Good grief! I'm behind! This if from The Courier on Tuesday, Sept. 15/09.
What is this feeling?
I think I am supposed to be curled up in a corner blubbering incoherently – but I’m not. Does that make me a bad mother?
See, last week Girlchild – the second child, the youngest one, the final born – started school: all-day, alternate-day Junior Kindergarten. (Cue marching band.) That means each week there are two days, and sometimes three, when there are no children in the house. Well, Groom-boy is still lurking around sometimes, but he doesn’t count. Sort of.
This house emptiness is something I have not experienced since 2001.
I am self-employed and I work from home with the exception of some part-time teaching at Algonquin College. I have been doing this for 10 years. Almost eight years ago Boychild was born and I continued to work.
Yes, I am a WAHM (Work At Home Mom). I have taken important phone calls while cradling babies or cooking meals. Sometimes the smoke detector goes off. I have had to put off calling clients until the sibling-warfare screaming dies down. I seldom practised the sage advice to “sleep when the baby sleeps” because that was when I could write that media release or edit that brochure or organize that newsletter. Sometimes I avoid sending a final document when I finish it at midnight because I don’t want people to think I work at night. (Shhhh! Don’t tell!) But the reality is that’s when it’s quiet and the kids are in bed.
So now what will I do? Why, I’ll work in the daytime! (GASP!)
I couldn’t help but rejoice in this thought as the day drew closer for Girlchild to head to school. As exciting as the prospect of maybe recapturing some evening time is (and we’ll just wait and see how that little plan evolves), I couldn’t help but wonder – will I miss having the kids around?
Hahahaha. Probably not. (Oops! Is that the delivery truck pulling up to take away my Mother of the Year award again? Dang.)
But still – my littlest one? Girlchild, who bakes cookies with me and helps me in the garden? Gone all day? Would I cry when I dropped her off? Would my corners be all turned down on the long walk home?
On the big day Girlchild, who has been eagerly anticipating school since about 2007, woke up early, ate her breakfast, got dressed and was ready to leave half an hour before it was time to go. Her princess backpack and princess lunch bag (yes, it’s a little nauseating) were packed. Boychild, whose first day of Grade 2 was the day before, was not as eager to go. His “I LOVE school” sentiments have not yet kicked in.
We set off. Photos were taken on the front porch. I carried Girlchild’s pack since, when stuffed full of first-day necessities, it was bigger than she is. We fairly skipped to school.
As predicted, Girlchild was delighted when she arrived. She was greeted enthusiastically by her teacher and the assistants. She was introduced to other girls and boys and shown where she could keep her backpack in the yard until it was time to go inside. I grinned happily as I watched her mingle; my littlest one – so courageous and so excited to embrace new things. When it was time to go I hugged and kissed Girlchild and she waved me off and went about her very important Junior Kindergarten business.
Would I cry or would I dance with joy as I left the school yard?
Neither, apparently. Instead, as I wandered away and headed for home after the bell rang I just felt odd. And then I recognized the feeling that I had: fatigue.
Yes, the excitement that had propelled me toward this Very Important Day had finally subsided. Throw in the fact my darling children have not been sleeping well of late and you’ve got a nice heaping helping of bone tired.
So, once again I muttered my little hopeful mantra that my children’s teachers would work ’em hard. Maybe, just maybe, we will soon sleep ALL night! (See? It always seems to come back to sleep.)
Now, though, I suppose I have the option to take a nap every other day. I can always work the night shift….