Well, the school year is upon us, and I have a confession to make.

[whispers] I am excited.

I know that as a mom, I am supposed to lament the end of this supersized vacation (thanks, Alabama legislature!) and long for the lazy days of summer. But that was before my children decided that Arguing was an Olympic sport and they were going for the gold.

I am also excited because this will be the first year that both of my children are in school for all five days, and I will have scheduled, daily time to myself. Time. What a concept. The possibilities are endless, and the world is my oyster during preschool hours of operation. I can write the next great American novel. That is, if that novel is the tale of an eight-year-old boy who decides to forego brushing his teeth for a whole summer without his parents’ knowledge. Mark Twain famously said, “Write what you know.  And that is what I know.

Looking over the past nine years, this stage of my life has been infinitely rewarding, enormously frustrating, and often entertaining. I would be lying if I said that there were not moments that I put on my rose-tinted Ray Bans and imagined what it would be like to be back in an office, instead of scrubbing the “wall art” of a pint-sized Picasso. In my head, the image is never like those two years that I spent toiling away in a nondescript office building in downtown Nashville. My imagination always seems to conjure up a Reese Witherspoon movie, where I am dressed in designer garb and working for a magazine named Sparkle. Apparently my imagination is still thirteen.

My husband asked me once if I have regrets about stepping out of the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom. After pondering for awhile, to his relief (and mine), I truthfully answered no. It was a blessing, and I know that there are many moms out there that long for the opportunity to do the same. I never want to disrespect them by complaining about the privilege.

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At the same time, to those moms out there setting the business world on fire, I say, rock on. We need professional moms and we need at-home moms. One is not better than the other; it is the choice to be either that is important.

What am I going to do with this new expanse of time that stretches out in front of me? Well, I am going to write and brainstorm and hopefully build this freelancing career that I embarked on last year. Because this is me that we are talking about, I am sure that I will be wracked with Mom Guilt when I embark on any non kid-centric endeavors. I will thank God for opportunity and ask him to grant the same blessing to other moms who long for it. I will think about my kids, wonder what they are doing at school, and fervently pray that they are happy and safe and learning all of the things that I cannot teach them.

And I’m sure that I will spend some time at TJ Maxx.


View Comments (14)
  • I enjoyed reading this very much. 🙂 2 of 3 of mine will be in school full time this year, and although I will admit I am secretly really excited about this, I get a little teary eyed too, thinking wow, my ‘toddler’ days are almost coming to an end. crazy, to think… time flies..

  • Thank you Ellen! That is one of my favorite aspects of writing for RCM–commiserating with fellow parents. 🙂

  • Love this! I think my 2 girls could take the gold away from your two! 😉 They have been together waaay to much this summer! I am so excited/ready for school to start. 1 will be in Kindergarten! And the other will be in preschool 4 days a week, and I will be teaching preschool 3 days a week! Lots of change ahead for our household!

    • Congratulations to your kindy girl! Kindergarten is a big deal. Big changes. I had a little bit of a hard time when my oldest went to kindergarten. I missed the warm and fuzziness of preschool. 😀 But we lucked out with an awesome teacher and I hope y’all do too!

  • I agree. Mine are almost 11 and almost 6. The younger will be starting K, but has been in Pre-K for 3 years already. He is Autistic. This Summer has drove me crazy and the kids. We love each other, but we need some time away from each other. We also need more structure again. I hate to see them go back. I am not ready for the getting up early, but I think we need a break from each other. LOL

    • We are in the same boat Jessica. Too much togetherness! I do not look forward to early rising and homework and making lunches at 10pm, but I think that both of mine have had just about enough of summer. I am a big fan of structure, I don’t fly by the seat of my pants often. 😉 Thanks for reading!

  • My oldest of 3 will be starting kindergarten in a week. I am going to miss her so much. She is my wonderfully behaved, sweet, helpful, little mommy child. I am wondering if they will let me send my middle child instead! 😉 I know it will be okay in the end but I get teary eyed just thinking about her leaving. :,(

    • I am not the sentimental sort, Liz, but I am with you on kindergarten. Preschool is so warm and fuzzy, I will probably be sadder than my daughter when she graduates next spring!

  • Exactly how I feel, from kids going back to school, to the need of both kinds of moms. Good luck to us all.

  • I liked your article, especially the part that said neither “professional mom” or “stay-at-home mom” was better than the other! It seems like “WE” as moms tend to snub our noses at the two! Me personally I have been both so I know what comes along with those titles.

    My oldest son started kindergarten this year! I was definitely sad because it did not seem like this day would get her so quickly. My baby is growing up, but I know that is a GOOD thing and I can not wait to see what all is in store for him in the future! 🙂

  • Congratulations to the little guy! I hope that he has an awesome first year.

    Oh the mommy wars-pointless, aren’t they? Maybe that should be a future column topic? 😉

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