My new job is going well. I have had more hours added to my schedule and so I am up to 20 hours per week now. I am enjoying it. While it doesn't get me "adult" conversation it is still "out of the house".
It isn't nearly as stressful as it was for me 8 years ago. I think I have a different perspective. These aren't "my" kids. My job entails making sure they get along with each other and play safe and fair. I am only responsible for them for the few hours we are together. I think many years ago, I thought I had to "fix" the kids. I know now that isn't part of my job.
I enjoy creating fun and interesting things for them to do. Last week I brought in a couple of beehive frames that the bees had filled out. They were empty of honey (and BEES!) so the kids could really see the structure of the comb. We talked about hexagons and how they all fit together perfectly, making less work for the bees. (If they were "my" children we would have talked about how God even takes care of the smallest details in the bees life.) Then they traced hexagon shapes onto paper, fitting them all together. They then drew in bees. The ones that were too young to trace well simply assembled hexagons together to make a "hive".
So far work is not conflicting with homeschool. Of course, Sam is home to make sure the girls get their work down. He is learning it is not so easy! Hannah was nearly four days behind beforehe realized it! Abby is getting much better about disciplining herself now that she has come to realize that the GED's are in only 18 months! She'll take a college writing course this coming summer at Three Rivers Community College because it is the one area where we both feel inadequate. Nathalie is working hard on her 4H public speaking paper and Sam and I are both encouraged that she is not taking the "easy way" with it.