While I’m told most parents look forward to the start of the school year, here it hits hard.

During the school year, I lose sleep. The kids’ schedules are such that I’m cut short every morning by about half an hour, sometimes more. Even when ¬†my Patient Husband is getting the kids ready, the baby hears the older kids already awake, and not one to miss the slightest bit of excitement, he pops up like a pop-tart out of a toaster, and then I’ve got to get up too.

After school, there’s the intensity of cramming every possible after school activity (into which I include niceties like homework) into two hours before dinner. After dinner it’s mostly cleanup, reading to the kids (again my Patient Husband), dishes and bedtime.

Yes, there’s that empty time in the middle. That’s time for going grocery shopping, doing laundry, unloading and loading the washer, running the vacuum cleaner, taking the smaller boys outside, and that mid-day grommet-point, the time the five year old needs to be at the bus stop for kindergarten pickup.

The result? I’m tired. My brain is fried. I want to turn off the thinking and stare off into space and not be hassled by the ten pounds of paperwork the school claims it needs in order to properly educate my children.

I spoke to a spiritual director, and she told me to check out an Asperger’s support group. There’s one over at Delphi. I read it. I promptly wished I hadn’t, for exactly the same reason she wanted me to check it out: because everyone there is going through exactly what we go through/have gone through with my son.

The stories are scary in how familiar they are. The meltdowns, the rudeness, the incomprehensible reactions. From the parents: the fears, frustration, the futility, the sense of failure.

I tried to get to daily Mass, that bastion of peace in an otherwise hectic schedule. Because kindergarten is in the afternoon, I now need to take the two youngest boys. Daily Mass is fifteen minutes long, and I couldn’t get them through it. They were so wild, I had to leave. They’re not like this on Sunday, but on Sunday, I can station them with separate parents.

Overall, it’s overwhelming, or it will be until I get used to the new routine, get everything in place, and figure out how to manage three sets of after school activities.

Sorry there’s nothing funny here today, nothing thought-provoking. Maybe tomorrow.


  1. Illya

    Though my situation was completely different, I understand the feeling and can almost feel it insdie again. There were nnights (years in fact) when all I could do each night was to kneel by my bed and say one Our Father and thank the Lord I made it through one more day. Though it seems like little consolation now, the Lord understnds and somehow we make it through. In years to come, you may remember the stress, but the pain eases, and you are left with warm memories of the time past. You need prayers, and you have mine in abundance.

  2. cricketB


  3. colleen

    I was always overwhelmed when school started and I only had two children. I preferred summers and the boys being home and spending more time with them that was not about getting homework done and driving them everywhere and parent/teacher conferences. You are in my prayers. And you do not need to be thought provoking or funny all the time. Just be you.

    1. philangelus

      In general, silly and off-in-my-own-head *is* me. I hate when that just isn’t there.

      We’ll hit our stride at some point. The transition is a bear.