It’s gonna be a little weird

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life25 Comments

This morning, Cole didn’t have to be to school early because of a conference he’s attending, so I decided to bump my morning alarm to 7:30.

As I lie in bed, waiting to make that all important decision do I hit the snooze on my phone or get up?, I realized that this time next year, sleeping later could be the new school year norm.

Whether Cole is a freshman in college or a young man taking a gap year, getting up in the morning to get him to school won’t be a thing anymore. He’s presently driving himself to school every day with me in the passenger seat, as he’s working on getting his license, but even if he takes the test in December and passes, I have no plans to hand Stevie over to him for the day so he can drive to school alone. Mama might work from home, but she still needs her car.

That, and we don’t exactly have the budget for a new used car. Nor does my son, soโ€ฆ I still have a parental task at hand for the next several months.

As I came downstairs for that all-important first cup o’ Joe, I stood there for a minute and thought, “It’s gonna be a little weird next year.”

You see, I’m hoping for the boy goes to college scenario versus the boy takes a gap year to play rock and roll one. In the former, the boy is living in a dorm somewhere, immersing himself in college life and living away from home for the first time.

Right now, he’s got schools on his list as far away as coastal Northern California, and as close as the University of Minnesota. I personally want this experience for him because I think it will show him a different side of education, one where it’s really on him to get it done. One where he gets to start managing his own life on a more sophisticated level. While he’s grown up in the Montessori method, which definitely puts the onus on the student to do the work, I think right now he’s mentally done with high school in a lot of ways.

But next year, with Dan entering his third year of elementary school teaching (and don’t they say it gets easier after Year Three?), and his early 6:45 a.m. departures, there won’t necessarily be a compelling reason for me to keep my 6 a.m. alarm.

Hell, I’ll have ALL day to get my work done. Dan gets home around 6:30 or 7 each day, so that give me hours to kick it old school.

And the thing is, because I’m self employed (and really hope to continue to be able to be so, but I’ve been saying that for 18 years now), unless I’m going to Costco, I’ll be able to stay in those jammie pants as long as humanly possible. My bra wearing ratio, already at an all-time low, will dip to the greatly protected “on an as needed basis.”

And all I’m saying here is that it’s going to be a little weird.

One day at a time, right my friends? And this mama needs to stay in the present.

Duly noted.












Cathy ZielskeIt’s gonna be a little weird

25 Comments on “It’s gonna be a little weird”

  1. #1

    your floors are gorgeous!!
    enjoy these last few months with Cole in school. I know you know they will fly by.

  2. #2

    In totally the same boat as you Cathy, with a son leaving school next Summer and currently applying for universities. It’s going to be a bit different around here too. I’m both apprehensive and excited for what’s to come.

  3. #3

    All of these milestones are definitely adjustments. And usually weird, in my experience! All we can do is enjoy the ride!!

  4. #4
    Madeline St Onge

    Yup routines change for many different reasons, mine was the death of my husband, I live alone and do as I please, go to bed when I want. It has been 21 months and I still struggle to get used it
    Good Luck to Cole on making his desision for next year

    1. #4.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Madeline, yes, I’m sorry for your loss, and I would imagine that would be so hard to adjust to indeed. Hugs to you.

  5. #5
    Amanda M.

    My daughter is 3 and in Montessori Primary. We are SO considering it for K-12, but it’s extremely expensive in our area. Would you consider sharing what you have loved and why you have chosen to keep you kids in this style school? Even in a private email? I would SO appreciate it.

    1. #5.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Well, we were very lucky, because they have both attended public charter schools. We have an elementary, middle and high school. And the school where my daughter graduated and my son is now a senior is 1-12 as of a few years ago.

      I think the thing we have liked the most is how Montessori uses development levels in how kids learn and are taught. I especially though this was critical for middle school, because there is so much social stuff that is part of it. I know it’s not for everyone. Students really learn to self direct over timeโ€ฆ I’m not sure if we had to pay for it, we would have gone that route. We don’t really make the kind of income to have had our kids in private school. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. #6

    My life changed just over 2 years ago when I separated from my husband. I now work full time after being at home for 26 plus years. I love getting home in the evenings, putting on my pjs and going to bed early to read.

  7. #8

    I’ve got my oldest of two on his senior year and am having thoughts about how different next year will be. Mixed emotions. Excitement for him and some sadness too.
    I had hoped to do a little album like the one you do but sadly have not. I would love an update on how it’s going. Maybe I could do a once a month page instead of weekly.

    1. #8.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Gina! So far, the album’s going great. I set an alarm for every Friday at 11 and I stop, drop and write something and find a photo. I try not to plan. I just look on my phone and see if I have any shots that might work, and boom, get it done! ๐Ÿ™‚ You could totally do one page per month. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. #9

    my kids are only a year apart in school. One is a Senior, looking at colleges, and the other a Junior, borrowing my car and taking the ACT/SAT tests. It has become very apparent that in 18 months, I’ll have no kids at home. I’m staring at my husband wondering what we will do without the boys. So much of my identity has been “mom” — it’s an adjustment to be just me again.

  9. #10

    We’re experiencing something similar this year. With one daughter a freshman in college living in the dorms, the other is a junior in high school who drives herself the 30 minutes to and from school each day. I wake up, make sure she gets off to school on time, then drink my morning coffee. No longer do I have to get up, shower, throw on some yoga pants and make the daily drive. This gives me back 2 hours to my day. Why is it though with this “extra” time are my projects still not done??? Still haven’t switched my summer clothes for my fall. Still haven’t caught up on a year of scrapbooking. Haven’t finished a book in months. Time to check one of these off my list today.

  10. #11

    On the college vs. gap year decision…gah, that is rough. We faced the same problem with our son and he ended up going to college. It was the completely wrong decision and a total disaster. He lost his (FOUR YEAR) scholarship and now is pretty uncertain as to what to do with his life. My suggestion is if Cole DOES go to college, make sure he signs up for easy classes that will help him feel successful. And if he DOES do a gap year, it might just be the best thing for him to get over his burnt-out-from-high-school feeling.

    These emerging adults are going into a world that is so much harder than when we did it. Sometimes they do need some space to realize their success is now really & truly in their own hands. Hugs and you have my every hope that this transition goes smoothly for all of you.

  11. #12
    Deborah P

    “Hell, Iโ€™ll have ALL day to get my work done.” This made me laugh. When I “retired” temporarily 7 years ago, I thought I would get so many projects done because I’d have all that free time. I did a few, but having no structure to the days meant that I spent more time piddling around (which I thoroughly enjoyed) than getting things done. I applaud you and other work-at-homers for having the discipline to work productively in that environment. I lack that skill. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. #12.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I never thought I’d be self employed. Truly. But the thing that is the most motivating? If I don’t get it done, I don’t make money. lol!

  12. #13

    Ch, ch, ch, ch, ch, changes…
    My two are now both on their own. Both started college, got jobs in their college towns for summer, and life changed dramatically, and immediately; they were just, gone… As if that isn’t a big enough transition for us mommas to make, I’ve also found there is a profound loss of friendships. Most of (okay, all) my friends still have kids at home. They don’t understand the new worries, and the new life. All they can see is “free time!!”, and can’t seem to wrap their minds around how busy life stays. They also can’t comprehend the massive worry (and nearly absolute inability to help) you have when you move into the realm of “adult children”. It makes it hard to connect, and so since they have so many friends still in their life stage, many just stop connecting. It’s another loss that so few people talk about.

    1. #13.1

      I totally agree! I always thought people were silly when they talked about empty nest and the stress that gave them. Now that my own two have flown the coop, I truly understand the issues of an empty nest. It took me a few months to realize what I did before I had kids and what made me happy. Not that I gave up my hobbies when I had kids, they just became less important. Now I make sure I that I get my time in with my hobbies after work. I still get interruptions because it is true that people think you have so much more free time (I used to be one of those people)!

    2. #13.2
      Cathy Zielske

      One word: Snapchat. I tell ya, that keeps me in contact with my daughter and I’m super grateful for it. Also, she’s a talker so she calls me frequently, butโ€ฆ the connection, yesโ€ฆ I hope to work hard to keep that going but I know it will be very different, or I would imagine it will be, with my son. He has no plans to friend me on Snapchat. lol.

  13. #14

    I can speak to my experience with this as my daughter is a senior in college right now, and I sent my son off to college just this past August. I really miss both of my kids, and the house is entirely too quiet now. I love the voices and noises of children, but I also miss the schedule. I thrive on order and structure and without my kids here, that has kind of fallen by the wayside. I am not nearly as productive now as I used to be which you wouldn’t think because I have all this time now, right? But for me the parameters of a schedule force me to get things done within the time frame. I will have to figure out how to do that on my own, which in itself is strange after 18 years of motherhood and being at the mercy of someone else’s schedule!

    1. #14.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I can totally understand this. I imagine what it will be like when it’s all quiet all the time. No drumming from the basement. No shoes by the back door of all his friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. #15

    Ahhhh, I’m going through this right now … daughters both at college (freshman and junior). I’m amazed at how empty and quiet things can feel at times! I’m trying hard to find new meaning in my day to day activities now that things are not centered around being a “MOM” … it’s so hard to explain … a rediscovery of sorts. I know I’m still a “Mom” but its just so very different now. I’m finding it tough to balance that fine line of reaching out with a text or email and wanting to respect their new space, being sure not to intrude. It’s still new though, so I tell myself that I’ve got plenty of time to improve ๐Ÿ˜‰ Knowing that my girls are happy and growing more independent is a great feeling, but can bring sadness at times too. Best of luck to you … I think it’s great that you’re giving thought to all of this now, so that you have some time to prepare.

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