Sunny’s Mom Struggles: The Gang Goes To School
That's right. My main mom struggle this week is most literally what to do with myself. Let me explain.
I've been a stay at home parent for the entirety of both of my kid's lives. That entirety spans six full years plus a few months of crippling pregnancy related issues sprinkled in here and there. Needless to say, it's not even close to my first rodeo when it comes to being a stay at home mom. However, there is something that's happening in my life now that I am new to and that thing is being alone.
When I was in my early twenties I had spending time alone down pat. Being alone was actually my comfort zone. Freedom to come and go as I pleased with no time constraints, whiney kids, or diaper bags to clutter my car and my mind. Hanging out with friends, going to work, relaxing, or hitting the bar with some buds came swiftly and easily like riding a bike. Nowadays, it's still like riding a bike if I was still learning and crashing the bike every time I try to pedal.
Now that I've been a full-time stay at home parent for the past 6 years or put in mathematical terms, 20% or one fifth of my entire life (holy crap), I have no idea what to do with myself during the day. It's currently 9:49 am and both of my kids are at school for the first time ever and I'm already checking the clock to see when I need to pick them up. I'm dying out here, guys.
Floating around with nothing to do, I decided to write of course. So now here we are. I'm writing about how I have no idea what to do with my life now and you're reading it wondering when I'm going to get to the point. The point is, being a parent is hard. Being a stay at home parent can be even harder sometimes and today is the first day in my journey of the rest of my life where I won't have my kids 24 hours a day 7 days a week and it's an interesting yet empty feeling. Now that 'me' time in my life has expanded by an absurd amount and my children are out exploring their own little worlds I feel an array of complex emotions. I want to share these emotions in case someone else out there is going through the same thing that I am.
I feel something close to incomplete but that's not the correct terminology. It's quiet. It's quiet in my house and in my head except for the nagging worry of if my kids are alright. After dedicating six years of my life to raising two beautiful, extraordinary kids I am scrambled when it comes to my life. I am learning French now that my schooling has ended. I bought a keyboard to learn how to play another instrument. I already write and maybe I'll look for a part-time job. I know that I have so many goals I want to accomplish and dreams to see to fruition though they seem daunting at times. I've got plans to take up yoga again and learn how to free lift weights. So theoretically my calendar is filling up, but in reality, I'm still missing those little boys that used to run around wailing like banshees playing all kinds of complex made-up games that involve wrestling each other until screeching laughter erupts from each of them. I haven't even made it two hours without missing my kids on my first day of being alone.
What gives me comfort though, are a few points. I'm comforted by the fact that my kids are out there in the world experiencing new things and exploring new friendships with kindred young souls. I'm thankful that I do have a variety of activities to choose from to fill my alone time. From experience the most comforting thought though is that I know how to do this, to be alone. I've done it happily in the past and it's important to remember that when you've done something once, you can surely do it again. Who knows? Maybe I'll even document my newfound freedom journey with you lovely people! Maybe I'll go skydiving or wine tasting (Is it noon yet?), or explore the tri-state in mini-hiking adventures! Who knows what the future holds?
In all likelihood, I'll be sitting behind my computer typing all kinds of creative things and binge watching all of the TV shows I've missed the last six years until I'm out of TV to watch and then I'll head to Target to meander around by myself. Wow. What a life!
So this article is dedicated to all parents re-discovering themselves now that their children have left (or partially left) the nest. We can do this! Let's get re-acquainted with ourselves. Let's go places and do things we've never done before. Remember, your children love you and I'm sure they're grateful for you. Even all working parents out there should take some time out of their busy lives, even if it's only ten minutes a day, to do something for themselves to recharge and reconnect with themselves. The truth is that all of us parents need some time alone. Now that I have a large quantity of that time ahead of me, I don't intend to take it for granted. Neither should you.