I’m free! I’m free! I’m free! After 7 1/2 years, over 8 if you count gestation, I am no longer beholden 24 hours a day. I can write without interruption. I can make a lunch date and stick to it. I can go to the bathroom without mediation. I’m free!
Ok, so I know some moms are really struggling today. I did too. But when I say it feels different this time, I mean it feels AWESOME. I mean setting the alarm for 6:15 means a jump towards peace, not punishment.
Before you judge, let me say this. My son was READY. More than ready. He didn’t want us to walk him in for the first day of Kindergarten ready. My sweet boy makes the energizer bunny look lazy. He makes Ann Coulter look wishy-washy. He is two parts Houdini and one part Evil Knievel. I love that boy with every part of my being. I will miss having my buddy around. But we are both ready.
This past summer I likened myself to being at mile 26 of the marathon. I have trained, I have bled, I have had the runner’s highs and the bloody nipples. I’ve stumbled and there have been tears. But, I have crossed the finish line of the 24/7 race. Now, I will be able to catch my breath, take a nice jog with them every afternoon and have the space and energy to dance.
This summer we spent time with my dear friend. Her boys have grown and she was magical with mine. I was lamenting that she is so much better with them than I am, than I want to be. She said, “They’re not my kids.” And she’s right. A fresh perspective, a clean slate, clarity. It is good for all of us; it is good for our children. My child will benefit from his and her teacher. Your child will benefit from his or her teacher. Our children are in good hands and will, hopefully flourish.
I was the crazy mom who kept my kids with me as long as possible. I don’t regret that decision and grateful that my husband and I chose to sacrifice in some areas so I could do so, but it did make me a little loopy and more than a little grumpy some days. It did take a toll on my social life and writing aspirations and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
But, I’m (relatively) free now.
Free to enjoy the time I have with them. Free to wander the aisles of the grocery store at my own pace. Free to write when inspired and rest when fatigued. I will have more of me to give when they are home because I have the chance to restore, explore, reflect, and grow.
Take heart, mamas with the balled up tissues and empty car seat. It gets better. It won’t always feel like you left part of your heart. Ok, maybe it will, but when you drop your youngest, you will have the time and space to fill your own. And when you pick them up at the end of the day, your hearts will still beat together, just with a little more strength.