It's the most wonderful time of the year...

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No, I don't mean the holidays you looney - I mean the first day back to school and daycare AFTER winter break!

Last night I was so excited about the prospect of sending my kids back to school after 2 weeks of nearly-non-stop-togetherness that I could barely contain my pure glee. This morning lived up to expectations. Aside from the mildly annoying din of my kids whining at the concept of putting on actual clothes after over two weeks of non-stop-pajama-days, the morning went by smoothly.

And now it is quiet.

Blissfully, serenely, almost completely quiet.

There was a time that I used to feel guilty about disliking long stretches of uninterrupted and unstructured time with my children. Extended illnesses, holidays, school vacations. All of them strike me with more or less the same combination of dread-tinted-nausea-highlighted-with-a-healthly-serving-of-guilt.

Don't get me wrong. I DO love spending time with my children. As I labor through the paces of working mommyhood, not a day goes by that I don't wish for more time with my kids, rather than time spent on the commuter train/airplane/conference room/offsite/lather/rinse/repeat cycle.

Then it hit me. I love my children, but prefer them in small doses.

BadAssMama confession of the day: I am NOT cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. I came to this realization rather early in the motherhood experience. It wasn't the sleep deprivation or all-encompassing hugeness of the concept, it was the lack of external validation. The BadAssMama is a teacher's pet (confession #2). I need a pat on the back, a gold star, an A+ to feel like I'm doing a good job. As much as my babies would coo and grin and poop and pee and cry, at the end of any given day I really never know if I'm doing a good job as a mom. The pay off to good parenting comes years from now. It may be the most important job in the world, but I need another vocation to keep me motivated in addition to the job that matters most. God bless the amazing stay-at-home-moms out there. I salute you. I admire you.

And you would kick me out of your club in a heartbeat if I ever decided to join...

And therein lies the problem with long stretches of time without daycare or preschool. My kids crave the structure. I crave the structure. After about 10 days, my husband was DYING for the structure. They miss their little friends and the comforting routine of school time, lunchtime, nap time.

Now, some of you out there might be thinking, "BadAssMama - why don't YOU simply impose some structure in the days for your kids? So many mothers and fathers do it on their own every day!" That's an easy one...

Because I have no patience.

Just as I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home-mom, I am neither cut out to be a teacher of small children. I would love to think that I could be, but I'm not. Thirty-some-odd-years on this planet have taught me my limitations, and I am finally wise enough to acknowledge the fact that I cannot be good at everything.

So, it is with great joy that I announce today is the first day back to school. All is quiet, and the BadAssMama is happy.

Now, back to work...
Cindy said...

Great column! Being a working mother or stay-at-home mom is neither good nor bad. It comes down to creating an environment that your whole family can thrive in!

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