Monday, September 10, 2012

September is my new January

I am writing this post with my kids at my feet, building intricate Lego contraptions. After many, many weeks of unstructured summertime out West where my kids bonded over hikes, forts, bike rides, recycled art projects, ice cream and their first "restaurant venture", my older son went back to school last week. This left my soon-to-be-Kindergartner looking for action until his school year starts (which will be Monday-- today, for many who are reading this post). And while I felt this pull to delve back into the "school routine" once we arrived back in CT, last week slipped by with giant piles of summer mail still teetering unpredictably on the floor, flip-flops kicked off in the entry way, a back-up on laundry, and several trips to playgrounds. It was hot and muggy, like summer. But it didn't feel carefree like summer. This slightly unsettled feeling had been building, like I was neither here, nor there.

This is not how I envisioned the school year starting out.

I had this pipe dream that the year my youngest started K would be the year I hit the ground running... Launch a wellness business for busy moms! Continue to volunteer! Plan our meals! Write a meal-planning e-book! Workout daily! Heck, I planned to get in amazing shape! Keep up with facials! Brows! Nails! Figure out "my look" and clean out my closet! Spend time at the Genius Bar! Go to bed at a reasonable hour! Learn to meditate! (That probably shouldn't have an exclamation point after it, should it?...) But what's really happening? I am muddled. I am in that super weird place so many moms find themselves after staying home to raise families: my youngest is heading off to Kindergarten today, and I. Have. No. Idea. What. I. Am. Supposed. To. Be. Doing. With. My. Life. Am I supposed to go back to work? Am I supposed to relax? Am I supposed to juggle more? Less? With this momentous day on the horizon, I even invested in a (ridiculously expensive) slick business coaching program that was supposed to catapult me into some sort of "Spotlight". Instead, the program made me question my professional and personal goals and priorities even more. If only I'd saved my pennies for those facials...

I could feel my lower back tightening with every back-to-school errand. What had happened to our carefree August? How had my vision for myself gone from crystal clear to needing an entire bottle of Windex? And then my little one dreamily asked from the backseat if I remembered "Pine Hills"?

Pine Hills. The "restaurant" my kids made up out in Idaho. I was still responsible for the cooking... but if you "put your food in the wood square it will be served"...

and, after entering through the homemade duct tape and branch trellis, a cute waiter (toting an ice cream cone) promised me I could "relax in a hammock with an awesome book after dinner". And so, instead of succumbing to my own pressure to "figure it all out" before the school bus rumbles off today I am trying really hard to channel Pine Hills-- the simplicity, joy, and creativity my kids offered me. A chance to just be. A rare gift in the chaotic pace of motherhood these days. I am celebrating the truly amazing children I am sending off to school today, taking a moment to relax, giving myself a pat on the back for a job well-done so far, and embracing this transition like a resolution. It's New Year's in September for me-- and many of you out there too. Cheers.


  1. Hang in there! I can totally relate to the tension in the lower back thing! That's exactly where I feel stress, too.

  2. Oh Eila,

    You have written and captured what so many of us moms are feeling or have gone through.
    You are an incredible mother and you are meant to enjoy every minute of it whatever that may look like.
    As for what you are supposed to do now that both kids will be in school? I can tell you from experience, the school days seem really, really, really short. Enjoy!!

  3. Eila,

    You have captured and written about what every mother goes through.

    You will be surprised how quickly a school day goes by, so my advice to you is to enjoy each day as it comes and what is meant to be will fall into place as it is meant to.

    In the meantime, keep teaching us wonderful, delicious meals, we love them!!

  4. I know what your true calling is after reading this...A WRITER! You wrote a beautiful piece here that all of us busy Moms can appreciate, relate to and learn to exhale from! Thank you!

  5. I'm not sure if you read my post from last week but it essentially said the exact same thing. It's pretty scary really-our brains might be close to the same. The funny thing is, I've been watching your posts all summer thinking, she has it all figured out. Why oh why am I waffling and she has it all figured out. What is wrong with me? Why can't I be more like Eila? Here's the best part, I've spoken to some people this week who were thinking the same thing of me!
    Funny, right? I think what we all need is just what you say-a little Pine Hills, a pat on the back for a job well done so far, and a big deep breath to slow down and realize there is plenty of time to decide what we want to be when we grow up.
    Here's to a glass of wine and at least one of those facials. Good luck mama!


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