It finally happened. Today was the day I’ve thought about for almost 4 years. The day when my wee baby will start school and I will no longer have to deal with day care costs, flip flopped work schedules to accommodate keeping one or two kidlets home a few days a week. I could wave good bye to crappy cartoon voices invading my brain as I try to sit down and be creative in exactly 22 minutes because that is all the time I’ve got to work before toddler meltdowns and questions ensue: Can I have milk? Can I have a snack? Can you play with me? Can I have a bandaid? Can I eat rocks? Can I use your entire tube of lipstick … yes the house is entirely silent except for the occasional bark from the lone wolf Clifford in the back yard. (silence + a singular bark)
Can I just say now that it’s a lot different then I imagined…
Don’t get me wrong, today is the first day and I’m bound to have mixed emotions but what I didn’t expect to happen is happening. I didn’t expect to be so sad. I didn’t expect Wren to have a complete melt down in the school yard, clinging to the fence, tears pouring down her face, begging me … BEGGING me, to take her home. I did not expect Finn to ditch us and head off to his side of the school leaving me to pry Wren off my arm and hand her to a virtual stranger. I did not expect to cry all the way home. I did not expect to feel so mixed up. Nope, it totally caught me off guard.
But as my morning has progressed and after spending way more time then I thought on the phone with my mom and dad consoling me, I have now come to the second part of my realizations. Now, this is a part that I’ve casually told myself for over 6 years but never truly 100% believed. That I made the right decision to work less, make less and spend more time with my kids while I can. These years that I’ve tried to enjoy, but more often then not I complained because being a good mom is a ton of work, and I have struggled. It’s one thing to say you are so lucky to be able to stay home with your kids, but to say it and mean it whole heartedly, that is something I have ALWAYS struggled with.
The days I sat there, playing my little ponies for 2 hours, wishing I could be sitting at a desk, enjoying a quiet coffee with co workers instead of learning that pinkie pie hates twilight sparkle. The days in which I fell hoarse from yelling at the kids to stop fighting, to just get the fuck along with each other. The days I sat on the couch in gym pants, scanning Facebook to see all my friends travelling, enjoying Friday night happy hour with colleagues and looking amazing while outwardly cursing you all and your fancy life as I ate a row of cookies. The nights I was so tired of being with kids that I stared at the clock every 2 minutes from 4PM until 7:30PM because I truly thought I would lose my mind before bedtime.
I had no idea that today I would sit back and be so thankful that I had all that. That I would feel great sadness because it is actually over and now time is going to slip by on warp speed while the kids grow up and leave us old parents in the dust. Today I finally get that the costs, the sacrifices and the multitudes of swear words were ALL worth it.
I write this not to convince those out there, who still have kids at home, that it’s all going to be ok. I write this because I truly am shocked that these are the thoughts I’m having. That I can finally, and honestly, say with 100% conviction that staying home and working less was the absolute right decision for me and I wouldn’t change a thing.
I’ll also admit with utmost certainty that before the end of the week my new free schedule and daily routine will be pretty fucking awesome too :) Happy September parents!
Things were ok at the house this morning, we were pretty happy to be going to school…
Wrens’ sad sad face right before she broke free from her teacher to climb the fence to get to me.
I should have guessed from her face that school isn’t what she was going to love today.