“Mom, I’m ready for school!” my toddler yells at me from down the hall. He’s standing there in a diaper, with his new lunchbox in hand. He’s excited; albeit, a bit prematurely. After nearly three years of watching his sisters head off to school every morning, he finally gets his turn in just a few short weeks.
And for the first time in seven years, I get my turn too.
It’s a fine line I’ve been tight-rope walking these last seven years. Being a stay-at-home mom to my three children, while working from home full-time. I’ll hire a sitter every once in a while when I need to, but for the most part, I’m at home with them 24/7.
Now, don’t get me wrong — I love doing it and wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s what works for our family. But with me always struggling to meet deadlines, balance work, and still be in the moment with them, it means that most of my time to get things done is in the wee hours of the morning when everyone is sleeping. But isn’t that what we parents do best, after all? Function on as little sleep as humanly possible, just so we can cram all of our to-dos into 24 hours? It’s no wonder we’re all eternally exhausted.
I sent my oldest off to preschool for the first time five years ago. She walked into her classroom as I held her newborn sister in my arms. And when my middle child went off to her “Two’s” program, her baby brother watched as she walked through those doors.
But not this time.
This time, I’ll send our youngest off to preschool and there’s no one at home that needs me for those three precious hours he will be at school. And I’m excited in ways I can hardly describe.
It’s amazing what you can do with three hours and no kids underfoot. I’ve hired a sitter for my son before while his sisters were at school, and in those three short hours, I’ve gotten work done that usually takes me about eight hours at home with a house full of kids. It was a breath of fresh air. And soon, I’ll have that permanently. As in, every day of the week, Monday thru Friday. WHAT.
Needless to say, the fantasies have already started.
It sounds so cliché, but I think what I’m looking forward to most is making solo trips to Target and sipping on my Starbucks coffee — while it’s still hot — and thinking uninterrupted thoughts.
For three, glorious, Heaven-sent hours.
I’ll be able to get all our grocery shopping done for the week, dinner prepared, house cleaned, and a lot of my work done in the span of those three hours every day. I could get my hair done if I wanted, or hey, why not throw in a mani-pedi while I’m at it? I’ll eat lunch by myself and catch up with friends (IRL) that have kids at school too, and OMG, maybe I’ll even pick up tennis again. After all, I HAVE THREE HOURS! I think we can both agree the options are endless, here.
Sure, I’m not going to act like I won’t miss the kids at all when they’re at school, and I’m sure there will be weird moments where a sudden pang of sadness or feeling that something’s missing won’t cross my mind, as I sit at home alone in complete silence. But this milestone is huge for me; and it’s good for me. It’s as though I’m getting a piece of me back that I haven’t had in a long, long time.
So yep; I’m going to revel in my newfound moments of solitude every day, as much as I can. These three hours of alone time are little dates with myself, whether or not I even go anywhere. Dates where I can finally getting the chance to know me again — and it’s gonna be awesome.More On