We’ve been home together for three months. Three months of juggle, snuggle, blessings, and stressings.
There have been long days and hard days and short days and joyful days. Working from home with the kids has been incredibly challenging and there have been days I thought I couldn’t do it anymore.
But now…well now I don’t know how to say goodbye.
The Back to School Blues
Daycare in our state is opening up soon with new restrictions and regulations. It won’t look the same as it did earlier this year, but my kids miss their friends and learning from a teacher who knows how to make math fun. I’ve been a decent stand-in, but I don’t play pretend as well as Sierra. I don’t know as many songs as Ms. Kelli.
With full-time jobs, my husband and I know that keeping the kids home all the time isn’t sustainable for us and not the best situation for them. They need the school, we need the childcare. Yet still…it hurts.
I trust that their teachers are going to be amazing. I know that their friends are going to be thrilled to see them again. I believe in my heart that safely integrating them back into their world makes sense even if I am a bundle of nerves.
I’m Going to Miss This
So what it comes down to is the feeling I had that first day back from maternity leave. The pit in my stomach that made me question all of my own choices because honestly, I was just sad. That baby face I said “see you in a little while” to five years ago is now a big kid with a little sister and they can both say “Mommy, I’m going to miss you.”
I’m going to miss them too. So much.
I’ll miss 10am bike rides and 2pm snacks. I’ll miss long walks filled with important conversation and sticky popsicle hands telling knock-knock jokes. I think I’ll even miss digging in the sandbox while checking my email and making peanut butter and jelly while on a work call.
Things were complicated for a while, but they were also simple because it was us. Our team, together.
Deep in the Working Mom Feels
Of course, all of this doesn’t totally go away. The kids are still little, they still live here. But it’s going to be very different and as much as I’m ready for a touch of normal, maybe I’m not ready at all.
When I write these feelings out I do it for two reasons. One, because there isn’t a lot of air time for real-life talking about feelings these days. The kids are quite loud and have lots of opinions and questions.
The second reason is because I know stories can be lifelines to help you feel less alone. I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I do know there are working parents across the country right now with the same pits in their stomachs and knots in their throats worried about that first day away.
So, dear working moms and dads, I come to you with no answers, but a very big hug. It’s going to be hard, but we can do hard things. We’ve been doing hard things for a while. But if you just want to sit with all the feelings of missing those little people you love right now, I hear you. I do too.