I thought I was ready.
Ever since my babies were born, we were together. Being a stay at home mom meant our days were filled with our own schedule – a fun morning out, naps, mealtimes, even the crazy witching hour waiting for my husband to get home.
However, on my daughter’s first day of kindergarten, my heart was heavy. I worried about her from drop off until pick up…when she would be with me again. Granted, I knew she was with a wonderful teacher, and I was never more than 15 minutes away.
But the part that kept me the most sane was having my son with me.
Since he is two years younger than my daughter, when she went to school, I had someone else to concentrate on. The days, weeks, months got easier as we settled into our new routine. My son and I still had a full week of play dates, quiet time in the afternoon, and then it was time to pick up Sister.
The summer before my son’s kindergarten year was one of the best.
We filled up our days with water fun, adventures and lazy days at home. We enjoyed being together as a family.
Even though we soaked up many laughs and fun together, I was still a mom – craving time to myself and ready to have a serious break. We’ve all probably been there – we love our kids to the ends of the earth, but what we wouldn’t give for two hours of NO bickering and fighting! And for the love, STOP asking for snacks!
The countdown began until the first day of school. My son had a big year – his first year of all day school! We rocked Information Day like champs. I was thrilled with both of my kids teachers for the upcoming year. We bought new lunch boxes and picked up our school supplies.
I thought I was ready.
After making it through the drop-off line, I sent my kids off with a wave, an I love you, and – honestly – a tear or two. I put the car into ‘drive’ and ended up back at my house, where I noticed something strange.
It was quiet.
Nothing was moving. My kids weren’t playing or fighting or asking for something or needing help while my arms were full.
I had a full day stretched out before me where I had time to do what I wanted. I could go to the grocery store and browse the aisles. I could go to lunch with a friend and not have to worry about bringing toys to entertain my kiddo. I could work on a project. I could volunteer.
Instead, I sat on my couch.
Knowing I had the freedom to do something for me was liberating, but at the same time, I’d been a full time mom to two awesome kids for the last seven years. I’ve always had a child by my side, putting their needs first because they were the most vocal. My schedule revolved around theirs and I often didn’t make the time for myself.
Surprisingly, I was sad.
Don’t get me wrong – I am one of those moms that are typically at the Wahoo! breakfast instead of the Boo-Hoo corner, but this was WEIRD. After years of being with my kids, now all of a sudden I am back to several hours on my own. Monday through Friday. No more
mom dates play dates! My circle of friends that I always knew to call to get our kids together to pass the time, now seemed to move on without me.
Loneliness set in big time.
For the next two weeks, I made myself find opportunities. I signed up to volunteer, I had lunch with my mom, I asked friends who were in the same boat as me to go do things. I enjoyed my days for ME, instead of scheduling time around my kids.
Looking back, I was kind of surprised to find myself feeling that way. I had a hard transition, one that I wasn’t expecting. I thought that I was ready to send my little ones into the world of all day school and skip happily to Target for the next seven hours. Instead, I had to re-teach myself to be ME.
Apparently, that’s what the role of ‘Mom’ is all about. It’s a growing opportunity to help me realize that life isn’t always about my kids, and they will eventually grow up. I have to face hard moments of that realization and transition.
So when you find yourself in that moment, just remember. I was there too. Message me – I’m always up for a lunch date.