Yesterday was Gabriella’s first day of school. She started preschool. You would have thought I was sending her off to college the way I reacted to it. Oh sure, on the outside it is just a 3 year old going to preschool. But in reality, it is MY BABY taking a very big step in growing up and away from her Mommy. For 11 years I have been a stay at home mom. I have taken time here and there to attempt to go back to school, but in the end, my heart longed to be home and available to my children at that time in their lives. So, I stayed home. By choice. I was lucky that I have been able to do so. Now that school is starting back up for so many of us, I know that I am not the only Mom feeling a bit displaced.
Growing up, my mom was always around for me. She volunteered at the schools and was always available to go on field trips if she was needed. I loved having her around and knowing she would be there. Although, personally, I never planned on that kind of life for myself. I was going to have my own life and still be able to care for my children. I would have a career and if necessary put it on hold during the kids early years and resume it when I felt they were old enough for me to go back to work.
The thing is, I never planned on getting pregnant at 21 before I graduated from college. I never planned on feeling so intensely strong about being home with my kids. I never planned on not being able to imagine a life where I wasn’t home with my kids. The plans I had for the way motherhood would be just didn’t fit in with the way I fell in love with being a stay at home mom.
For 11 years I have been at home. I have driven thousands of miles to and from schools. I have watched entirely too much PBS for kids and Nick Jr. I have visited hundreds of playgrounds and eaten in just about every fast food restaurant with a play place within 50 miles. Not the earth-shattering career I planned, but one I enjoy immensely.
So, as I pulled out of the parking lot after dropping off MY BABY for her first foray into the big tough world of school. I felt as if someone shot a cannonball through my heart. This is the first step of the beginning of the end of being needed at home as the stay at home mommy. I will still be at the school when they need me and I will still go on field trips. But I can see the day down the road when they are all in school full time and there aren’t anymore field trips to go on or lunches to help with.
And I suddenly realized that I had already achieved my dream career. I have been given the most awesome job I could have imagined…being a Mommy to three incredible children. Now, I am taking those very first steps in starting down a new path of a new career. I am still keeping my first and favorite job of being a stay at home mom and plan on it for a long time to come. But I can see that the day will come when that job is my secondary job because there won’t be anymore children in the background who need my constant care. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what I am going to do with myself once that day actually gets here. So for now, I am going to get the most out of the time I have left on the job.
Just so you know why it is hard to see them growing up so fast, I’ll give you pictures of the first day of school. Now you tell me…wouldn’t it be hard for you to let this job go when these are the people you work