I’m just going to say it. Sometimes, I don’t miss my kids when they’re at school. Okay, it’s not really that I don’t miss them, because of course I do. But I definitely don’t miss the fighting, the constant noise, the messes, the never ending snack time, etc. I love my kids more than anything in the world, but that will never change the fact that I have always been a person who loves my “alone time.”
I enjoy silence and being alone with my thoughts, which obviously hasn’t happened much since the birth of my first child. I like talking to myself without being asked what I’m talking about. Does that make me seem a little crazy? Sure, maybe. But I don’t care, because when I’m alone and talking to myself, I’m ALONE, so no one knows that I’m a little crazy, until now since I just told you. But that’s beside the point.
I didn’t cry when either of my kids went off to school for the first time. In fact, when my oldest went to preschool and attempted to escape as his father and I were leaving, I all but picked him up, tossed him at the teacher, and sprinted for the parking lot!
I was elated when they went to school. The first time they got on the bus for Kindergarten are two of my happiest memories so far. First and foremost because I knew they were ready. I felt a sense of pride in them, and in myself for helping to get them to that point. Secondly, because it meant that I got a little part of “me” back.
I could be a little more like the person I was before I had kids. The person I was for nearly three decades that got buried in seven years of crying and diapers and potty training and teaching and yelling and more crying and craziness and all the good stuff in between.
It’s a conundrum, becoming a Mom. It means you have to become completely selfless, putting the needs of everyone else before your own, while at the same time taking care of yourself and not losing the part of you that was, at one time, all of you.
So I don’t feel bad when I say I don’t miss my kids while they’re at school, or when I actually get a night out with friends. Do I think about them? Of course!! Just because I’m not with them doesn’t mean I get to stop being a Mom! The bulk of my day is spent doing their laundry, or shopping for their food and clothing, or buying birthday presents for their friends, or searching Groupon for some cheap fun activities for them to do.
When I’m out with my friends, of course there is a chunk of the conversation that goes to “kid talk.” I think it would be weird if it didn’t. We’re Moms and kids are (shockingly) a very large part of that.
So no, I don’t sit around longing for the moment my children get off the bus. If I did, I’d be missing out on an awful lot like taking walks, having conversations without interruption, getting errands done in a normal amount of time, reading, and keeping my house clean! Okay, maybe not that last one, but you see what I’m saying.
It’s okay to enjoy your time away from your kids, and it’s good for them to be away from you, too. At some point, every kid needs to learn who they are apart from their parents, and I think Moms owe it to themselves to re-learn who they are apart from their children.
Then, at the end of the day when your kids get off the bus, you give them a big fat hug and kiss while you can, because there’s no telling how long you’ll be able to do that without embarrassing them in front of their friends.