Wednesday, September 22, 2010
At this moment, I am at a coffee shop…by myself…with no kids…for the first time in six years. It’s bizarre. I keep listening for one of my boys to call my name. I feel like I need to go pick someone up from the various carpool maze which I feel could be made into some complex flow chart. I have this horrible, nagging feeling that I have left my three year-old in the car even though he’s in preschool for five hours. Being a mom has become so ingrained into who I am that I’m having a hard time adjusting to this new situation.
If you ask any of my friends or family, they will tell you that I have waited for these moments of freedom with baited breath. I could not wait to have silence, get things done and try to start thinking of getting back into the work force. I thought I would feel giddy, productive and sort of like my “old self”.
But I don’t feel any of these things. In fact, I feel kind of lost...and dare I say it, even lonely without my boys. When my oldest son started Kindergarten at the age of six (he missed the cut-off by one day, and it felt like an eternity until he started school), I really MISSED him during the day.
I felt sort of disappointed in myself. I was turning all soft and mushy. Even though I am a stay-at-home Mom, I seem to downplay that role to people because it doesn’t seem like a real job (even though we all know it is the REALEST of jobs). But there must be some reason I have chosen to stay home this long. I could’ve easily gotten another job. I didn't want to leave my babies (and could afford to stay home), and that was my personal choice.
Years ago, I swore I would never live in the suburbs, be a housewife, drive a minivan, lose my identity or live a cookie-cutter life with cookie-cutter ideals. Sometimes I feel like I'm a liberal, city-dwelling working mom stuck in a kept woman's body. But I need to get over all this...
Here is the cold, hard truth. I AM a stay-at-home Mom, and I liked doing it, and I still like doing it, and I miss my boys. Maybe I will go back to work soon, maybe I won’t. But as hard as I try to distance myself from my role, it is mine, and I have done a damn good job. We have had many challenges (health, behavior and otherwise) along this child rearing journey, and I have managed to get two kids in school with my sanity in tact.
As I watched my oldest son walk into Kindergarten, and his whole life flashed before my eyes - the joys, the struggles - I could hardly breathe. I felt like part of me was being left in that big, grown-up building. And I realized this is where his journey begins on his own. Where I start to give him wings and start to find my old roots. I can nurture both my boys' growth while nurturing my own dreams along the way. We will all grow together in this "Modern Family". But, I'm not joining the PTA,...and you can't make me.