This summer has been moment after moment of me feeling as though I'm about to walk through a door to the unknown. I have no idea what life looks like on the other side of that door, and that scares me. For the past nine and a half years of my life I have always had a kid home with me, and starting next week all of my kids will be in school full time. Did you catch that? All of my kids. I will drop them all off at 7:30 and pick them all up at 3:30, and this delights me and scares the crap out of me at the same time.
I was trying to explain this worry to Aaron earlier in the summer and he didn't get it. I don't know what this new phase in our life looks like. Everyone that finds this out always has the same reaction. “What are you going to do with all that time?” “Are you going to get a job?”
Aaron told me to take the first two weeks and chill. Just relax and get in a groove. I like the way this man thinks. Here's the funny part of this whole story, and that is the fact that I'm actually out of town for the first two weeks of my kids new school year. (My kids start school NEXT WEEK – we are on year round school, and we LOVE LOVE LOVE it!) So, I'll be in Montana with Aaron for the first week, and the second week I'll be in London with ladies from our church. And if you haven't put two and two together, that means that I am missing my daughter's first day of kindergarten. I know. TRAGIC.
I'm over this and feel no guilt, so don't even try to put any on me. I've dealt with it and moved on. She went to pre-k here last year. She knows her teacher and all the school procedures. She's a champ and she's the fourth kid, things are just different. You moms with four kids know what I mean.
So, here's some goals of mine for this first semester of having no kids at home:
1. Create a podcast. I have wanted to do this since I left the radio a few years ago, and this might be the right time to start. I have a few ideas I'm tossing around in my head, but this is a dream of mine and I just might work on that this Fall. I want it to be a show where I invite different guests on each time and we discuss life and all that entails. Something that feels like you and your girlfriends are sitting around chatting.
2. I will write a book. I have said it again and again, and truly if it never gets published and no one ever reads it except Aaron and my parents I'm cool with that. I already have the first chapter outlined in my head, and that sounds like a good start to me! I am going to take writing and podcast and treat them like a job. I will create time for them every day. See, I will get a job! It just won't pay me anything.
3. Organize our life. For the love it seems as though nothing has a home around here and I'm gonna change that. I will finish Amos' adoption and get Story her social security card. I will throw away bank statements from 2005, and create a system for the kids school things that I want to keep and cherish forever (please send me your system!!!) It's the little things in life that will keep me motivated this Fall!
4. Work out – this is always on any type of goal list that I make for myself. I usually fail at it, but out of obligation I need to put it on here. Someone want to be my workout partner? I'll meet you 3x a week at 8am. Who is up for it?!?!
5. Be intentional with friendships. Who doesn't love to meet for coffee/lunch with friends? I love it, and each week I'm going to make sure I'm investing in someones life.
6. Volunteer at kids school. I do this already, but with a full day free I feel like this will allow me to do that more often. Should I substitute teach at their school, or is this too much?
7. Study the bible more and do some teaching at church. This scares me and excites me all in one.
So, with my 8 hours each day I hope to accomplish some of these goals of mine. For those of you that all your kids are in school please give me some hints and advice. How do you make sure your days are productive? I'm not one to lay around and watch tv and nap all day, so I don't worry about that, but I do worry about the days and hours slipping by and me not even realizing that I wasn't productive.
I know I only have 1 kid and only been a stay at home for 10 months, but I think you have exciting times ahead. One thing I can’t wait for is to be able to volunteer. Mark and I are so blessed and I can’t wait to be able to help others. I’m learning quickly that volunteering with a 10 month old is virtually impossible! Also working out! Jealous. You will find plenty of ways to bless others I promise!
I don’t have any suggestions because I’m busy being green with envy at the thought of 8 hours a day to yourself. Holy smokes. Enjoy!
Mary, homeschooling 6
Those are some great goals! One thing I’ve learned is that I have to make a daily schedule for myself or things won’t happen. I use Michael Hyatt’s ideal week to help plan my days/weeks. I highly recommend it! http://michaelhyatt.com/how-to-better-control-your-time-by-designing-your-ideal-week.html
I will be your workout partner because I need one too. I’ll see you at the Y?
I love this Jamie! my kids are going to parents day out 2 days a week and me & Stephen have had the same convo. and a lot of the things I want to do are also on your list 😉 let’s encourage each other! I have from 9-2 two days a week. I want to be productive, intentional & purposeful. whew! we can do it!
Wynne – you will LOVE your time!!! Yes, we can do this! Wanna be a guest on my podcast? That’ll help me get it moving!
Hi Jamie! Your list is very ambitious, yet inspiring me to put some thought about what I will do with my free time when school starts. When my youngest started kindergarten I remember that feeling of hours and hours stretching out in front of me each day. And then a strange phenomenon occurred – the days started getting shorter. Well, I suppose the days getting shorter would be impossible – what really happened was I got used to having that time and it started flying by! I am hoping with the start of the new year I can recapture that feeling of a looooong day!
For the school papers – I got a storage container for each kid. I think they are called “magazine files” but these are double wide. Each afternoon the kid (or me) will put their “keep at home” school papers in their box. I also put artwork they did at home, cards they made, etc. in there too. At the end of the year I go through each person’s stuff and choose the most important things to keep – what I think best represents what they learned, created or wrote that year – but I really get it down to a small stack. Then I put a rubber band around it, label and put it in the office closet. I’m not sure if I will ever do anything with it (put it in a book? scan it for a cd?) or just end up giving it to them when they are adults and might enjoy looking back at it.
Jana I like the school idea. It seems that I’ve let lots of years go by and need to get those organized! I feel like I want to start off on the right foot w/ Story since she’s in kinder!
Sara you are right, it’s hard with a 10 month old but I’ll give you this advice … do as much as you can b/c you will keep adding kids and they can be used to this lifestyle. We have friends that volunteered with Mobile Loaves and Fishes all the time with all FOUR of their elementary & preschool kids … I always thought that was awesome, b/c our kids have never done that, but her kids always grew up doing it! hard, but worth it! I’m excited about having more time to invest in kids classrooms this year. I usually had to bring Story with me, and so this will be awesome!
Sarah that looks awesome!
Yes! For real we are Y members … downtown?
I’m going to have our last littlest one in preschool, so I really appreciated this. I love reading your blog. It’s such a great, real-life glimpse into your life in ministry. My husband met Aaron when they were here in NC and he loved him almost as much as I’ve loved your blog over the last few years!
The time will go faster than you know. Trust me! I would say keep your outside commitments (like subbing) to a minimum for a month until you adjust. Also, try to schedule grocery shopping, errands and dr visits on the same day of the week vs. one or two errands several days a week. If a small part of every day gets eaten up then it’s hard to be productive on some of those things like the podcast and book (both AWESOME ideas!)
I’m beyond excited about the podcast and book! Phenomenal ideas!!