We started first grade two weeks ago, G and I. We are doing it together. Me the teacher; she the student. Gone are the leisurely mornings of kindergarten where we dabbled in letters, and reading, and numbers. Now are the days of making sure we get it all done.
In my perfect little schedule, we fit it into a two hour window. The baby takes his nap. The other two do a bit of coloring, a bit of letters, and play nicely besides.
But in reality, some days it is less than two hours. She is interested in her work and does it quickly. Other days she is Anne of Green Gables, with her head in the clouds, preferring her books to school which she can grasp so easily but prefers not to do. And school takes FOREVER.
I try to rush her, with my to-do list in my head. I get annoyed at the baby for not napping, even though he is happy on his play mat. I snap at the other two for playing too loudly and for G for paying more attention to their game than her work.
I complain to my husband, and he reminds me that this is why we are home schooling, so the kids can take the time the need or go as quickly as they wish. And I realize that this schooling is again a loss of myself and my desires.
Every new stage, every new baby has stripped me of time to do what I want, but I also have realized that I do need to do the things that I love. I need to things for myself in the cracks of time I have.