Tuesday, January 5, 2010

They're Gone

My kids went back to school today. I'm ready to start singing "Free Fallin" by Tom Petty.

Part of me feels like a bad mother when I say that I am happy to send my kids to school and have the days to myself.

Then I look around at my friends, other moms who were not counting the days until resumed. I wonder what makes them better mothers.

Most of them work outside of the home. I used to know a few other moms who were home during the day, but not anymore. They have returned to work. I have not. I did work for a little while after my kids were born. Working does have good and bad points. Earning money is good. Interacting with other adults is good. Being up all night with a teething baby after having been at work all day and knowing that you have to return at 7am is not so good. Missing out on your kids "firsts" isn't so good either.

Most of my friends also have family nearby. During the winter break, my friends were able to drop their kids at their relative's house for at least one night. They also had family gatherings during the winter break. The kids were given a chance to play with cousins and were spoiled by grandparents. My nearest relative is in Detroit. I am in Seattle. So there were no family gatherings or sleeping at a relative's house for my kids.

The other moms who were counting down the days had breaks from their kids. They did not endure the 18 days like I did. 18 days home, with no plans and miserable weather. 18 days of refereeing. 18 days of whining.

I am glad the kids are back in school not just for the break that it gives me. But also, the kids need a break too. The need a break from me. They need a break from boredom. They need to be with their friends and teachers again.

Now I have 18 days worth of chores and errands to catch up on.


hokgardner said...

I am so with you on this. My big girls needed to go back to school today. They had had enough of each other and of me and of the house, and we were able to go outside and play a lot. But they still needed to get back to their order and routine, as did I.

Alix said...

FYI - every mother (secretly or not) rejoices when the kiddies go back to school. I'm telling you the truth Cookie. You're in the Good Mom Club, I promise!

Talon said...

Better Moms? I doubt that they are better Moms. I don't know any Mom (myself included when my kids were little) who weren't secretly doing the happy dance when school resumed after a long break. Some just manage to do it more internally and not while driving the kids to school like I used to do! ;

Laura Hegfield said...

For me it's a combo of loving being alone...and missing their company...yes both at the same time. The plight of a mostly home Mom. I read a great reframe today around feeling like a less than ideal Mom (I think we all get judgey around this at times it was from Mermaid in a comment at www.awakeisgood.com this morning, she said "It also helps when I am loving and remind myself that there is no standard of comparison. What is a good mom anyway?"

Really made me pause.

Enjoy your time to yourself!

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled the kids I nanny for are back in school!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I always admire women who can home-school their kids. I could never do it--or wanted to do it.

I was a working Mom all of my life. I loved working ---and HAD to do it. Because of that, I had 'quality' time with my kids---and things worked well for us.

Glad your sons are back in school!!

Michelle said...

Well I for one was sad when the wee ones went back to school... but that was mostly because it meant that I had to go back to work. And oh yeah, my vacation (sans kids) to Florida was over. Hmm... I think I'm one of those moms you describe. We'll see how it goes once I join the ranks of SAHM. I think I'll be pushing them out the door a day or two early then!

Joyce-Anne said...

I appreciate when my children go back to school too. They need the structure and I need to be able to accomplish a task without being interrupted 100 times.

Lynn said...

I am glad you have some time for yourself, Cookie. And the boys are doing just what they should be doing - learning new things.

Anonymous said...

This is such a tough one . . . I love Cooper dearly, but now that he has gotten used to going to school, he craves the interaction, socialization, and structure that his teachers provide, and he needs the break from me and his sisters. I honestly think that breaks (in all their varied forms) from my children make me a better mom . . . they allow me to collect myself and be more greatful for the time that I do get with them. You are normal and a great mom!