Thursday, January 9, 2014

1st Day Back & Decision Time

Our "work week" started back for me and the boys yesterday and everything was going pretty good... until we had our teacher meeting before school and I found out that preschool registration and enrollment for next year opens up for current families in 2.5 short weeks. Eeesh! That means DECISION TIME for us as a family. A decision we weren't quite ready to make. A decision that's been hanging over us but that we've put off finalizing because it's such a tough and stressful one to make. A decision about me working or staying home. A decision about Austin going to preschool or being home with me full time. A decision about school for every family member... except Terrell since school isn't an option for him. Boo. I'm not ready for this!

After that somewhat stressful start, the rest of the school day went well. So that's good! We all had a great day and other than mama getting a workout after school trying to get the boys changed out of school clothes and into comfy clothes, taken to the potty, ready for naptime (Austin), ready for quiet time (Garrison), bags and lunch boxes unpacked, and folders sorted through- it was a great first day back. Yay!

The evening was pretty typical and all in all, supper, bath time, and bedtime went really smoothly. We were especially thankful to have daddy back home with us! He helps me clean up the kitchen and then he gives the boys a bath every night. I am so thankful for him! AND, we've had 2 consecutive nights of bedtime going much better. Praise the Lord! Austin is still staying up a little later than I'd like him to but he's quiet, flipping through his books, and staying on his pillow. As long as he isn't climbing the ladder to see Garrison or getting on and off the bed or just being wild and crazy and keeping Garrison awake, I think I'm okay with it.

We talked to both our moms yesterday and think we've finalized birthday party gifts for our biggest boy... and the party planning is coming right along. Yay again!

So yesterday was going pretty great... good day back at school, no major issues with the kiddos, a really smooth bedtime, etc. I even caught up on a show and ate some ice cream. A successful day indeed... until right before going to bed the thought occurred to me that Austin and I will have most of the day to ourselves tomorrow (meaning today) because Garrison has school but the 2 of us don't. Which means I started wondering what we'd do and how we'd spend our morning and just trying to make some plans.

And then it hit me.. the DECISION.

So then, at the late hour of past my bedtime, Terrell and I talked all about our options for next year... except we think totally different. He thinks in numbers and from a financial perspective and I think not in numbers and from a day-to-day, family life perspective. He thinks in terms of what's best financially and I think in terms of what's best for each family member. And while we were doing all that separate thinking I totally got stressed out and anxious and just about lost it because I don't know what to do or what's best because no matter what we decide it feels as though that decision won't be best for someone.

If I stay home, we're losing my income. Which means a bit of a financial strain and my little big boy not being able to attend preschool. If we're already losing my income then adding preschool tuition just wouldn't be an option. Which means Austin would be home with me and Layton full time... without his big brother and best playmate since Garrison will be starting Kindergarten.

If I work, we have to come up with childcare for Layton temporarily, which we've decided is not best financially (not even close to being worth it) OR my director would have to agree to a long-term sub for me until Octoberish when Layton would be old enough to start in the 1 year old class. Still, he'd be waaay younger than everyone and I'm not sure it'd be best for him. But, Austin could still attend preschool (because my kids go for free as long as I'm working there) and have something just for him... and we'd have a bit of a financial cushion.

If Garrison goes to one of our big school options (which aren't guaranteed as of yet) then he'll be gone big school hours every single day, leaving Austin home with Layton and I and no "outlet" of his own (assuming I stay home). No preschool and no big brother to play with and give him some time away from mama and Layton... which totally makes me feel guilty. And it will mean much less time for Garrison at home than he's used to. *If I'm working then it'll be a whole lot on mama... getting Garrison to big school everyday, plus working, plus having Austin and Layton at work with me, plus picking Garrison up from school, and by the time we get home it'll feel like I've just worked an all day job instead of my part-time preschool job. Sigh.

If Garrison does our "homeschool" option (through Georgia Cyber Academy) then all 3 boys are home with me around the clock... and while I feel open to that option and definitely believe that it has it's "pros", is it best? Is it best for Garrison to start Kindergarten at home? Is it best for Austin to have both brothers here all the time and never given the chance for a little independence? Is it best for no break from each other... ever?

So. All this was discussed late last night. And all this caused me anxiety. I tried really hard not to freak out and panic and thankfully I never did those things, but I did get worked up. I did feel guilty about our "situation" and options, or lack thereof. I went to bed exhausted and sad. It's so hard making grown-up decisions about money and school and your most precious gifts... your children.

The thing is, none of these decisions are terrible. None of them will cause our children any permanent negative consequences. (Which I am so, so grateful for) But they will effect them in one way or another, positively or not so positively. Not only will they effect our day-to-day life for the next school year, but they will effect our bank account. So we really want to get it right. But what is right?! What is BEST?! Ahhhhhhhhh.

I went to bed praying and I woke up praying... and with a new perspective. I'm so thankful "sleeping on it" works that way (most of the time) and that His mercies are new every morning (all of the time.)

I'm not feeling quite as torn and stressed and overwhelmed today. The decisions we have to make are still lingering, but I do have a new perspective... God already has this figured out and His plan is best. No need to freak out or obsess over it. We're going to cover these decision-making dilemmas in prayer as we continue to weigh pros and cons and seek His wisdom and what's best for our famiy.

***Any additional prayers are very much welcome and appreciated.

I'm claiming these verses as we make some final decisions in the coming weeks and months:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard
your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7


Lauren and Eddie said...

Is there a program where Austin could attend a few days a week just to get out of the house but without it breaking the bank? My youngest goes twice a week for 3 hours for just over $3/hour. I'm not bringing home any income now (unless I sub which I've done a few times this year), but it still works out for us. Hope you find a solution!

Melissa said...

I understand your concerns, frustrations, etc. as they are the same thoughts I've had as we've discussed a 3rd or not and now that I'm back at work part-time. Like you said- God's got this! I'll be praying for wisdom, patience and peace!

Meggie said...

Thanks y'all! The more I relax about it and trust God's plan the less anxious/worried/concerned I am. It'll work out for the best one way or another. =)