I am writing this with a tear in my eye. This appears to be my 'thing', sitting down and crying about big events once I've tucked the boys into bed, kissed their sleepy foreheads and turned out the light. Every birthday finds me weeping into wrapping paper, every first day at school gives me an upset tummy and a headache from sobbing into little grey socks. It is quite ridiculous, Husband finds it all very bemusing, but I simply can't help it. It's like the opening bars of the wedding march sending me into audible sobs, out of my control.
Today was the last day of our long summer holidays and oh, how my heart is breaking. Toddler had his first swimming lesson this morning and then we spent the afternoon with BFF and her two youngest, just chilling out and playing, savouring the last few precious hours of downtime. Tomorrow we will leave the house at 8.10am, drop Boy at the year one classroom door and then walk around the corner to introduce Toddler to the world of nursery. I shall be quite alone between the hours of 8.30 and 1pm.
I have plans with BFF for tomorrow morning to take my mind off it all, and the logical part of my brain is quite excited about having a morning all to myself twice a week. Daytime exercise classes, hands-free grocery shopping, easy peasy dog walks without any moaning or bloody obligatory scooters that get abandoned 10m down the road? Part of me can't wait. Part of me is heartbroken that my babies are growing up far too fast and will be spending time away from me. And the last little part of me is worried I shall feel a bit...redundant and a bit of a slacker? Should I be headed to work two mornings a week if I don't have Toddler at home? Is it lazy of me to relish these 9 hours of daytime freedom while Husband is at the office, working hard to support us all?
I know all this is rubbish. And a large part of me doesn't question it at all. Because, who would drop off my babies and pick them up again? And where exactly would I get a job for a mere 9 hours a week which I only want until we (hopefully) fall pregnant with another child? Also, Husband has never once suggested I return to work and I'm fairly confident he might have mentioned it if it felt it were necessary. Not to mention the fact that I've bloody earned these 9 hours to myself, I've paid for them in blood, sweat and tears, they're MINE!
It's just a small niggle that keeps raising its ugly head when I'm feeling emotional or tired or under scrutiny. I blame the so-called friend who cornered me at the park when Boy was 10 months old and sneered 'Come on now, Mama, when are you going to go back to work already?' like I was a child playing house who needed to stop being so selfish and silly. I dismissed her out of hand, and have hardly spoken to her since, but I guess she hit my Achilles heel. Every so often I can hear her questioning my decision, challenging my choice...
I suppose the main difference is that when Boy started nursery I was already 6 months pregnant with Toddler and this time, I am not. Last time it made sense for me to be at home. This time, to outsiders I am a mother without children at home (albeit for only two mornings a week!) Again, this is a ridiculous train of thought as a) I live in an area where plenty of mothers with school-aged children don't routinely return to work and b) I don't really care what randoms think of my decisions? Is it a personal critique? Maybe I am judging myself too harshly, questioning my role at home during this transition period?
Mostly though, it's just the separation. The knowledge that my beloved babies are with someone else tomorrow, for the majority of their day. It's a bit shit! I enjoy their company and I shall simply be a bit lonely without them puttering around about me.
Here's hoping they have an amazing day and have loads to tell me at collection time. And that they've missed me so much in return that they hug me tightly and refuse to go back ;-)
Now, where is the hot coffee and my iPad? I have one season of Gilmore girls left and it's calling my name...