I am officially the parent of a First grader.
I have to let them go, for their sake and mine so that they can gain their independence and one day leave to start their own home and possibly family but it is so difficult to hand them over to another woman to care for. Then going off to work and trying so hard not to think about them every moment of the day and physically holding myself back from phoning the school to see how the day went.
I am not a working mother by choice and this week has been much harder than I anticipated. I had planned to stay at home until they went to school and then possibly home school them. Life happened and I have worked for nearly all of their short lives, handing them over some mornings with both of us in tears and having to turn my back on the cries of a child who cannot bear that I leave. Then crying most of the way to work because very motherly instinct is telling me to turn the car around and take my child home.
Envy is a very ugly thing but sometimes it overwhelms me when I chat to friends who have been stay at home mom’s or home schooled their children. This week has been so hard, another stepping stone on the road to adulthood. I know I am not the only working mom out there who feels this way, having missed out on large chunks of their children lives. Time spent in meetings when you would rather have been playing in the sandpit. Days at work when you have been forced to send a sick child to school or left them with a granny or a nanny because your leave is up or you have a deadline to meet. Take away dinners instead of home cooked meals, because honestly you do not have the energy left to even think of a meal, much less cook it. Buying their birthday cake because there is no time to make one from scratch.Teacher being the one who gets the hugs and whispered confidences that should have been yours.Missing out on sports days or dance recitals because how can you ask your boss off for that when your work is piled up on your desk?
If you are a working mom I am sure that you can add your own regrets to this list and the time just flies by and before you know it they are wearing uniforms and getting homework and doing team sports.
And it seems like yesterday they were tiny babies in your arms, depending on you for everything.
This new phase is going to take some getting used to. I feel a bit shell shocked but I am so proud of how they have taken to their new school and classes without a fuss, making new friends and seeing this all as adventure. This year I am going to try so much harder to make every moment count, as the years are going far too quickly.