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With just a few days away from kindergarten pre-registration and preschool application process, I find myself terrified.
Last summer I thought of this as the year of change because I was helping to get my nephews into head-start. Getting into that program meant no more afternoon naps or dragging them to Grammie’s doctor appointments.
As is usual with the best laid plan that is not quite what happened. The facility nearest to us had no openings and as the year went on any facility with an opening was a thirty minute drive out of our way. Going to one of these facilities would have made other obligations nigh unto impossible.
Instead I have taken my eldest nephew to his speech lessons twice a week and we have prepared for kindergarten and preschool. So change has happened but not the BIG change I was expecting.
The newest twist in all of this is that it looks like our nephews will live with us during the school week and with their parents over the weekend. This is to help with their parents’ work schedules, transportation to/from school, and to give the boys the consistency they need at this age.
Now we are looking at non-custodial guardianship so they can go to the school right up the street instead of filling out a hardship form that might get denied. This all takes time and we just now started that process.
A million moving pieces, surely there is nothing I should worry about, right? I just have to take a deep breath and remind myself that I can only go into battle with the army I have. That I have to take one day and one step at a time; therefore try not to worry about all of the things that can go wrong. Sure plan for everything to go wrong but don’t let that be my focus right now.
Assuming all of the registration stuff goes well, my next concern is questioning how I have pushed to get them registered for school. What if they aren’t ready for kindergarten and preschool? Maybe they should be held back a year like some have suggested. But, no, both of our nephews are brilliant in their own ways. I am confident they will do well with school because of how they have handled private lessons and daycare in the past. Not to mention how they each ask about when they get to go to school and make friends. This is only a passing concern but one I am sure every parent has.
Now comes the final stage of this terror, assuming everything goes right, the boys are registered for school, we figure out scheduling, and they begin school in August… what am I now doing with my spare time?
That phrase always makes me laugh. I never have the spare time I think I will. A little over four years ago I phased out a full time job to be a foster mom and be a care-giver for my mom. Instead of a full time career, I did have a part time temp position. When that position ended, instead of seeking another contract I began free-lance writing and re-started my at-home seamstress business.
As my mom’s health has worsened, and nonsense continued with the seamstress business, I have phased more things out. I have focused solely on home and hearth. In my spare time I have my blog to keep my writing skills and mind active.
Right now with all of my commitments I can only see myself doing something part time. Part of me would love to pursue something like a bakery job as I have loved my time decorating cakes for friends and family. Another part misses working in the arts and non-profits.
Truthfully though, I’m concerned about whether my mind is still as sharp as it was when I wrote grants, and created budgets for a living. I wonder if I can handle the odd hours needed for working in a bakery as I would love the freedom it would give for me to still be available for my mom and the kids. But would I then be too exhausted to truly be me? Ultimately I wonder how relevant I am as a person in the workforce and what I am qualified to do.
These are all concerns I have heard friends bring up over the years as they have thought about transitioning from stay-at-home parent to a working parent. I find all of these thoughts terrifying. I have not been out of the workforce nearly as long as some and yet I feel as if I am somehow still behind.
While I am not yet sure what all of this means and where I will find myself in six months, I know that with the support of my friends and family that I will be doing something as amazing as I have ever done. There is still hope of continuing as a foster parent, someday being an adoptive parent, and maybe there will be something even more extraordinary than I can even imagine for myself.
Still, I feel a bit terrified even when I can rationalize it all out. I feel like all of the moving pieces are intangible and like I am going to fail either myself or the ones I love. For now though, that is another problem for another day. Right now…? Let’s tackle dinner!