my kids all go to school…

none of us were ready for back to school this year. we all wanted more summer vacation, more family time, more laziness. but regardless off how we felt, it happened. school started.

this year is a serious milestone. all of my kids are in school! not just preschool and up {considering preschool is a voluntary option.} but, they are all enrolled in kindergarten through high school, and i have reached this point of motherhood all too quickly, soon I’ll be looking for workplace furniture from somewhere like office monster so they can have a place to concentrate and do school work.

when you have your first baby, and your next, and depending on who you are – possibly another and another {like me.} you have days where you feel like you are going to have a toddler f-o-r-e-v-e-r

let me tell you: i love toddlers. in fact, three year olds are my favorite. they are exactly what inspired husband and i to have four kids. those darn cute three year olds! after kiana, we were convinced one kid was enough – then after myla, we were finished having kids with two because there was perfectly one child for each of us to care for when disaster would hit. then after KJ we thought we had our boy so we were complete… then sela! each time one of our kids would be two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half, we’d start dwelling on the fact that this was our last three year old and we’d plan another. no joke. {and with four kids, we were done.}

however, as much as we love toddlers… life without a baby and toddler definitely has its perks. a bit more time in the day for oneself. time that allows me to prepare for when everyone re-gathers, time to funnel energy towards other categories in my life, and not strictly family or motherhood.

with all four of my kids going to school, i now have a guaranteed 21 hours/week sans children. it’s a new phase of my life. sela stays at school all-day for two days a week here in mass., and gets out at noon on the other three days. so, i do still have one more year till my kids are all at school – all day.

i am starting to create a plan for when that all-day, everyday comes next year. if i don’t have something planned – a goal, something to accomplish, things to learn, a bigger purpose — i could easily fill my time with motherhood duties. cleaning, shopping, organizing, etc etc. but i know that if i set bigger goals, i will get all those family tasks completed plus more. i want the more.

*with this spare time approaching, i’ve been thinking a lot lately that the world of blogging/parenting in general focuses a lot on motherhood with babies and younger children yet lacks in the area of parents with teenagers.

to all my blog readers with teenagers and older — where are your voices? what are your successes with raising teenagers? your struggles? your concerns? your advice? i would love to connect with you.

since we moved, we now live right next door to our new elementary school. kj and sela walk to school each day via a secret gate in our fence to the school – i never realized till school started how much i LOVE this! at recess time i can peek out a window and see them, i can open the windows, and hear the happy sounds of kids playing. it’s been a dream.

cheers to school, getting more out of life, and the endless love of learning! xo.


*this post is scattered, my brain is running in a hundred directions today. would love to hear your thoughts… realizing my readers are a mix of all ages – are you a student? are you a mother – what did you do when your kids were all in school vs. the years they were home? thoughts on life with teenagers?

{photos by me, Jane Beckner Rhodes.}

6 responses to “my kids all go to school…”

  1. I loved the teenage years! My advice to you is to keep them busy and stay close as a family. It looks like you’re already doing that so I don’t think you’ll have a problem. Just enjoy the journey! However, I was just as busy when my kids were older. Like you, I’m a goal and project person plus it was sometimes hard for me to say no when asked to volunteer. Since you’re a creative person people will always be trying to recruit you for your time, your time is valuable. Stick to your creative schedule and don’t bend. I don’t regret spending so much time with my kids. My kids are awesome!

  2. the blog world really IS heavy on the toddler/baby stage and though my oldest is only 8, i’m really interested in how to navigate the future.
    thanks for sharing your thoughts on having kids, too. we are pregnant with our 4th (and final) and our baby is 3…go figure that darn 3-year-old got us going again!
    i like your goal of something “BIGGER” than the daily duties. i’m going to think about that. but, first i need to birth this last baby. 🙂
    love your blog

  3. Love the back to school post! The chalkboard idea is very, very cute. And I think it’s great that you live so close to your kids’ school. I’m an on and off student. I have a BA but I will be returning to school in a year or two to attend graduate school.

  4. I agree that the blogging world is heavily focused on babies and toddlers, which I do love since I have babies and toddlers. But the teenage stage scares me so I would love to have a resource of how others raise teenagers successfully. You seem to do it so well!

  5. It’s hard to believe how big your kids have gotten! High School?! I got to see Dusty for a few hours while he was in Park City and he gave me a small update on life in Boston. I’m happy to know that life is good for you all. I’m loving your blog as always. I’ve always wanted a chalkboard wall. who knew there was magnetic paint??? I’m definitely giving it a try. xoxo

  6. Just stumbled onto your blog. Love it. I’m a young mom 37 with a three kids. 15, 11 and 7 years old. I can do elementary school all day but this whole high school thing has been a tough transition. No on talks about it. Always looking for new information and how others do it.
    Instagram tamethab

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