Next year my youngest child will be in 1st grade. Starting in the fall, my kids will all be in school every day from around 8:30-3:30. What will I do with myself? Here’s what our schedule looks like now:
7-8:30 AM: Breakfast and driving kids to school
12 PM: Pick up my daughter from the kindergarten bus stop
3-4 PM: Older kids get home from school
6 PM: Dinner
8(ish) PM: Youngest goes to bed
9(ish) PM: Older kids go to bed
As you can see from my schedule, I have a nice little window of time while my daughter is at kindergarten. This time is so precious to me. I usually use it to shower and write. (Like now). Or I can use it to exercise and shower or I can use it to grocery shop and run errands. Some days I squander it entirely by laying in bed and reading or taking a nap. Such luxury. And after Ellen gets home, it’s just the 2 of us until later in the afternoon when the older kids get home. It’s so much easier than the days I spent pregnant with a baby and a preschooler. Those were tiring days. I feel like I’m still recovering from the last 15 years of sleep deprivation. But the fact is, my kids usually sleep through the night and I can always catch a nap if I need to. So what should I do with myself when all my kids are gone all day? It’s not that I don’t know what to do with myself. I can think of a million things I’d like to do. But I haven’t had this much discretionary time for years! I’m thinking hard about what to do with it.
There are a few things I’m excited to jump back into:
It’s really exciting and fun to see my kids grow and to finally have some free time on my hands. But it’s a little scary, too. I understand why women get baby hungry. I’m not baby hungry, but after defining yourself in relation to your kids for so long and, in my case, leaving full-time work to stay home and raise them, I realize I’m not in that comfy (though tiring!) sweet spot of being a cute young mom with the latest Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag. I now inhabit an awkward space of being the lady trying to get back into the workforce or taking a Beginning Crochet class. I know that the young moms think I’m a little bit irrelevant—I know that because I thought it about “old ladies” whose kids were all in school when I was 25 and having babies. It’s OK. I don’t care what they think. Their kids will get older just like mine did.
Have you noticed how motherhood is a continual reinvention of yourself? Good luck with yours!