My youngest child is starting kindergarten tomorrow.
I thought I was fine with it.
I have been telling friends that I have even felt guilty about how much I have been looking forward to it. for the last several months.
I’ve said my girl is ready. I’ve said I am ready. I’ve been a part time working mom for a long time!
11 and a half years ago when we had our first child, we made a deliberate decision for me to stay home with them as much as possible. That has been such a challenge over the years as my painting business has expanded and grown and expanded and grown to the point where I now have 4 women working for me. I have continued to get busier and busier especially in the last several years and oh by the way …. we have continued to have more children. So I have been home with kiddos for over a decade.
We have many, many decisions supporting our desire for me to be at home. I’ve foregone painting classes and lunches with friends and trips out of town and jobs out of town. And all of them GRATEFULLY. I am not complaining about it. My heart has always known that if I mess up my role as “wife” or “mom”, none of the painting stuff would ever matter.
I am so blessed that my job has allowed me to be at every field trip, every holiday party, every parent teacher conference, every late start or early release. I am so grateful that my kids have had minimal childcare, most of which was at a PDO program at a local church. I will forever be thankful for the flexibility that owning my own business has provided for our family.
On the flip side of that however, it has been very difficult to run a business effectively when my main priority is my 3 little ones. For 11 and a half years, I have had a child at home with me. They have gone to the paint store with me. They have gone to painting consultations with me. They have painted in my studio with me while I do sample boards. They have watched a movie while I painted a piece of furniture. I have changed diapers while discussing new techniques on the phone with designers. I have at times had to lock myself in a bathroom or in the garage to discuss a huge job in quiet without “Dora The Explorer” blaring in the background or two of my kids going to blows over who ate the last fruit snack.
Y’all……I have locked myself in the pantry of a new construction project where there were many construction workers around (male mind you!!!) …..to use my breast pump and then promptly go back to work and make it home before my baby’s next feeding.
I have been a master juggler.
I have learned how to bust my butt every day on my job sites so that I can come skidding into preschool on 2 wheels because I just packed 2 days of work into 5 hours.
I have become proficient in multi tasking.
I have become accustomed to running my business with my children in tow.
Now, for the first time in 11 and a half years, I will have the opportunity to work all day every day if I want. I have been so secretly excited for this new freedom to commence. All summer long, I have been looking forward to the first day of school when I can begin to concentrate 100 percent on my business….. ALL DAY during the day…. without distractions.
Or, I can finalllllllly stay in bed all day if I am sick.
Or, I can finally go to lunch alone with a girlfriend if I want to. And it won’t have to be a place with a kid’s menu and a play area.
I can go to Target WITHOUT having to go down the Lego isle.
Finally….some time again to myself.
I thought I was ready for it.
So, I was STUNNED this morning when I became a blubbering, snotting-all-over-myself, crying mess! I was totally unprepared for this title wave of emotions that has continued to hit me today.
Instead of looking forward to my new freedom tomorrow, I feel like I am literally, intensely grieving the loss of a season of my life that I adored.
And my multi tasking, plate-spinning self hadn’t prepared for that.