First Day of School... My Life is about to change (I think)

Yesterday i turned the page on a new chapter in my life. For the first time in the five years since i have been working on my own, i was released from some of the daily duties of being a full time stay-at-home father. It can be terribly difficult to balance a life as a homemaker with children at home and Architect (or any professional for that matter). Meetings are hard to schedule when you have the responsibility of small children at home. Household chores, cooking lunch, breaking up fights, and general demands on my time have made it very difficult to focus on building my Architectural practice. Some of  that changed yesterday...

Two years ago, my wife and i gave up on the idea of homeschooling our children as she was having to work more or less full-time outside the home and i was trying to run my own Architectural practice. So, five of our seven children were off to school for the first time in their lives. The two remaining at home were ages 3 and 5 at the time and we made the decision to continue trying to homeschool them for the time being. Well that changed this summer when my wife took a bonafide full time position as a Team Lead at Target. Between that an me starting to pick up some more work, the time had come to send all our children to school. (If you are interested, they are in grades K, 1, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12).

To mark this momentous occasion, i thought it would be interesting to chronicle my day and see if anything has really changed all that much. If you are not so much interested in the play by play account of my day, you can just read the summary. Without further ado, here is what i did yesterday:

First let me say that i started out by going to be bed by 1130p the night before. This is much earlier than i prefer, but then again i had to get up much early than i prefer as well. I am more of a night owl than an early bird. Part of that is out of the necessity of working late into the night after the children had gone to bed. Hopefully i will be able to re-train myself to switch into more of an early bird. But i digress...

0255a: I wake up with a start at. That was weird. After checking the clock i close my eyes and go back into a somewhat restless sleep until...

0615a: I drag myself out of bed and start waking the children up to get ready for school...

0725a: Amanda (my wife) leaves to take the children to school. This will not be a typical scenario as she usually has to be to work before the children have to be at school. But, it is the first day of school. And our youngest is starting Kindergarten.

Five of Seven Children off to School

Meanwhile, my eldest son (who does not start school until next week) comandeers my computer. So i get myself ready for the day, clean up the kitchen, and get ready to run some errands...

0905a: Leave to run errands: Drop off invoice for Freelance work, Hardware store to replace some misplaced hardware for my FarmersMarket Shelter, Library to return books... As i am pulling out of the driveway, i think: "This is stupid. I should ride my bike." So i pull the car back into the driveway and get my bike out and loaded for the trip...

Bicycle Commute Cycling

1030a:  7.12 miles (and one giant hill) later i arrive back home having accomplished all i set out to do (except stop at the BMV which i did not rember i needed to do until i was riding past it, so i did not have what i needed to take care of my plates and renew my license). I then start the first of two small loads of laundry that need done. A really light day for laundry. More typical is 4-5 loads...

1050a: Wrestle the computer away from my eldest son and read through the eMails waiting in by inboxes...

1105a: Fire up AutoCAD LT 2013 for Mac to start work a Freelance project...

1215p: Stop working to hang clean laundry out, start next load, and get some lunch...

0115p: Start working again...

0215p: Stop working. Get the second load of laundry out on the line so i can leave to get the children from school.

And thus ends my first day of working at home without (most of) the children. The rest of the evening was pretty typical for a Wednesday...

After getting back from the two mile walk with our dog (Buckeye) to pick up the children, i work for a bit longer and attend a webinar before dinner. After diner, my eldest daughter helped me get the laundry off the line, folded, and distributed to the appropriate baskets and then i take her and our third son to youth group at the church we attend. While they are away i was able to get some work done on my FarmersMarket shelter. After picking them up i help my son with some homework before they are off to bed. I work some more and finish up this post before i go to bed.

SUMMARY
The first day of school consisted of me getting about 2 hours of drafting done, 1-1/2 hours of errand running, 2-1/2 hours of household chores,  1 hour for lunch, and 1 hour for generally piddling around and picking up the children. My first day was not quite as productive, in terms of getting actual paying work done, as i would have hoped. It was also not truly representative of what what my days should be like once all seven children are in school. For instance my eldest son was watching Braveheart in the afternoon and i kind of got sucked into watching it (hence the 1 hour lunch) off an on until i left to pick up the other children. The older two boys start next week.

 

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