I bumped into an old acquaintance whose children were grown, last week, who saw me with only one of my three children and asked “Your kids are back to school already….isn’t it so sad?”
“NO!” I said a little too enthusiastically. She frowned. I went on, surprisingly feeling a tad guilty that I was NOT sad to send my kids off to school.
“We had a great summer and enjoyed all of our time together, every single day, BUT, I have things to do, work to get done … and it is TIME to FOCUS!” She laughed off my comments as we parted ways.
Not too long after that, I ran into another woman who exclaimed, “OH… your kids are back to school. Good for you!” Now this was more like it, I thought. I confessed, still feeling a tad guilty from my last conversation, “Yes, we had a great summer and I was able to be home with the kids but it is time!”
“Of course!” she says. “You worked hard… now enjoy your time away from the kiddos while they are in school. You earned it!”
I never realized being excited (or sad) for back to school season could be so controversial.
Did I have a split second of sadness as I drove my three-year-old baby to school? Yes. Was it replaced by the next few hours of excitement of what this means for his development and my weekly schedule? ABSOLUTELY!
Whatever camp you may fall into…I wonder if you can relate to any of these thoughts that I recently scribbled into my journal as I was reflecting on this new life stage for our family:
I remember taking my infant, at the time, in the baby carrier, to his big brother’s preschool, irrationally thinking that it would take DECADES for him to be the big boy, heading to school. Yet, this week, finally… all kids are in school! I thought this day would never come!
We went out to eat this past weekend. No diaper bags, no baby food. We did not have to load up my purse with toys or activities. No asking for crackers or pulling out a Ziploc of cheerios. We did not have to put anyone in a time out during dinner…and most importantly, the hubs and I actually got to sit next to each other and eat a warm meal…and even drink a cold beer! I don’t think this has ever happened since we became parents. Boy does this feel good!
Older women always say that the time flies so fast, and to enjoy every single day. However, I remember when I had babies at home all day, then a baby and toddler, another baby, the days were SO LOOOONG. Nothing seemed to fly, but the nighttime hours when morning came way too quickly! It feels good to actually sleep at night now….for the most part.
So for now…..
I am waving good-bye to the baby and toddler stages and everything they brought to our family. I anticipate what this means for us right now… maybe more dinners out, more self-reliant kiddos, school friends, and activities…. as well as some new challenges and stresses, I am certain. Whatever lays ahead of us with our school aged children now, I just want to do a better job enjoying the actual present moment, guilt free. I want to enjoy the first week of preschool for my baby, with all the emotions, thoughts, and feeling that go along with it!
Will you join me? How can we stay present, enjoy whatever emotions land at our feet, without any type of guilt that others may project onto us, especially this back to school season?
Whether you are mourning the time lost with the children who are getting back to school or are still on a HIGH from getting those kids OUT OF THE HOUSE all day; spend some time, reflecting on life’s stages as a Mom….and feel, appreciate, and embrace whatever it is you are experiencing this back to school season, THEN…make no apologies!
Experiencing a certain flow of emotions this back to school season? Feeling guilty that you do not feel a certain way? Share it with me and we can discuss it in a later blog/video post! Remember, we are all in this together, Moms!