I'm Over My Kids Being Home
It's been ten days.
Ten. Entire. Days.
For nearly two weeks my kids have been home due to snow, weather, school holidays, and illnesses and I'm over it. They are over it. We are all over it.
And I can feel you cringing at me. This is the quiet part. We aren't supposed to say out loud we are over being with our kids. Like, that's the goal, right? Hundreds of thousands of working parents would do potentially illegal things to be able to be home and present with their children.
Yep, I get it. I understand how this confession feels wildly off-putting. But here we are.
Everyone deserves breaks, mental health days, vacations, and little shake-ups to the routine. Sometimes those are nice. When you can choose them. That's the biggest difference here. This wasn't a choice any of us made. Trust me, all three of my kids would love to be in school just as much as I would love them to be there. Snow days and sick days are almost never by choice. You might have had a bit of time to prepare but it's still gonna be rough. And feel interminable.
The cabin fever, the work left undone, the to-do lists that became tomorrow's problem (and the day after that and the day after that in our case), those suck the fun right out of "a day off."
But for me, the bigger issue is I'm not really a stay-at-home mom anymore. And I kinda didn't like it when I was. I hung that hat up almost a year ago when I sent my littles to daycare for some social prep for "big kid school." The eldest started high school and the littles began Pre-K this year. The house drained itself of tiny humans and my routine shifted with theirs.
When the littles were born I was sort of forced into the SAHM life. I wasn't going to make enough to pay for daycare for two infants so it made more sense to stay at home with them. And for the first few, sleep-deprived months, it was fine. But as we started to establish a new normal, the whole experience wore on me. Much of parenting infants and toddlers is repetitive. Change a butt, make a meal, clean said meal up from increasingly creative places it definitely did not belong, change a butt, make a meal.
Some folks find a deep well of purpose and thrive on this predictability. I very much did not. Being brutally honest here, I was so fucking bored. So I started working from home and building a business. Several actually, before one caught on. Specifically this one. But it means that as my kids got older I was able to devote more mental energy to doing things beyond caring for them.
Don't get me wrong, the kids were always my first priority. They got the first and most energy and devotion. But as they needed me less and less, I got to take that spare energy and use it on other things.
And when they went to school. Oh happiest of happy days. The potential brain power. Look at all this room for activities! Thus we spin all the way back around to the point here. I'm over the snow days and the sick days and the holidays and the days of my children being at home, with me, unplanned, and for an unknowable amount of time.
Two things can be true at once. I am loving the chance to play in the snow. I have siezed every opportunity to make some happy snow day memories. The fevers have been tended, the boo-boos mended. Full mom mode is deployed. We've made snow prints and frostcicles. We've beaded and colored and puzzled and crafted until all of us were just slightly crosseyed.
If they are even the slightest bit aware of how ready I am for them to go back to school, they are far more perceptive than I thought. And I am ready for them to go back to school. So ready. So. Fucking. Ready. They are too. Every night as we lay them down they ask if tomorrow there is school and every night we sort of shrug helplessly.
Does this nominate me for the mom of the year award yet or should I try harder?