’s not how it works for me. I want to be, do, see with them, but I’m exhausted. Being with other people exhausts me.
In my effort to escape, I took a couple hours to myself Saturday afternoon. I wanted to write and be by myself. Generally speaking, I find coffee shops a good spot to be alone. Saturday was not that way. Two women were sitting nearby talking loudly, at the same time, trying to come up with the best ideas for their girl scout troop for the next months. You read that right talking loudly to each other at the same time! Not like arguing, but just wanting to be heard more than wanting to listen. I tried putting music on, but could still hear them. It went on for more than an hour. Finally, I just picked up and left.
It feels a bit like my life right now. So much noise and nobody cares to take turns. E-mail is hitting my inbox at a rate that I cannot read and delete fast enough. Forms come home from school that are duplicate and triplicate of things that I’ve already submitted, but the teacher needs or the nurse needs and my original form went to the main office. The weather is turning and fall clothes need to be purchase. My refrigerator is empty. Then there are all the people who I want to hug and love and hear and be with, but it is all just too much and the shouting won’t stop. All important, but it can’t all be done at once.
It feels like I’m doing something wrong. I keep hearing moms say how wonderful kids going back to school is. For me it isn’t. It’s been stressful, a ton of work, and emotional. The only day I was in the office last week, I broke down to a co-worker in the ladies’ room. Her youngest is the same age as Bigs. We shared the nursing mother’s room long ago. She had given me sage advice about just buying the prepackaged school supplies, I thought maybe she could explain what I was doing wrong.
She had no explanations, only that it sucked for her too. We commiserated about the forms, fees, logins, and homework. We laughed about how her three boys have consumed every snack in their house in the hour between getting home from school and her getting home from work. She says it gets better… and then summer comes.
Lots of friends have checked in to see how the transition is going. It is going smoothly. Bigs is liking school. He is loving the bus ride. Our new nanny is fantastic and everything I could have hoped for. We are settling into the new routine. Littles still cries everyday when Bigs gets on the bus, but my husband assures me that it is getting better, because she has now stopped crying by the time she gets to school. In this case, smooth doesn’t equal easy. I want it to be easy. Real life is hard.