Back to school, I wish!

School starts Thursday. And my 9-year old will be going, but alas, my almost 5-year old will not and neither will my 14-year old twins. High school at the virtual academy (not to be confused with pretend academy) starts on September 17. (SEPTEMBER 17?!) My soon-to-be 5-year old misses the cut-off date for kindergarten by a day–never-mind that she is emotionally unprepared for kindergarten as separation from me still troubles her–and she’s going to participate in a preschool-like thing but not until the middle of September or later.

And this brings me to admit that I wish I were one of those mothers who gets to ship off the kids to school each day and then Have Some Time. I want to have some time! I want to have five or six hours that I divide into little segments devoted to work and play. But no! I’m not one of those mothers! I am NEVER ALONE and IT’S KILLING ME, one tiny bone in my ear at a time. (They shatter, you see, from the constant drone of noise in my house. Stress fractures of the teeny ear bones, a little known hazard of stay-at-home mothering.)

Well, okay, not never. My husband sends me out of the house on Saturdays, unless other things interfere. And so last Saturday I left at noon and returned at 6 p.m. but it’s not the same as sending the kids to school every day. That’s the life I thought I would have when I envisioned myself as a mother. My own mother had a small circle of friends. They had a moms-only secret life when we were at school. I’d come home to find remnants of a Crafts Day spread out in the family room or maybe a stack of coffee mugs and crumbs on a pretty plate.

My mother had friends and she had time to see them during the day while we went to school.

I want friends and time to see them during the day while my kids are in school.

But my teenagers aren’t going to go back to school, public or otherwise. School-at-home suits their needs and I do think it’s the best option open to us. So, it’s not like I’d choose any differently, even though the personal cost to me is great. This is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

One day my house will empty out and I’ll run errands by myself during daylight hours. And, if my current behavior is any indicator of the future, I’ll probably be complaining then, too.

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Back to school, I wish!

15 thoughts on “Back to school, I wish!

  1. Okay, so now I’m feeling like a real whiner because my kids are back in school and I’m still complaining about not having enough time to do my work-from-home-job and my housecleaning (and here I am reading blogs — the perils of working on a computer). Slap, slap. Thanks, I needed that.

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  2. Michelle says:

    Oh boy do I know how you feel. I had my shot at being a stay at home mom with both kids in school for about 4 seconds. Then a job (that’s really an answer to 2 years of prayer) sort of fell into my lap. Yeah, we can get a new roof and my 9 year olds can have straight teeth. So I’m off to my first day of work tomorrow at my girls school.

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  3. Katie O says:

    Reading this makes me appreciate the life I have right now. My kids are all in school and because we are expats living in Europe, I can’t work outside the house. For the last couple of years I have led the life of your mother – lots of coffees, walking tours of our city, lots of school volunteering and being able to keep up with my scrapbooks. There are many days when I do miss my job from the US days, but I also love having the time to keep up with everyday stuff during the school day so I have more time with the kids during the evenings and weekends.
    Good luck with some peace and quiet for you this year!

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  4. I know the feeling. All the neighbors with kids are now “free” during the day. Me? Nope. I am still becoming “one with the chaos.” Sigh. We have no family in this town, and no sitters. I want a sitter! Whaaa! Thanks for reminding me I am not alone!

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  5. my kids go back next week, well, not the 4 year old, but that means I go back to work. I wish for you some quiet time, but at the same time, I know you gladly give it up for the right education for your kids. You are an amazing woman!!

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  6. Kelly says:

    i so know what you mean! i am looking forward to when my 2 year old goes to school. i crave alone time, especially alone time in my house. i get out fairly regularly, but i never just get to be alone at home, without having to go somewhere!

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  7. My best friend is a stay at home mother of 5 that are all under the age of 8. I don’t see how she does it everyday. She homeschools the two oldest and takes them all to this huge Homeschool Academy here in Little Rock twice a week. She’s always “bent out of shape” and looks exhausted. I wish I could do something for her more often, but it seems she never has the time to do those things. We do try to meet for lunch on the days the kids come to the Academy. It gives her at least 2 hours of alone time with a friend.
    Her husband wants more children but I’m not sure she can hold up. He does try to take out each little girl on seperate nights of the week for an hour, but that still leaves 4 at home. She is a MUCH better woman than me! Haha!

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  8. By the way I am all for home schooling..especially high school aged children. Public and private school terrify me and the things that take place. I can say that since my immediate family consist of a principal and many other teachers. Its a scary world!

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  9. You’ve been juggling a lot of stresses right now. You obviously know what you are doing is right. I sometimes desperately need to escape and I rarely get it.

    It sounds like life has been tougher for you lately and I think you are doing a good job. I hope things improve. I hope you get the time you need to rebuild your reserves.

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  10. No preschool or anything for Grace? Even for a couple of days a week? Are you planning on homeschooling her as well?

    None of these is meant in an “attack” form, but they sound like it the way I did them all in a row, doesn’t it?

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  11. Ok..so for what it’s worth, I learned something a long time ago ( I have 5 kids). I learned that no one will give you ‘ ME TIME’, except you! If you are content to never take time for you…then everyone will be content to take all the time you have, for them – it’s just the way it works. As women, we need to be selfish sometimes, and ‘schedule’ some ‘me-breaks’. Beleive it or not, it actually makes us better mom’s, wives etc….and it also models to our sons and daughters the importance of taking care of ourselves. I know alot of moms may disagree with me…but I wouldn’t have survived 5 kids, plus all their friends, plus leading a church, plus doing all sorts of other ‘side jobs’ – if I hadn’t learned ot schedule in, once a week, a couple of hours of ‘me-time’. Try it…you’ll like it!

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  12. Ah Mel I have even found myself indulging in a little fantasy of what it would be like to have the kids in school. This was suppose to be the year of my freedom with Peter entering first grade. But what do I do? I homeschool. Somehow though I still make sure I find time for girlfriends and crumbs on pretty plates! 🙂

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  13. Mel,
    Homeschooling is tough, but rewarding. I am homeschooling another teenager three days a week and there are days, I wonder if I am going to make it! They will ONE day remember our sacrifices, until then know others are in the trenches with you! BTW, I nominated you for a nice award!

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  14. I can so totally relate to this post! I have 6 kids and we homeschool them all so we are all home ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY together!

    I sigh wistfully as I listen to the glee of other mothers getting ready for school to begin. It’s the opposite for me I’m usually crying a little – knowing the my summer vacation is over.

    You really summed it up for well though…
    “… it’s not like I’d choose any differently, even though the personal cost to me is great. This is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”

    Yup.

    Thanks!

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