“free time”: what to do when the kids are all at school

In the same week, I sent my first letter of resignation and applied for only my second, post-college job.

After two years of being on a “leave of absence” with InterVarsity, I finally officially resigned. There was some paperwork and a small sniff out of me.  Then it was over.

Brian’s travel schedule, the demands of training and teaching opportunities bringing me far from Duluth and our three tornados whirling and about to enter school (7 days and counting…) just don’t seem to pave the way for me to enter back into the only work world I have ever known.

Thankfully, I had a job fresh out of college in 1998.  I did not have a paycheck however.  I spent months raising support and then worked a great part-time job with married Christian business partners.  After a season of that I was able to work solely with InterVarsity and did that full-time until Calista came along.

I have struggled to embrace this role as a SAHM* and continue to be challenged with connecting with this stage of littles who still need their nose blown, help in a buffet line and reminders to NOT walk into the bathroom when the door is shut.

Meanwhile this summer our church went through some major leadership changes and I was asked to help with its small group ministry.  Our Community Groups will be launched this fall and I get to help recruit, train and coach leaders.  I get to talk with church members about their current connections within the church and hopefully motivate more connections through our Community Group Ministry.

It is a trip working in an office (I get the empty head pastor’s office most days!), with administrative staff and a real water cooler.

After YEARS of dreaming of the day when all 3 kids will be in school, I am looking at those days coming starting September 16.  I dreamed of going back to bed, long runs mid-morning alone and movies and brownies and clean floors and…

Recently it struck me that I was contemplating what I got to do when the kids were gone and was only focused on myself.  You see those videos on line about moms shouting alleluia while their littles jump on the school bus.  Or the sighs of relief when their kids are all back in school after a long, LONG summer.

So I asked God what He thought I should do with those “free hours.”  This job came along and seems to be adequately (and then some) filling my time just fine thank you.

Reality sets in quick though, doesn’t it?

I had been at church for meetings and my last one ran late.  I called my friend who had my kids to check in.  I would pick up Brian on campus and would be there soon.  Thankfully he said the house was burning down and kids had shaved their heads but all was well.  I called Brian to let him know I was on my way and asked where he was on campus.  That was when he announced he was downtown.

My head exploded.  I had no idea how to pick up the hubs, feed my kids and get to the school open house where I was to serve the PTA ice cream in 60 minutes or less.

SuperWoman Working Mom Epic Fail.

I wish I could say I sailed through that conversation like a lady but let’s just say we figured out a perfect solution: McDonalds.

We are no McDonalds family.  No offense to those who are but we are cheap, cheap CHEAP.  If the kids had not already had PBJ and apples and yogurts for lunch while we were dropping Brian off that morning at work, I’d have gone that route.  But we just pulled right into that drive through along with the 10,000,000.

As we did I said to Brian “we are that family.”  Sigh.

Then I ate my juicy Chicken Artisan Sandwich along with a side of lip.  Seriously.  It was like I have been punched; it still hurts.

Then we arrived at school and my shorts were covered in juicy Artisan Sandwich juice.

Then I thought to myself, I’m either doing this thing right and satan hates it.  OR I’ve got it all wrong.

or maybe I’m just pretty stinkin’ normal.

We had a blast at the Open House.  Saw church friends, friend friends and watched XS jump into the rocking chair in the 2nd grade room with a book as if he was even ready for school to start.

XS 2nd grade

He literally helped himself to Green Eggs and Ham and proceeded to snuggle into the rocker while Calista unpacked her backpack.

Here they are: about to change the world at Homecroft Elementary!

Calista - 2nd Grade Elam - Kindergarten XS - Preschool 3 days a week for 3 hrs

Calista – 2nd Grade
Elam – Kindergarten
XS – Preschool 3 days a week for 3 hrs


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