I'm having a negative moment and feel the need to vent. If you have no interest in reading about my stress stop reading now.
I'm feeling resentful that basically from Memorial Day to Labor Day I am not living a typical American life. This entire time has been dedicated to decluttering and downsizing our family's possessions, arranging for home repairs and redecorating then putting our house on the market. I have also found new temporary housing and am prepping the move by packing, then we'll do the actual move.
My kids are doing a fair amount of their regular activities but not everything. My husband has his nose to the grindstone working. Since he is away from us he is not helping with the declutteirng, packing, or home fixing and house prepping for the sale stuff. We are all missing out on vacations and typical travel such as visiting Cape Cod and Maine, where we have the ability to have free vacations.
At present I have been juggling getting the kids to their typical activities which were signed up for and paid for before we knew we were moving. I have to get them here and there all by myself which competes for my time on the rest of the move prep projects. When the kid's don't have appointments I'm juggling normal life (cooking, eating, cleaning the house) with move prep. In basically every spare moment that I'm not running around I am at home working like a dog or making phone calls to contractors and roofers and real estate agents. Since not everything is going smoothly with the workers for the house repairs I have stress from that. The calendar is really full and making sure the meetings with contractors doesn't clash with kid's sports camp or Boy Scout events is tricky.
I am so stressed out from what I'm trying to accomplish here that the things I squeeze in for a mental break and to have some fun feel instantly erased the second I get back to the move prep. While I am grateful for the good things like the fun I had on the Boy Scout family camping trip last weekend it feels like it never happened at all, when in reality, it just ended a few days ago. There are no long lasting effects of the things I am doing to relieve stress. The second I get back to my regular life all the relaxation is erased.
In addition my older son is battling a new case of Lyme Disease (and I think the doctor gave him a wrong medication dose) and this week I have symptoms also (so I am going to the doctor torday). I have had two deer ticks embedded in me this year already so it is quite possible I've gotten Lyme again.
I can't see any way to make this process easier or less stressful for me. I think I'm just going to have to keep going like gangbusters and push through until the actual move date is upon us and then get out of Dodge and get on with the next phase of unpacking our possessions into the rented house.
Another very important thing I am neglecting this summer is making the final plans for my children's 2011-2012 homeschool year. Since my oldest is entering his freshman year of homeschool high school this should be at the top of my priority list.
I feel torn about what we are doing for homeschooling, because in the past I have always had some kind of outside paid activities and tutoring and/or homeschool co-ops. Those provided some of the academic content and some socialization. I had planned to rely on some outside teaching for the high school years. As of right now my kids have no plans to do those "outside of home" things because of the long distance move and me not knowing what options are available.
The rules for the homeschool support groups and the secrecy surrounding what various groups offer for co-ops and classes in the Houston area complicates matters greatly. For example, the group closest to my home requires that I attend an info meeting (held just twice a year, not much flexibility there for new people moving into the area), I must fill out an application, have a face to face interview, sign off on dress codes and other rules about communication and behavior (for myself and my kids), sign up to volunteer for the group, and pay a fee before I can find out what the group is like or how my family may wish to participate in it.
I am at a near panic point about this issue of not being able to find out what is available for my kids in Houston. It is starting to seem like the easiest way to solve the issue is for me to decide to teach everything all by myself at home, then get on with planning how to do that. However that kind of planning takes concerted and concentrated effort and the ability to think clearly. I have none of that right now due to the activities and stress of this move. To further complicate matters most of our homeschool materials are already packed up for the move so I can't get my hands on them to make a plan to use them.
Online classes are an option I know, but the format of instruction used with computer classes is the polar opposite of what works best for my older son with his visual processing disorder (a learning disability). Paying fees and having to deal with doing assignments on time or being online for certain appointment times plus to have a teaching delivery system which is very hard for the student seems nonsensical. If he is to do such classes I will wind up having to help him with the content anyway and I will have to nag about deadlines and the schedule of classes will dictate my schedule and my younger son's schedule.
I am so mentally exhausted from the pressure of having to do so much regarding this move and the home repair from the ice dams that happened this winter and also some redecorating work to prepare the house for sale that I have nothing left over to contemplate homeschool planning.
What date the kids and I actually move is not yet known. I was shocked to find out this week, that the long distance movers are booking 3-5 weeks out right now. But, I can't even do that until I have the in home estimate done and that books out nine days in advance (so I am in that waiting stage today). To secure a move date I am going to have to pick a date, and then rush to get all packed up by then. Having a solid deadline to move will be scary but maybe it will be helpful.
My husband keeps saying that once we move the contents of this house and start to set up life in Texas we can then take family vacations. I honestly don't see how that will work when the free vacation is in Cape Cod and we will be 2000 miles from there and the other free vacation is in Maine which will be 2300 miles from us.
The vision I see which differs from his is that we will move our possessions in the end of July and we will begin unpacking and setting up house until at least mid-August. It seems to me with the extra money we are paying for rental deposits and some new furniture for the different layout of that rental house and the new washer and dryer we'll be buying, that we will not want to or be able to spend money on a fun vacation. In order to have a free place to stay for a summer vacation we'll have to spend over $2K on airfare plus rent a car.
Thus I imagine that we will be stuck at home just with each other and since the homeschool year is not yet planned, I'll use my time and energy in August to plan out the academics for 2011-2012. Meanwhile, not yet having made any friends, my kids will be at each other's throats or begging to just watch TV or play video games 24/7. I fear my kids will be lonely and bored without knowing other kids since Scouting and sports will not have started yet.
I fear I will continue to have trouble breaking into the local homeschooling community since it is so darned hot and humid in Houston that many people leave town for summer vacation. For example I'm already having trouble finding out about Boy Scouting because people are not around to talk to me. Then what will happen is activities for kids will start up in the fall very quickly and since sign-ups for the activities was done last spring the programs will be full and my kids will be locked out.
Going deeper into next year, the way I see it is we will be strapped for cash since we are juggling paying the mortgage and expenses on this house while also renting. In the worst case but very realistic scenario due to depressed real estate market in Fairfield County, Connecticut, I suspect we will have this house on the market for months and months. Thus as the school year goes on and while we are busy doing homeschooling we will feel we need a break, since we dove right from the hectic move into studying, but we will not be able to a vacation since our budget will be too tight.
Can you sense that I'm starting to feel panicked?
If anyone has words of wisdom or advice, I'm listening.