Well, it happened. My daughter, my only daughter, my only child, has started preschool. Sighhhh. Where does the time go? Thank goodness it is only twice a week, and only five hours long, but man, that’s oceans of time without a three-year-old to care for; Oceans of time to worry about whether Elizabeth is getting along with the other kids, or if she is having fun, or if she misses me.
The past month has been a battle between feeling excited to have time for myself and feeling worried and sad that my little BFF isn’t by my side 24/7.
When we dropped her off on the first day, I cried. My husband cried too. Which made me cry more. It was a weird mixture of feeling so proud at how much she’s grown and how independent she’s become, and feeling extremely sad to be away from her for 10 hours a week. Elizabeth didn’t cry at all (Thank, God), but she held my hand, and asked me to stay, “please,” which just about ripped my heart in two. Cue throat burning.
The first day went by really fast as did the second; but I just worry about the next and the next and the next. I worry that her personality will change, or that she will pick up bad habits. I worry that she could get hurt, or that another kid may be mean to her, or she may be mean to another kid; I worry that little by little she will grow apart from me, when I kind of like being her favorite person; actually I freaking love it! I have LOVED being a stay-at-home mom, most of the time, and now I feel like the norm of my life for the last three years is changing.
I’ve had all kinds of ideas for projects, part-time jobs, start-ups and other activities swirling around in my brain. What can I read, what can I write, how can I make some extra money, what Netflix shows can I binge watch, who can I lunch with, what are some fun sights to see? It’s just overwhelming when your activities have been somewhat limited for a long period of time, and then all of a sudden you have more free time. I often feel anxious going anywhere without my songbird-chatter-box with me; and I feel like I’m being judged, like, what are you doing not working? You don’t have a kid. Like I’m some Stepford wife…when I’m like, don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got…
Overall, I am extremely thankful that for the first time in my adult life since the age of 15, I have been able to “not work” (yeah, right), and stay home with my only daughter. I know I have my entire life to work, but these precious years are few. I know, deep down, that I do need something more since Elizabeth is so much more independent now. And I am also extremely thankful that I am able to have this time to start thinking about what next great adventure to begin.