I never thought I’d be someone to feel strange not having my kids around. Content and relaxed, yes. Overjoyed — some days. But off-kilter? Never. Until today.
Today is Eliza’s first day of preschool for the year, which translates to “the first day all three kids are gone all day on a weekday.” Last year Eliza attended preschool but she only went for two-and-a-half hours. By the time I got home from dropping her off, had a shower and ate some breakfast it was almost time to turn around and go back to get her!
This year, however, she’ll be staying all day. From 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., two days a week, I am a free woman. And, for the moment, it’s slightly disconcerting. When I headed upstairs with my breakfast a little while ago I found myself thinking, “Okay, I’ll just set this down and then put up the baby gate…..Oh.”
I wouldn’t say it’s unpleasant, this feeling. It’s just….different. It’s been two-and-a-half years since I’ve had entire weekdays all to myself at home. When Robert is home he helps out a lot by taking the kids places but they usually are only gone for a few hours and I know they could be home at any time. With them all being at school I now have two days a week when they leave in the morning and I know I have until 3:00 to do what I like – or what I need (it comes very handy for me being that I’m on my own most of the week and sometimes have a hard time getting things like appointments and errands done).
I was sitting here thinking, earlier, about how I really wish we lived in an area where there was more for me to do. There just isn’t much going on around here, and while I won’t be bored staying at home, I do feel like it’s a shame to waste the opportunity to get out and do some things. If only we lived in an area with museums and libraries and neat hang-out spots I would be taking full advantage of those.
That said, however, the bottom line is I am grateful for the short respite and intend to use it not only for practical endeavors but also to recharge and remind myself I’m more than just MomBot 3000.
Now if only I can break myself of the habit of opening the van door when I get home to unbuckle Eliza when she’s not even there.