Today was the first day of traditional school for many public and private schools in our area. I love seeing pictures of the kids first day and the creative photo opportunities parents now take with their kids, but one of the things I hate seeing on social media is mothers who can’t wait for summer to end and have little Johnny and Susie out of the house for another nine months.
I am constantly frustrated with my children, and since we are together all the time I do not get much time to myself. I do understand how difficult it is to keep kids entertained and that they can annoy the piss out of you. I have five kids, trust me I get it. However, I am no saint for homeschooling my kids. I do not have magic skills or an extra dose of patience. My kids are not model children like the Duggars. They are weird, fascinating, and can drive me to the line of insanity – just like any child. I have no problem telling people that I take anti-anxiety meds daily and some days fantasize about having cocktails at lunch.
I am not sure how my mother felt about us going back to school. She is gone and I can’t ask her and part of how she spent her days when we were not at home are a mystery to me. I know she did enjoy watching Days of Our Lives and watching the 700 Club, but we also had a spotless house and never worried about having dirty clothes. Our summers were spent mostly outdoors or vacationing with our Aunt Bonnie or other family members. She did tend to lock us out of the house and would slip our lunch out a window with a jug of Tang or Kool-Aid and then would make us bathe next to the back porch with Ivory Soap and baby shampoo before our dad would get home from work. However in the last years of her life she said she regretted giving her time to things that were not as important and not fully being in the moment when we were kids and worrying too much about this or that.
I think what I am trying to say is our children are only children for a short time. Before we know it they will have grown into adulthood and be involved in the rat race. And when they get there do we want to be filled with regrets? And do we want them to think of themselves as a nuisance in our lives or a joy? Whether we send our kids off to school or homeschool will our children look back and feel valued or feel like obstacles in their parent’s lives?
Celebrate your children. Hug them. Be plugged in to their lives because before you know it they will have left the nest. Participate in their activities, be involved in their education, and enjoy your summers with them.