Things have been kind of crazy around the Long household. We have undergone some changes this year and our schedule and life-rhythm has felt the shockwaves. Bouncing along on these waves has been my writing time. Hence a blogging absence for the past couple months. I wanted to give a brief update on what we’ve been up to.
Since January of this year my wife Charity has been working part-time at our church Lifegate. She is the worship pastor of Lifegate’s Papillion campus. When she took the job I divided my time between freelance videography—out of my basement—and stay-at-home Dadding. This gave rise to the bi-weekly Tidbit Tuesday posts, since all of my time was spent at home.
Around April I was offered a job at Lifegate in the Creative Department, out-of-the-blue. Doing video work and other creative things. It was full-time with benefits. This held an appeal because owning and operating your own business isn’t easy. It wasn’t a quick decision but I took it, and in May I handed over my stay-at-home Dad card. Which I was kind of sad about. I enjoyed staying home. It was difficult sure, but also rewarding. Or maybe my brain is editing out all the times I locked myself in a bathroom, weeping in the fetal position. I look forward to those repressed memories surfacing in a future counseling session of some kind.
Pretty soon I was working forty solid hours a week while my wife was still pulling down twenty-ish hours a week. We’d come home and it’d be all hands on deck trying to clean, care for our children…clean our cared-for children, get dinner made, or go get groceries because we’d been too busy for that kind of nonsense.
We have homeschooled our oldest daughter Nola(7) for Kindergarten and First Grade. She stepped into Second Grade this year with Violet(5) entering Kindergarten. With both Charity and I working out of the house we were leaning towards putting them in school. Until Charity discovered Omaha Virtual School. A pilot program this year for Nebraska where kids get laptops and curriculum that they do from home. They have a teacher that can help them and they meet as a class once a week for enrichment. It’s basically a hybrid homeschool/public school program.
After much debate between that, public, or private school—our church has one—we decided on O.V.S. We thought it’d be a good “bridge year” for Nola before—probably—putting her in formal education next year. And it sounded turn-key. But it wasn’t.
We were in it for a few months and it carried a steep learning curve for Charity, who was doing all the teaching. Our visions of dropping laptops in front of our girls, pressing play, then returning five hours later to learned-children did not quite pan out. The curriculum requires a full day of attention. Much like our two young boys do. With me out of the house, that’s four kids asking one parent for help with something. Usually at the same time.
We finally reached a tipping point and decided to put Nola in the aforementioned formal education. This has been a giant stress relief for Charity. But also has brought about a different of stress. The kind that accompanies sending your first born off to a building, that’s out of your control, for eight hours a day. This kind of stress has been more manageable and we are glad we did it.
Violet is still in O.V.S. because kindergarten is…well…kindergarten.
Another, more interesting, area that has been taking my attention has been the launch of my very own podcast. That’s right! In this podcast my friend Sam and I riff on the joys and downers of parenting. Let’s be real, it’s mostly about the downers. Each episode tackles an area of raising children and also includes a fantastic segment called Terrible Tips. These are tips and ideas that we have on how to fix parenting problems. For example, we come up with brilliant ways to keep your kids from throwing tantrums. These aren’t necessarily safe or ethical ideas, but they would totally work in a perfect world without litigation.
The good news is that we are finding our rhythm again. It’s been a moving target this year but I think we are getting a bead on it. Which means I’m finding my writing rhythm again. We’ll probably get it nailed down and then something else will change. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
Thanks to everyone for subscribing, commenting, and following along. Your encouraging words have moved this blog from a writing experiment, to a passion. You all are the best.