Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Kindergarten - Class of 2031

We made it! I know, it should be "HE made it!" but honestly, these first years have also been all about me getting him to Kindergarten, so WE definitely made it. My high-energy, curious, and social little boy, who has been bored and not very happy about Pre-K/Daycare since November of last year, is truly loving his overall experience so far. He can stretch his mind and body, and is happy. Though he is also exhausted and far more emotional than usual, he's learning new things every day, and finds most of it just exciting. I desperately hopes he doesn't lose that enthusiasm, that it isn't replaced by cynicism which can happen faster than one imagines. The transition has been manageable, but also a bit stressful for us both. I am told by other mothers that this will get better and a bit easier as we go along. I hope so. I know, but now have also been told, he can be challenging - he talks A LOT, interrupts, and sometimes is drawn to other high-energy kids which can be disruptive to a learning environment. But I think he'll get better at managing that, the teachers will get to know him and get better at managing him, and I'll start to relax a bit more as time goes on.

I also find that these milestones and transitions highlight the part of single parenthood that is, well, single. Every time we do this, I have to find someone to share these amazing moments with - not always easy or welcomed - and am the only one there to absorb the enormous emotions that come with change. So for now, I'm just trying to keep us afloat and to navigate the learning curve until we both settle in to this new season.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Almost ready

Another milestone is rapidly approaching as my son is in his last few days of preschool and starting kindergarten next week. He's really been ready for months, so in some ways, that we are almost finally there is a relief, but at the same time it truly feels like the end of his babyhood and start of his childhood. We've visited the school many times, have now met his teachers-to-be, and I'm such an obsessive planner of life changes, whenever possible, that he's getting a little tired of me talking about it all, all the time. He's ready, and I'm almost ready.

I am really excited for him to start this journey. He's a sweet, very friendly and outgoing kid. He'll make friends easily and he'll probably be a pretty good student. He seems like a natural leader, and I'm hoping he'll find this is a positive attribute and that his educators will see it too, and help foster it in him. I've been in touch with the PTA to volunteer when I can, and have been paying attention to the many repeated messages from the school and district preparing families for the start of school, and especially the start of kinder. The school seems to have this all in hand, and gets out communications and information effectively, to those who are listening.

I know this is the life of a parent. Almost all kids go to school at some point. Almost all parents have to give over their most precious little loves to others for care and learning, at some point. We have to put our faith in the systems in place and the people in charge without really knowing them intimately. It's what we do. And we trust they know what they are to do. But I am also afraid. This world is a far less certain place than it maybe once was. There is no way to know for sure that all will be well for our children. There is certainly a barrage of things, events, and people, coming at us daily, we can point to that makes it impossible to believe all will be well. Yet next Tuesday, I'll take him to his new school, I'll hug and kiss him goodbye, and leave him there. And this I will do almost every day for the next 13 years. He's ready, and I'm almost ready.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Feeling behind and lazy.

It's been a year, almost to the day, since my last post. I found it astonishing when I figured that out, but maybe not too astonishing. A lot has happened in the past year and I think when I decided to "do nothing" as a plan, I meant it, mostly.

It's been a year since I committed to living more in the moment and not having a bunch of personal goals or plans or things to strive for. At about the 6-month mark, right at the start of the new year, I made a list of things I want to accomplish by my 50th birthday, 2.5 years from now, and it felt good to put some goals on paper, but to also not feel an oppressive, imminent deadline. Since that list, my son played a 3-month season of T-ball, I had a big project at work, we have been on a few short car trips away, I've read some books, and generally we've played a lot. It's been good. In the last few days, however, I've hit the "I'm bored" wall hard, and once again, I'm plagued by a feeling of being lazy and not learning, not striving.

Singing is just off the table. It's been hard to accept it but for now, and the near future, I still can't see a way to sing without taking important time away from my son. So there it is. But I long for a creative outlet. I have done some glass fusion work, but at this point, I'm such a novice, that the time and cost are a little prohibitive. That's frustrating, but not a deal breaker yet so I'll probably try again to see if I can get a bit obviously better and more the hang of it. I've been looking at taking a class or two, but nothing has clicked for me there yet, either. We are entering a new chapter in a few weeks as my son will start kindergarten. There, I may find more "to do" though it still won't be a personal piece for me, and I can already see it's not enough. So I'll keep searching.

The truth is that I'm never not busy. Being a solo mom to a 5.5yo means the work of parenting and maintaining our life is never-ending and sometimes it feels relentless. My 5.5 yo is also in a several months-long phase of being eternally frustrated with rules and direction, he takes everything personally, pushes all the boundaries, blames others for his mistakes and crap choices, and it is exhausting. Having a child who is incredibly bright and savvy but who is also still just 5, is very rewarding much of the time, and yet almost always challenging. I think him starting kindergarten will be a great change for us both, but it's going to be a long 4 weeks until then!

As always, sometimes I'm striving for balance in our life and sometimes I'm struggling to survive the day. I guess that's just parenting.

Monday, July 24, 2017

To plan or not to plan?

I've been wondering a lot lately about what's next for me. I mean, other than just working and being a mom. For so long, and I've probably said this here before, my world was all about singing. I was constantly absorbed with learning and training and performing, and other than working and family, I didn't have or make the time to persue much else. It's probably a good portion of the reason I'm single, and why I haven't finished my degree. I found my first calling and it took everything. Then I found my second calling - to be a mom - and that took, and will always, take everything, too. But now that we are living on our own again, I have discovered that between piles of laundry and dishes, playdates and swimming lessons, I have brain space again. I always have something to do, the "doing" for a single mom especially, is NEVER ending. But I don't always have something I have to do, at least not in that moment, or for a few moments at night. My life would be easier if everything was in order around me, but sometimes I am so tired that all I really can do is sit and watch Netflix or, if I'm honest, literally just sit in the quiet. Normally this would cause massive anxiety in me, that I wasn't getting something done - but right now, I feel okay about it. But I do wonder what's next. I'm looking into school again, just to know where I stand for going back, but mostly just to know what it would take. I have a moms group I sort of run, mostly just peripherally, but I have scheduled to host a few events this month. I would like to sing again, but right now I just want to not be committed to anything other than my family and my job.

Even with all of that, I've still made a plan, which is to have no real plan. I've committed to being okay with nothing very dramatic for the next 2 years, but also to bettering my physical health whenever I can over the next 3.5 years. I want to get my house in actual order and be super present for my son without the added stress of feeling "not enough" in the rest of my life. I won't deny that it will take a substantial and conscious effort, but I think it will be okay. I feel the pull of music, but don't want the pressure of it. I  just want to get outside whenever we can, or watch movies, or really, just read a book or hang out.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Another move

Well, we've moved. It's been a rough few months, living in the chaos of both our move, and our roommate's, and dealing with a feisty 4.5yo. The transition has been hard for my son, leaving the house and our friend, but I think - slowly - we are finding our bearing again. I did ask for help with the move this time, and did GET help, thankfully. But even with that, I did all the heavy lifting of course, literally and figuratively. It's a lot to manage with two adults, so these are the life events that trigger a bit of self-pity for me, being a single mom. I'm over it now, but it does point out the double-edged sword of solo parenting by choice. On the one hand I have to make all the decisions, on the other, I get to make all the decisions.

Now we are living in a much smaller home, an apartment not a house, and in a different neighborhood. We have to make some significant adjustments to life as we knew it and that will take some time. But we're together and on our own, and lots of that is good for me, and for him.

One step, one day at a time.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Taking back control

Now that we will need to move much sooner than originally planned, I am feeling pushed (finally) in the direction of taking back control of my finances. In other words, I'm becoming the grown up I've dreamed about being for years. To be clear, it's not painless. Each step, though a good step forward, is both unfortunate and beyond humbling. It's costing me to do it this way, now. And I should have done it years ago.

But I have gotten help with understanding it all, and know now where my credit, debt and finances stand. I now have a basic budget to work within. And I have the outline of a plan, for at least 5 years into the future, and, hopefully, also for when my son gets ready to go to college, and I (84 years from now) get to retire.

While I feel daunted by the enormity of it all, and stressed about the move, I don't feel quite as terrified. That's progress in my book.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Moving, again...

So my housemate sprung the news that he really needs to put his house on the market in the next few weeks. I was expecting another full year, so this is a pretty big shock. Financially, I'm not on sure-footing, so I'm faced with some big decisions, which may have to be temporary until I get a better handle on things. I told my boy what's happening, as gently as I could, but it obviously is already upsetting for him - which is upsetting for me. Luckily, we have a couple of months to figure things out, even if it sells immediately, it won't close until mid June. But I just don't know what exactly to do. Housing is incredibly expensive here, so moving out quite a way may be my only option, or to house-share again - this time with another single mom, maybe. I'm torn. I don't want to pull my son from his preschool if possible, but it might all work if I found somewhere else.

Being a grown-up is hard.