I just figured it out.
Less than a month in to it and we've discovered this whole school schedule is really tough and wearing us out. The level of effort that is required to get the children up and dressed and lunches made and breakfast prepared and teeth brushed and out of the house by 8:30, just so that we can drive 20+ minutes and drop them off and then drive 20+ minutes to work or home, and then drive 20+ minutes and pick them up less than three hours later and drive 20+ minutes home again ... is a lot.
Especially since as soon as we get them home, we are getting them ready for their nap. And then, we're trying to coordinate four children going to sleep at the same time. This is entirely hit or miss. It frequently happens that three go down just as one is waking up or vice versa.
Having a helper seems to make sense just to take off some of the burden from that late-afternoon crunch, right around the time I need to prepare dinner. Right around that time my energy stores are low - the children's energy stores are high - I want to lay down and take a snooze - and they want to dump the contents of their dressers.
What if we just coughed up the extra $100.00 per month per child and sent them to school from 9 until 3, as opposed to 9 until noon? Would those three extra hours a day be everything that I need? Or, would it just take my
I'm planning to put our children in various sport programs through the Y. And oh my gosh, all of a sudden, they would be gone from 8:30 in the morning until possibly 5:30 at night and they are way too young for that.
And you know, I really miss them. Even though they're only gone for three hours a day, I feel like this whole school schedule has put a major wrench in the daily routine that we had.
Besides, I actually think it was less exhausting when they were under my care the whole day.