Song of the Day: Acceptance - So Contagious
This past weekend was filled with a lot of thinking. Running through every different scenario to try and figure out what I should do about grad school. During this time, I realized a few things, the main point, is how much my kids matter to me. When I went back to school, I made an unofficial rule not to take any classes that went later than 5:00, and that was the latest possible time. I only took one class that went that late, and have since changed my personal agreement to not take classes that go later than 4:00, so I'm able to be home with the kids by 5:00 and actually make dinner for them.
Having family time at the end of the day is not only part of their routine, it's part of mine. If I've had a stressful day, watching a movie with the kids before bed is a great way to end the day. If I've had a great day, watching a movie with the kids before bed is a great way to end the day. No matter what, I need that rejuvenation time spent with them to remember why I'm in school and why I work so hard. I want everything for them. Part of what helped with dealing with the mom guilt of going back to school was that I was still with them every night, and that I was the one to put them to bed. I made school my job, and made sure that our kids always have a parent with them for night-time.
The biggest problem with the grad school schedule is that there is no way for me to be home with the kids for dinner/bed time. With class until 6:30, at best I'd be home by 7:15. Caroline is already in bed, and Elliot is going to bed soon. If this was once a week, it'd be do-able, but 4 days a week? No. Kyle travels Monday-Thursday, and I would have class Monday-Thursday. I can't in good conscious let someone else raise our kids for over half of the week. That being said, it's not that someone else would be with our kids, it's that a stranger would be with our kids. If we lived closer to grandparents and the kids at dinner with them 4 days a week for they year, that's fine, whatever. Because they're family. A nanny isn't family. Not that they can't become family, but there's still a difference. We also don't know anyone where we are. We have no social support, so we would really just be picking some random person who we don't know, and we don't even know someone who knows someone. I just can't deal with that.
Saturday night I had a panic attack. All of this had just come to a breaking point and I couldn't breath or sleep, and I just started to cry. Not the first time I've started to cry since figuring this out, but the hardest I've cried. I ended up going downstairs so I could just let it out without worrying about waking up the kids. Once the tears stopped flowing, anytime I tried to fall to sleep, I'd start thinking again, then start crying again. I decided to just watch T.V. until I could no longer keep my eyes open. Sometime around 4:30 I finally went back upstairs. Elliot had climbed into our bed, so I cuddled up with him and fell asleep. Honestly, I felt like I was in mourning. In the span of 48 I had made it through the first 4 stages of grief. When I woke up in the morning/early afternoon, I still didn't know what the answer was. I went downstairs and the kids came running up to me to give me hugs shouting "mommy mommy mommy!" As I was sitting on the couch holding Caroline, with Elliot sitting next to me with a book, I realized that I just want what's best for them. And what's best for them is to have a parent home for dinner and to put them to bed. (Kyle and I had discussed him finding a different job, but there's no guarantee that his new job would provide the hours needed, or that it would pay the same as his current job does. Right now he travels, and that's a part of our lives that's not changing right now.)
So, I'm putting off grad school. Once we're at a place in our lives where we're able to sell our house and move back near family, then I'll go back to school. The school near family has classes during the day, so it really is a better fit for my schedule, but we're just not able to move right now. I'll start the job search soon, but right now I just need to focus on ending this semester strong. Of course, I wish I would have known a little sooner so I wouldn't have had to take the GRE, lol. But those scores are good for 5 years, so hopefully I'll be able to use them before then.
I wouldn't say that I'm excited about this change in plans, but I've accepted it. I was in denial, angry, bargained, and sad, now I've accepted that putting off grad school is the best for our kids, which in turn is the best for me. I've already proven to myself that I will go back if I take time off, and I know that the timing has to be right.