We are one week into the 2021/2022 school year and i'm already overwhelmed, is this normal?

My daughter started Kindergarten last year, mid-pandemic.  It wasn't a traditional full school day, and it wasn't a full five days a week, and for the most part, I was still working from home.  I thought we did a decent job of balancing it all, but looking back, it was kind of a false sense of reality.

Fast forward to this year, and it's a whole new ballgame, in fact, we might even be playing a different sport at this time.  I'm too exhausted to even know what's going on anymore.

I did my best to map out the game plan for the school year well in advance, like who would be getting her on and off the bus, before and after school care, but I don't think I realized how overwhelming this new routine was going to be.

What I didn't factor in was what would be happening outside of those well mapped out plans.  Packing lunches and preparing breakfast in the morning before leaving for work, planning ahead for dinner after work and school, how much time homework really takes, showers and nighttime routines, and boom the day is over before I even realize it started.

How do people do this, and more specifically, single parents, how do YOU do this?  I'm not trying to sound like i'm complaining, but, I don't think I expected this to be such a balancing act.  I have always taken great pride in my organizational and time management skills, so admitting that I need help is a huge step for me.

I run out the door in the morning before 8am and leave my daughter with whoever has graciously volunteered for morning bus duty, returning home around 6pm to relieve the after school sitter.  The last few days we have been balancing dinner prep with sight word practice and reading, and then getting her showered and ready for the next day.  At this point it's close to 8pm and i'm wiped.  In fact, just the other night my almost six year old had to wake ME up, after I had fallen asleep on the couch while sitting up straight.  "Mom, should I go to bed?" - when I looked at the clock it was only a few minutes after 9pm but I felt like I had been sleeping there for hours.

On another note, I feel like i've been a bad friend/family member, waking up to a bunch of unanswered (on my end) texts because I passed out early and didn't see them until early the next morning.  I've also been bailing on weekend plans to play catch up at home, and forget agreeing to a weeknight commitment, how does that happen?

I've been trying to get up earlier and get things done before leaving the house in the morning, and that's been helpful, but I guess i'm looking for your best advice and tips on how to approach all of this and not feel so exhausted and rushed all the time.  Is there a way to get it all done and still spend quality time with your kids, and perhaps, even some me time for self-care?

Help a Hudson Valley mom out.

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