This shouldn't have come as a shock to me, since I vaguely remember my high school starting at 8:25 AM. But for some reason the reality of getting up at potentially 6 AM for the next two decades sent me into a weird panic.
I had always thought I'd just throw a trench coat over my pajamas and drop the kids at school and then go home and go back to bed, as my late-hours-working mother did. And eventually I will do this. But I didn't take into account the two years that T will be in preschool at completely opposite hours; starting at 12:30 which gives me only about one lousy hour a day to myself before it's time to pick up Bobby, and even worse, four miserable hours in the morning to try to keep a three year old entertained while big brother is at school. Every day.
So, dragging my ass out of bed at 6 AM and doing full-time child care with one hour off each day while I juggle two kids under six, for fourteen hours a day.
No. Just no.
The only thing to it is to switch Theo to morning hours at preschool to at least allow me some time in the morning - four hours - before he has to be picked up at 12:30 and then Bobby around 2. It still sucks but sucks slightly less. Except T would have to be dropped at 7:30 AM. Kill me. Kill me now.
I'm sure some kind of supplemental stuff could be used to help me - nannies, after school programs, activities - but all at additional cost. I don't think there's much getting around the fact that fall of 2017-fall of 2019 are going to be really awful.
I guess I didn't realize just how good I have it right now. We have this awesome, lazy schedule - we don't get up before 9 AM, have nearly three hours to get our acts together before school (so luxurious with kids this age who take forever to do anything and fight putting on shoes, brushing teeth, etc etc), and then once school is over it's dinner and bed. I get two hours to myself every day when Theo naps (or messes around in his crib while I work), and once he starts school (next month?) I'll have five hours a day to myself at least a couple of days a week.
I've been horribly spoiled. The next two years with both kids in afternoon preschool are going to be the best. But then it all comes crashing down when B starts kindergarten (which may actually let out a lot earlier than posted) and I'm stuck doing full childcare again every single afternoon...pretty much forever.
Of course I'm forgetting that when this happens I'll have a five year old and three year old. They will be completely different kids who may even be able to entertain themselves, not have to be hovered over on playgrounds for fear of falling, and will actually eat something. I may actually enjoy taking them around town for after school adventures.
But right now I'm kind of freaked out by how restricted my life is going to be come next year. I thought I was finally going to see a little freedom...but it looks like it's going to be only temporary. I guess there's nothing to it but enjoy it while I have it, right???