When N was a baby and toddler and even as a young preschooler, it absolutely pained me to be away from her for any length of time. I waited until the eleventh hour to enroll her in 3-year-old preschool because I feared it was too much change at once (her going to school and having a new baby brother, G within a month's time).
But by the time she started kindergarten two years later, I was out to THERE with a pregnant belly (fully of M) and had an almost 2-year-old G to manage, so I was levitating with excitement at the prospect of her going to all-day school.
Tomorrow, G goes for his 3-year-old preschool orientation at the same school N attended, and I am thrilled at the prospect of having one less child underfoot for 5 hours a week.
It remains to be seen how I will react when M starts preschool in two years, but my guess is that I won't be welling up with tears.
With my birthday coming up in a few weeks, I also told D that what I really, really want is a gym membership so I can take M (when G is at school) or take both boys and workout for 45 minutes or so in the morning, leaving them in childcare so I can have "Mommy mental health" time.
It is absolutely impossible to walk on the treadmill or do an exercise video with two little boys at my heels. I have tried at least a couple times and failed.
It is also impossible for me to wake up at 5:30 to exercise. G continues to wake me up at least once or twice a night every night, and his morning wake-up call for me is 6:00. I'll be damned if I am going to get up even earlier to exercise.
By the time the kids go to bed at night, I am in no condition to exercise. That is my time to either 1.) get things done that I didn't get done during the day or 2.) decompress by blogging or reading or screwing around on Facebook.
When G does nap, if I don't end up napping with him (because of the interrupted nights and early mornings), I use that time to make phone calls and do things that simply cannot be done when he and M are awake.
But I need and want to exercise more than just 1 day a week in my boot-camp session. (And at that boot-camp the boys are with me in the same room, so I often have to stop what I am doing to tend to them in some fashion. I can't tell you how often I have M climbing on my back as I do push-ups or tackling my abdomen as I'm doing crunches or yanking on my shorts as I'm doing monster walks.)
Since I started this boot-camp, my legs have gotten more muscular and I am much more fit, and I like the way that makes me feel. I want to continue feeling that way mostly because this summer I have really started feeling my age. Feeling tight upon getting out of bed, needing to stretch. Hearing things creak as I make my way out of the bedroom into the dawn. At one boot-camp session, I did something to my knee and it has never quite gotten back to "normal."
Finally, I have reached a point where I am simply tired of feeling like a martyr to my children and my life as a full-time mom. Life just continues to get busier.....planning things for N's Girl Scout troop, taking G to speech therapy, running my normal errands. I rarely make it to book club or bunco, so these aren't outlets I can rely on every week or even every month to relax, find myself, decompress, socialize with other people.
While blogging helps keep me sane, I am still in the confines of my house when I write. With sleeping children upstairs or children in the other room. The walls of my house that needs to be cleaned about to cave in on me as I type.
I need a regular, healthy reprieve from my children and my house that allows me to take care of myself and possibly have a conversation with another grown-up. I am tired of feeling guilty about needing and wanting this.
After 7.5 years of mothering children without regularly-scheduled "Take care of mom time," a change is in order.