I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial. The father, joyfully back to school shopping with his kids, while they follow behind with their heads hanging low in despair. If not, please see exhibit A:
I know a lot of parents that feel this way, I get it, they get a break! The kids are occupied. They don’t have to listen to fighting, complaining and the ever present “I’m bored” comments. But this year I find myself in the minority. I am not liking back to school. I have to wake up earlier, my big helpers are gone all day, and its WAY too quiet in the house.
I know what you’re thinking, why don’t you pull C and M out of school? Homeschool them! And my answer to you is, “I’D LOVE TO!” But something we’ve said from the beginning is that homeschooling needs to be an individual choice. I will not force my kids to be home with me as much as I will not force my kids to be at school without me. At the beginning of the year we ask them, “Would you like to be homeschooled or would you like to go to regular school.” Last year my second oldest wanted to be homeschooled, so she was! It was great year and she learned a lot! This year, she wanted to be in regular school. Last year (and really every year) my oldest wanted to be in regular school. They decided, they exhibited their autonomy, and I’m PROUD OF THEM.
However, now I’m feeling something I never thought I would. I’m feeling EMPTY! I’m feeling SAD! And I feel not nearly as busy during the day. Here ya go, I can hear you now, “Uhhhhh, Jessica, you have 3 other kids at home, including a NEWBORN!” I know, I know! But it’s just not the same! I miss my kiddos. I miss all the playing they do together. I miss my 7 year old cuddling up with me during quiet time and telling me stories and all about his great ideas. It’s lonely without them.
The really great part about them being gone though is that I get to have some AWESOME special time with my 3 (almost 4) year old. I’m discovering more and more that he is a RIOT! He loves being homeschooled (maybe he’ll want to continue?) and I can already see his little mind growing and changing as he processes some of the things we go over.
So, for now I’ll suck it up. I’ll enjoy my quiet time with my handsome man and little ladies. And I’ll wait anxiously for Christmas break, when I’ll get to have all 5 of my small people with me every day, even if its only for a handful of weeks.