first

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Today is my kids’ first day of school and my first day of being part-time. Well, technically I have done part-time before, but it feels different. The last two times I reduced my schedule it was upon the birth of my second child (down to 2o hours) and then my third child (down to 10 hours). I guess it is not surprising that this time the choice to go part-time (without a newborn) feels much more volitional (“and indulgent!” says my inner critic). I’m excited about the multiple dimensions my day is going to hold, but I have a lot of questions inside relating to purpose and whether I actually have any.  It’s easy to say that my purpose is being with my kids, but they were ok while I was working full-time, so is that really a valid purpose? Yes. I know the answer is yes, but it’s not the complete answer.

Here’s what my day is going to look like (on the outside):

  • Get the kids ready for school.
  • Actually get them to school.
  • Go to work for 4-5 hours.
  • Pick the kids up from school!!!!!
  • Be at home this afternoon (we’ll see how much work demands my attention and how I do at managing that and/or having people wait until Wednesday morning).

I’ll report back later today or tomorrow morning about what went on today (on the inside).

Update:  My son had the mother of all meltdowns this morning about going back to school. He was inconsolable and kept saying how scared he was.  David and I took turns holding him as he cried and eventually he calmed down, ate a very little bit of breakfast and then went to his first day of school without complaint. It all turned out well, but he is experiencing some seriously big feelings these days. We are really thinking about how we can help him feel calmer and more secure.

My own day has been pretty nice. I love that I spent 3 hours at the office and then turned off the clock and went to pick up the kids.  It felt good to get home and not immediately have to jump on e-mail or a conference call.

I’m now heading out for an impromptu trip to get my daughter new sneakers since she discovered this morning that she had outgrown her old ones (I love this!)

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