So tomorrow is the first day of school. It also happens to be my 42nd birthday. I've been saying for over a year how I'm looking forward to finally getting the last kid into (full-day) kindergarten. Everyone seems to respond by saying "what will you do with all that free time?" But I've been a stay at home mom since 1994. With four kids of various ages and so many with issues, I seem to have lost my connections with other moms. We don't have a lot of after school activities, and what we do have no longer involve socializing for me. Things have been rocky with my husband for a while; we've just kind of grown apart and share few interests beyond the kids. I'm going to have empty nest syndrome or something, and it's stressing me out. I need to reach out to the other moms I know and set up lunch dates or walking dates or something. Facebook just doesn't cut it. Add to that the whole start of school stress. My son is doing amazingly well. Daughter 2 has started Intuniv and it seems to be helping, she's been very even tempered about school. Daughter 3 is a bit nervous but excited to finally get to go to school on the bus. But daughter 1 is falling apart. She has walking pneumonia but will be going to school anyway, as missing the first day would be even more stressful (and she is getting better). She has always fought what she sees as the pointless structure the middle school teacher inflict on her (for example planner use and notebook checks) but realized that she is not getting into the classes she'd like to be in because her homework is not getting done on time. She is very anxious about it, and just lost it completely as we were packing up backpacks for tomorrow this afternoon. She's come a long way, and can now take a deep breath and step back somewhat, plus she realizes that it is hard on me when she blows up (she even apologized afterward, which blows me away), but today pushed her the rest of the way over into yelling and tears. Finding this group has been helpful. It reminds me of all the things I've learned in all the years I've dealt with my challenging children, and inspires me to try to continue to do a good job parenting them even as things change. It is wonderful to hear other people struggling with many of the same things I've dealt with and am still dealing with.