I have to admit it.

This past couple of weeks since school started I have been completely overwhelmed!

Homework. Family Dinner. Evening Activities. OH MY!

My boys are back to school and thriving. I love to watch them get on the bus each morning with a quick hug, kiss and a wish for a great day. Then I can pour myself another cup of coffee, get a little work done and bond with 6-week old baby-boy, *L*. The 7 hours of school-time seems to fly.

At about 3:30 pm every school night I make sure the kitchen island is cleaned off. I get the boys’ homework caddies out (filled with pencils, crayons, scissors, math flash cards, all kinds of homework necessities) *E*, 2nd grade gets home first and after a bit of stalling dives into homework. He has about an hour of work each night. *C*, kindergarten, gets home about 30 minutes later. Kindergarten homework is a little ‘lighter’ but there is still an overlap of time. We work through homework together around the kitchen island. But don’t picture a peaceful library-esque scene. It’s a bit harried helping two with homework and an infant who wants in on the action.

Oh and dinner… yep, usually I’m trying to make dinner too in all of this craziness. Tuesday nights are the worst because we need to be eating by 4:45pm to get to 5:30 practice. This week I was smart enough to pull out the crock-pot. I started homemade soup earlier in the day with left over steak, a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables, a few red-potatoes and three fresh from the garden tomatoes and about 2 cups of water. It was quite yummy! So I’m officially declaring Tuesday nights as crock-pot night. (Now I just need to find some more good recipes.)

We are also in the midst of soccer season and two nights a week we are in the fields from 5:30 till 7:30. The boys love soccer. I love to see them out there playing hard, running hard, stretching and socializing. It’s not that soccer practice is bad in my mind, it’s just another piece of the evening puzzle. Sometimes I have hub’s support in getting out the door for practice. Sometimes it is just me when he is still at work. There are other activities other nights of the week too, such as Small Group on Wednesdays which is ‘required’ adult-time for me. We also have to factor in the high-schoolers schedule, *J*, which is much less reliant on Dad and step-Mom as well.

At the same time, we have limited ourselves. Although *E* wanted to do Cub Scouts again we realized how time consuming that was and had to cut it out this year. We recognize our own limits and have to put the family over the individual at times. The boys don’t really get to watch TV at all and evening free-time outside has been cut-down big time since the summer. It has been quite an adjustment.

I enjoyed an article from Military OneSource this morning that made me realize I am not alone in this craziness. “Overscheduled and Overwhelmed — Tips for Parents” The three main points are:

Review your priorities
Remember that each of you needs time alone and with others
Decide as a family on how you want to relax together

We have things we need to work on but I’m glad to know we are on the right path.

This morning my very own *C* let out a bit yawn and said “I miss my naps”. I’m with you, tuts. But as a family we are learning to manage our time and fall into the pace of the school year.

– Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.combyLeanne KocsisonFriday, September 17, 2010Military Life:,,,,,

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