School Daze

The boys on their first day of school.

The boys on their first day of school.

I always imagined life would be a little easier once both kids were in school.

Not so.

On one hand, this school year has been very exciting for our oldest son.  He started Kindergarten, something he equates with being a “big kid.”  He also has two new teeth coming in behind his bottom middle teeth.  Yes, he now has two rows of teeth on bottom, shark style.  (Supposedly the roots of the baby teeth will soon dissolve and the teeth will fall out.)  And to top it all off, he just turned 6. Life is good for him.

Kindergarten has also brought some challenges.  He had to learn how to grip a pencil the proper way, something that didn’t come naturally to him.  And all Kindergarten parents know about “sight words.”  So our evenings can be pretty busy.

On the other hand, our youngest son has had to deal with some big changes in his life.  He started Pre-K 3 this year (half day).  Then, just as he was adjusting to his new schedule, my husband was offered a full-time job.  (He’d been home for 6 years as a stay-at-home Dad.)  It is an understatement to say that our “baby” is not happy about this.

My husband leaves the house at 4:40 a.m., so that leaves me to get both boys up and ready on time for school.  An exhausting feat on it’s own.  Then I head to work for a full day.  My husband gets the kids after his 10-hour day and heads home to make dinner.  Of course, our schedule is full on the weekends too, doing yardwork, grocery shopping, and running errands.

I’m sure this scenario is familiar to a lot of working famlies.  We’re still trying to figure out how to find and spend quality “down time” with each other.

Some things we’ve tried so far:  We always have yardwork, so we try to enlist the kids to help.  Ok, so they aren’t that helpful at their age.  They usually jump into the dirt and make more of a mess.  But I’ve learned to deal with it.  So what if they get dirty?  At least we’re doing something together!  We’re also sitting down for Sunday dinner together again.  I was inspired by a book I checked out at the library called, A Return to Sunday Dinner by Russell Cronkhite.  It also gave me a reason to use the dining room table for something other than piles of mail!

I’d love to hear your ideas.  How do you spend much needed quality time together?

Jill Prouty

Jill is a reader, writer, and professional librarian who enjoys spending her free time with her husband of twelve years and their two sons. She has an MSLS from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.