September is quickly becoming my month of crazy. Last year, I was busy trying to cram four and a half days of work into three days of child care per week. While keeping up with my three year-old and growing a baby, which for me, is an exhausting task in itself from conception through ’til – how old are my children now?
This year, September is already colour-coded on my calendar, with reminder alerts programmed in for each activity, in case I forget the Rainbow class mascot building session at Build-a-Bear or you know, that I told my boss I’d return to work from maternity leave on that day. (It could so happen.)
When I first planned to end my maternity leave in September, it seemed good timing. Nine months was a good length for leave the first time round, going back part-time. The Noodle would be starting primary school, Baby-Baby would start nursery two days a week, we’d all go back together.
The staggered entry system for primary school threw a wrench into those works. The first day of term there’s just a half-hour informal meeting. Then the next week he goes Wednesday through Friday, but only in the afternoon. Then the next week he goes all days, but only in the mornings. It’s not until 22 September that he starts his normal routine. Hello, Google calendar reminder alerts. Just tell me where I need to be, with which child, 1 hour before start. That should get us there.
Baby-Baby’s schedule is less complicated logistically, with the exception of the milk situation. We are still breastfeeding and plan to continue at least until his first birthday. The tricky part is foreseeing how much milk I need to express to send with him to nursery and how to efficiently program pumping sessions into my work day, since I work two separate one-day a week jobs with not a lot of time to spare in my 7.5 hours. The whole operation will require lots of planning and organisation, with the ability to then take a deep breath and roll with it, however it goes. Kind of, I suppose, like everything else in parenting!
On top of the logistics, I didn’t give fair consideration to the emotional side of all of this happening at once. But then, I never knew just how overwhelming this year would be, even before we ever got to September.
Reminder alerts in place, I’m putting this in writing this morning so that I can take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the day. September 1st, take your best shot, I’m taking my boys to the zoo.