The first semester of law school I tried to do it all - not miss out on any event, any social engagement, any opportunity for the kids, teach classes at both of the kids' co-ops, and show Chris that meals and cleaning would never be any different once I started studying. That semester was so hard. I shudder thinking about it. The semester after that I had no choice but to hit the ground running, and still figured I could keep up with a few of the things I was doing before. But then we had a baby, remodeled the house, sold our house, moved, and it seemed that yet again I had to keep up at the same speed, but cram in more on top of having a harder semester than the one before. And by semester, I mean six months - no summer or winter breaks in between semesters.
This year I've been desperately trying to pull back, but I still had commitments at the beginning of the year with homeschooling, teaching at co-ops, and a few other things. My finals for the first semester this year were done at the end of June and as usual, I got pretty stressed out. And the fact is, I still haven't pulled back enough, because I just can't do it all anymore.
I don't regret going back to school. It drives me and excites me. It gives me time to focus on thinking instead of changing diapers, and I truly enjoy what I'm learning (for the most part--some classes can get dry). But that doesn't change the fact that it's hard. Sometimes I just don't want to get up at 4:45AM. Sometimes I don't want to stay up past midnight to finish homework. Sometimes opening up that textbook seems impossible when the kids are all asking for me at once. Sometimes I think I'm just one big failure or joke.
Who did I think I was trying to go back to law school with four kids and homeschooling? Sometimes I wish all of it would come naturally and easy to me. I get so mad at myself that I'm not brilliant or athletic. Why did it hurt so much to train for that half marathon? Why did I work my butt off and only pull a B+?
So in an effort to pull back more. I quit one of our co-ops. I won't be teaching in any co-op until January of 2017. I don't see friends as often as I used to. What little free time I have I spend with my family. I don't blog anymore. I never play the piano or sing like I used to. My flower beds look atrocious. I haven't sewn in a year. I haven't drawn or painted much at all. My hobbies include studying and studying.
This is my last semester of law school. I graduate at the end of December. I'm so glad to be so close to accomplishing this. It has been my dream since elementary school, and after I got married, I thought I'd never have this opportunity. Now here I am. I couldn't be more grateful! I think I'm just getting burnt out and don't have anything left to give right now. I don't know what next year will be like studying for the bar. It may be even worse. But either way, I'm on the home stretch. I'll make it. I just need the world to be patient with me. This is the path I chose, and right now the kids and law school is all I can do.
And with that said...here are all the things we have gotten to do, burnt out momma and all (or perhaps why momma is burnt out)!
Cassi got a haircut!
She was so proud of her ponytail!
She loves her hair short!
Capri insisted on letting her hair grow long. I love her for that.
I had a couple days off of school between finals and my last semester. Chris had a work trip in Dayton, OH, so my sister and brother came and met us out there. We did fun things and turned a work trip into a vacation day!
After Dayton, we drove out to southeast Ohio and stayed at a lodge where they had some rolling hills, a golf course, and a pool. I brought my textbooks and started off the semester studying on the balcony of our hotel room or in a lawn chair by the pool!
After our southeast trip, we planned a staycation for the rest of the week, so Chris got all cleaned up, shaved his beard, and took me out on a date!
We thought we were so cool being out during the daytime without kids! I took these photos using my watch as a remote to take the pics on my phone. How cool is that?
The end of our staycation found us at Chris's Uncle's pond for a family party.
We got the annual cousins pic on the dock at the pond.
And then we spent the Fourth of July at my parents' in Michigan where the kids got to hang out with their newest little cousin, Hannaniah.
PeeWee Baseball for CJ ends tomorrow night - he's done so well. I'm so proud of him!
CJ's fans at one of his games (Capri and her cousin Chloe).
And that brings us to Cecily's Birthday weekend when my parents and brother, Travis came out. We took them to an outdoor museum place where everyone learned a lot, but also had a lot of fun.
The day of Cecily's Birthday we had a family reunion - the girls loved being with their cousins to play!
We've been doing some homeschooling throughout the summer - we're doing math, language arts, and reading. Some days he whizzes through it all. And some days I just get so frustrated because he shuts down on me. I know I expect a lot out of him to do school through the summer, but he tends to lose so much on summer vacation, I'm determined to make sure we stay caught up for when school starts!
And that's it. Running the race with everyone else. It's tough for us all sometimes and for all kinds of reasons. I don't have it any harder or easier than anyone else. It is what it is and while I'm stressed and a little burnt out, I also love it all - love the challenge and the thrill of it all. But here's to being honest about where I'm at right now.