Friday, October 7, 2016

A new phase of motherhood

The last few months have been really hard for me as a mom and just for our household in general.

Kimmy and I have had a huge routine adjustment. We've transitioned from having our awesome babysitter and her 2 sons in our home every day to earlier mornings of getting ready for school and work together and rushing out the door. In addition to preschool, we've added in dance class (and an inevitable fast-food dinner) on Thursday nights. We don't get home until 5:30pm most days and 7:15pm on Thursdays. Dinner happens soon after we get home. Then it's bath, books, and bedtime with lights out at 8:00pm. We're exhausted. We're cranky. We have a hard time listening attentively. We lack patience with each other. There are lots of apologies. Days are long and full.

But we're happy.

Kimmy is learning so, so much at school. She knows all her letters and can count to 20 (higher with my help). She asks me to spell every word under the sun, and she's starting to read beginner sight words with repetition. We read all the time, and she's so very interested in it. I love watching the gears turn behind her eyes. Oh, and she gets a TON of playtime. I really love her school.

Our life is filled with book fairs, kids' birthday parties, stacks of preschool artwork, playdates with school friends, long Saturdays of errands, and a messy house we're never in, except to sleep.

I guess I didn't realize how quickly it would happen once Kimmy started school and new activities, but I'm finally making friends in this town. This has been my biggest challenge in Bloomington--since it's a college town, people come and go and move on to different states and places in their lives. It's hard to make and keep friends because before you blink, they're done with this town and off and away. I haven't clicked with anyone in a close friends type of way until now. It's such a relief! Our next door neighbor and her kids rock; we have a ton in common. I know a few dance moms. I know a handful of school moms. I don't feel so isolated anymore! It's really nice to have a few people who are in the same phase of life with me. The introduction and hand-shaking phase is awkward at first (just like networking, which I suck at), but the rewards are great. I'm really excited to ride this wave.

Anyway, I'm just thankful for this phase of motherhood. My heart has been wavering a bit lately between trying to pull me back home to WV (where my friends and family and the great outdoors are, but where jobs and good benefits and a liberal mentality are not) and staying here. Now that the dullest part of my life is filling out a bit, I think I'll stay awhile--at least until I'm done with grad school.

Bloomington will forever be the place I remember as my growing place, no matter where I end up. This is where I found myself again and where I chose to plant my feet firmly, even when the soil was slippery wet. One day I'll look back on these challenging few years and smile knowing that I got to a place where the stress isn't quite so heavy, all while taking it in stride. If I've got one thing going for me, it's grit.

Now if I could just find the time and motivation to get in shape. Or maybe that's in a season up ahead, too.