I decided to be there for my kids this school year. It needs to be said that there is no right or wrong way to make your choice, this just happens to be mine. Reasons are firstly I’m unemployed, easy to stay that way when my student loans payments have been pushed until January. Secondly, I couldn’t get over the fact that it seemed like calling for me because of my kids overall safety, my stepson is a type one diabetic. Thirdly, I feel like it’s a civil duty, that I am ready to take on.
Once I made this decision, I went full force ahead like the over achiever I am. I saw a picture on Facebook for a divider for vitural school and decided I can make one, well two. But since my stepson started school this Monday, I did his first, my daughter starts the day after Labor Day. I wanted mine to be bigger- full townhouse, no room for desks, and also I wanted my two kids not to look at each other, to be at the table for school, and to be able to fold it up when they were done so it didn’t take up too much space- achkem crowded townhouse.
I went to Target with a thought in mind and picked up these supplies. I also bought back to school supplies because I needed this to be more on the fun side rather then the boring side.
Once I figured I’m doing a black trifold, I figured on neon colors and I gathered some pictures. One picture of their friends, a picture of them doing something fun, a large pic of them doing their sports and another one from visiting my husband’s cousin- playing on some big kid toys. I also printed off something that my kids are into, with Aidan he’s into Terrieria and my daughter is into Riverdale.
Next I made a plan, here’s me holding it slightly stir crazy at midnight:
I wanted a large picture on the front with their name and I started there.
Those letters I bought at Target in Michigan for 3 bucks and I already had some bright papers because in college I like printing off poems or required reading on fun colored paper. Let’s be honest, I do a lot with colored printer paper, I love making things out of paper. Hence, here we are. These letters and numbers have a sticky top but I used glue sticks to make sure they don’t fall off. And yes, I did use the glue sticks I bought my kids for the year. (I found out later that my stepson hates this picture of himself, though I love it.) I ended up adding his wrestling picture that he took for the team on there too. Sorry no pic.
For the inside I wanted him to have all the important- homework papers organized and ready for the teacher. I bought dividers with large pockets so they wouldn’t lean out of the folder. I cut off all the tabs and quickly realized than my plan won’t work, but I still was able to get six folders up. I also printed out this calendar from his school’s website along with his school’s crest.
Also at Target I grabbed these dry erase post it boards and stuck them in there too, so they can write funny jokes, or I can write something encouraging as a surprise. I also bought command strip hooks for his headphones and some pencil holders I found in the craft department at Target. I figured they can paint of draw on them and keep all there new tools organized.
Below is the final result and I’m pretty happy with it. Originally I was going to make a mural, but I wasn’t sure if it was cheesy or not, since they’re going into eight grade. I might make one later and post it in that blank spot.
Note from a stepmom.
I made all this by Saturday- posting it on Tuesday, because I thought I had an understanding with his mom that I would be teaching him. More like guiding him- making sure he’s paying attention. He needs consistency and it’s something I can offer since my husband and I decided to have myself dedicate to his learning during these strange times first semester. Well, Sunday night his mom decided she’s not working the first three days so, she’ll have him just stay home. I wanted to share this information for the other stepmoms for when you do all this work and it doesn’t work out like you would like to. Something you try to control, but at the end of the day you don’t have total control so your plans can change. I was super frustrated since I spent the last three weeks staying on top of everything so I knew how the online classes. Why? Because the mom was trusting me to handle it, and she was on vacation when a lot of the info was going out.
I screamed, sulked for most of Monday, and finally let go. Which, letting go has been something that has become easier and easier to do with time. I still showed up, but she didn’t. That’s on her and it sucks that it’s at the expense of her kid not learning, but I’ve let it go and got an extra three days off to myself. Hopefully she’ll get sick of “trying” or “faking it until you make it” and will let me have the school reins.
Thank you and I hope your virtual divider turns out magical!
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