If you haven’t read my Decision to Go Back to School you may what to read that first. I wanted to discuss the transition of getting my family ready for this chapter in my life (our family life). Now, I always knew that my time at home would come to an end. I am sure my husband wanted it to happen sooner than now. But everything works out in there own time. I am not lie and say it was easy, because it was not. However, there are some things I did prior to now that helped. So, here are something we had to do to get ready for my transition back to school.
We had to work out the car situation. We have one vehicle for family transportation and one vehicle my husband uses strictly for work. This has been our norm since we had kids. In fact, we sold my Honda Civic just before I went on bedrest because 2 car seats were not going to fit in a 99 Honda Civic. While on bedrest, my husband’s priority besides working was to find a car. He got a Sky Blue Cadillac Deville that some woman wanted to get rid off at a bargain price. This pregnant mamas was shocked. All I have known was Honda Civic my whole driving career and this Cadillac was long and big and not a subtle color.
Somehow, we have always had one family car because usually I am with the kids and if we all need to go somewhere then it is one car. Andy’s work truck is for working and not suitable for kids. I always drop the kids off at school and picked them up after school. That was going to have to change because I could not do that every day.
We discussed the options of after and before school care, bus options and other after school care options outside of school and then we looked at our budget. This helped us decide which options would work best for us and for the kids. I was also able to ride share with some classmates who lived close to our in the direction of home or clinical. I just asked in one class and we made arrangements. So, on the days when I had to leave way before the kids had to go to school (5:30am), Andy could take them to school.
Another thing, that I worked on was the kids morning schedule. One thing about me, I am not a morning person. I joke that I was a morning person once in my life for one semester at college (for my first degree) and that was it. When the kids started preschool, I was late half of the time, but I wasn’t the latest parent 😏. Preschool was just a time period to figure out how to get these kids ready and on time while figuring out my life as morning person.
If you have heard of sleep training, I morning trained my kids. It took 2 years to do. First, I figured out a routine the first year and locked it in the second year and the third year til now, I am golden. I usually wake them and then I can head back to sleep for another 45 min and they get dressed, eat and do everything they should in the morning to get ready for school. I get up when it time to drop them off. So, when Andy has to take over in the morning he has nothing to do. It’s a turn key operation.
One of the hardest things was letting go of cooking. We ate out at restaurants a lot. Marco’s pizza knew us when we drove up. Wendy’s drive thru knew me well – Strawberry Lemonade no ice please. Chick-Fil-A can I have #1 please. La Hacienda, is that a pitcher of margarita? So, we did develop some bad eating habits, but I always tried to make sure my kids had some veggies. As the cook and mama, it’s hard to let go but I needed to so that I can focus on studying and the end goal. This was not going to be forever, but just a period of time.
Another hard thing was no more free time like before. We were used to trips camping and visiting friends. Going to the pool in the summer for 6 hrs and doing road trips. We fit in one camping trip and went to see my sister a few times to see my nephew. The kids went to summer camp for the first time. So, that was interesting transition.
So, having a new baby in the family helped. Going outside for walks or having the kids ride their bikes and squeezing short trips to the YMCA. Encouraging the kids to embrace the new things as I was embracing the new chapter and Andy was being placed in a new role. We made it the first year. The transition did not completely smoothly, the family life is not always a smooth ride.