In April of this year, as many of you many know, Evan and I separated. While details of that major life change are not necessary, I do think it is important to share that aspect, because that is me, in this moment.
In this moment, I am a full time student, I work a 40 hour a week job, do training for a second job, and most importantly, I am a MOM! Luckily for me, my full time job is at the boys school!! I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work along side amazing men & women at our beloved school.
While all of these changes, improvements - if you will, unfolded at once, I have struggled this week. I have multiple things due for school, multiple things due for my training per my second job, the boys and I both started school on the same day - I started 2 schools, I started college, again, & my first day at my full time job, was the first day of school. This week has been killer. I have not worked outside of the home in 5 years, so although we have been getting up going to school for the last several years, me staying away from home and those chores being pushed back until after school, or even this weekend is a major change for me. My personality strives on a schedule, a routine. I have a check list of all of my check lists, I enjoy knowing what is to come and what to except. With that being said, I opened my planner for the first time today, all week. That is an insane statement!!! Seriously, my Granny buys me a planner for my birthday, in November, every year. I look forward to that planner more than anything! I am so serious!!
While Evan and I are living separately, his schedule has not really changed. In the beginning, he stayed home most of the summer, we were able to stick to a fairly good schedule with the boys. Well, that wasn't able to stick. His job is demanding, that is something that I have always known. But now, I am still living by his work schedule. Don't get me wrong, any extra time I get with the boys is amazing!! The problem is in my head, on my planner... I am crazy!!! A change in my schedule or not knowing what my schedule will be like drives me bonkers. I need to know. So now, while trying to plan which days I can do school work, have study group conference calls, make appointments, etc - naturally I only want to work on all of that 'fun' stuff while the boys are away. It has become too much for my brain. We are only 4 days in...
But, if I sit here and let the schedule get to me as much as it has over the last few days, I will fall behind. I refuse to fall behind when I know all of this hard work, all of this time, will be beneficial to the boys and I in the future. I am positive we will have a few nights when I have to be on a call and I will let them eat ice cream out of the container just to appease them and keep them quiet for me. That may or may not have already happened ;)
The other part of my struggle is still trying to figure out who I am... Am I this person who feels such a strong pull to help children with special needs? When I decided to go back to college, I planned on dental hygiene. It is what I have always wanted to do. However, each time a conversation came up with a friend, I caught myself leaning towards kids and development/behaviors. I am currently enrolled as a psychology major and in 99485793 years, I will have my masters degree and be an BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analysis). Long term goals!! My second job is with CARE, they provide ABA therapy to individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Right up my ally... I was so excited when I was offered the job - while my boys did not participate in ABA, I knew what it entailed, and it has always intrigued me. I do have to be board certified to work with these kiddos, and I will be finishing up my training this week!! Yay, crossing one thing off my list! Next week, I have a competency assessment to do and then I will apply for my board exam. I report directly to a BCBA and will be gaining tons of experience for my future j.o.b. ;) I plan to do this part time, on the nights I do not have the boys... then full time during the summer since I do work at the school, I have the same days off as the boys.
My full time job is at the boys school, in their pre-k program. In the morning we have a collaborative group of kids for 3 hours and in the afternoon we have 5 special needs kids, ages 3-4. While being in the room with those 5 kids for just a few hours everyday is so demanding, it is amazing to see their potential. And yes, day 4, I can already see it. I had one of my sweet boys say a 5 word phrase yesterday!!! I was blown away! Although, the phrase was an unwilling result of his house he built being bulldozed down, it was still an amazing thing to hear!! But that is where it gets difficult, I want to praise my little talker for speaking aloud, but then not reinforce bad behavior of my construction worker ripping the town apart. So by the end of the day I am spent...
That is when I found myself in my car in tears... I have so much going on, many of the things I do not have any control over, and for once I found myself needed reassurance... I do not think I have ever been the person who wanted/needed a life cheerleader - I have had life cheerleaders, I cannot even imagine where I would be without my grandparents, they are amazing! - but just someone cheering me on telling me to suck it up and get my butt home because I have work to do. At that moment, I realized I am most definitely still figuring out who I am... at almost 30 years old. I don't feel like I was ever given the opportunity to learn who I am.
What I do know... Being a mom is difficult yet rewarding, I am extremely sensitive, I lack major self confidence, I have a love/dislike relationship with people, I am a crier, I only like to sing in the car when the boys are in there with me ;), I love smiling, I love checking in with people and letting them know I did remember their 'event', I enjoy helping others, I do not like it when someone messes with my schedule, I lack patience at times, I require at least 8 hours of sleep, I need a good 20+ minutes to talk myself into getting out of bed every morning, I am a giver, I have multiple arguments in my head daily, my brain never ever stops, I am extremely hard on myself, I get annoyed when someone doesn't stick to their word, I could eat Fruit Loops for every meal for the rest of my life, there are some days I just need a hug, and I know there is a whole lot more of me in there waiting to be discovered... and I cannot wait for that!