My first year of being a non-traditional student was less than typical, as it started with a child recovering from a serious injury and ended with a home purchase and renovation — not for the faint of heart! I was looking forward to a calmer round this academic year, and Fall 2016 delivered in some ways, though it was complicated by getting used to new routines with Gabriel starting kindergarten.
I thought the fall routine was tricky, but this semester was more so, as I scrambled to rearrange things to get to a class that started at the same time as my child’s school and to meet the requirements of my practicum course. Lots of running to and fro, and more of it than I would like to far-flung suburban destinations.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my classmates, who does not have children, but is around young kids a decent bit, commented that she doesn’t know how I do it — kid, school, etc. Her comment echoed the thought that has gone through my head almost every Monday and Wednesday morning at 8:55am this semester, when I am somehow, miraculously, in class on time, with my assignment to hand in, having orchestrated my own and a five-year-old’s morning, including dressing, eating a wholesome breakfast, and packing lunches and snacks. Add on the bike ride, and it feels like I’ve completed an Olympic event before I sit down for class — I don’t know how I do it week after week, either, but here I am!
The above circus would not be possible (or would, at least, be more complicated and expensive) without some help getting G to school: my FIL faithfully showing up for a Monday morning breakfast date and school drop-off, and Matthew taking Wednesday morning school duty. Meanwhile, my MIL and the handy-dandy school bus have helped free up some time in the afternoons.
After tomorrow morning’s exam (extra fun because it starts at 8:00am, an hour earlier than the regular class start time), I’ll be two-thirds of the way through the school part of this journey. This second year, more than the first year, the doubts are rearing their heads — Was this the right choice, or was I too hasty? A responsible use of my time? A responsible financial choice? Worth going into debt for? Will I find a job a want? With an acceptable commute? And on and on. The answer, of course, remains to be seen . . . .