friendship

"Why do I have to find a new life after all my kids start school?"

I don’t want a new life, thank you very much.

Every time I tell someone that all three of my children will be safely tucked away at ‘big school’ this year I get the same reaction. “Oh my gosh, you’re free. What will you dooooooooooo?” And my first thought is, “Why do I have to do anything?”

I’ve been a mum for ten years now and I can still vividly remember some of those first thoughts upon arriving home with a baby in my arms, most based on the realisation that I was responsible for him now. I remember standing in the middle of my lounge room thinking, “I can’t just pop down to the shops on my own anymore. How will I shower?”

“Does he really have to come with me everywhere?

Now, my three children will be out of my care from 8.30am until 2.45pm each weekday, illnesses aside, and I too have started wondering what I’m going to do with all that time.

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The first two weeks are already booked. I have scheduled every appointment I have been wanting to make over the past ten years that I haven't had time for and they include:

My very first therapy session;
A pap smear;
Getting my spots checked;
Getting my eyes tested;
Seeing a naturopath;
Catching up with neglected friends;
The dentist!

I have managed to squeeze in some of these things over the past ten years but always in a rush and always having to change the appointment time and date a million times. Now, I can not only make the appointments and turn up to them, I won't be in any rush.

I have managed to maintain a career over the past ten years, albeit a little patchy and underdone. I've hopped in and out of a few different professions before finally finding one that suits family life.

Ultimately, I'm not planning to do anything big or new this year when I am finally 'free'. I just plan to live the life I've already been living, but I plan to do everything better.

I want to take better care of myself.
I want to be a more organised parent.
I want to spend some real time with my husband.
I want to organise our home.
I want to grocery shop on my own so I can concentrate on sticking to our budget.
I want to have real, proper friendships again.
I want to try new recipes.
I want to see grown up movies, even on my own.
I want to eat at a restaurant that doesn't have a kids menu.
I want to read more books.
I want to lie down in the quiet and think, I mean really think. Imagining and pondering and all that stuff.

I'm going to spend time missing my children. I mean, really really missing them.

My favourite time of the day has always been 3.15pm when the school bus pulls up at the end of the driveway and my boys come home and now, with all three of them getting off the bus each day, I know it's going to become even more special.

This year I'm going to live exactly the same life as I did last year, but better. It will all look similar from the outside but now I'll have had my spots checked, my teeth cleaned and have taken care of all those things I never had time for.

With much better hair.

What's on your To Do list for when the kids return to school?

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Okay, where calling it. Back-to-school shopping lists are getting ridiculous.

Do parents of school kids really deserved to be shamed for this?

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