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.
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.
Katie Davis Skelley is a Tennessee native who moved to Madison with her family in 2009. Katie enjoys gardening (when not combating her mortal enemy, the Japanese beetle), fitness, singing in her church choir, traveling to exotic lands such as Orlando, and to the consternation of her husband Marc, frequently redecorating rooms in their home. You can read about her adventures in parenting over at Team Skelley and follow her on twitter at @katiedskelley.