Parental Independence Day
Alone in the house for the first time in more than a year.
When I mentioned in a team meeting that my kids will be returning to school full-time in a few weeks, a colleague joked “It’s Parental Independence Day!”
Yes. Very much so.
We have been home with our three kids for 382 days. Our only break was a few weeks ago when my mom was visiting. My husband and I were able to sneak away to an Airbnb for one night and have dinner alone. It was brief, but it was a break.
Now we are on the verge of what our life looked like Before the pandemic. Our older kids are returning to the classroom. Our three-year-old is headed to preschool. We will be back to hours of uninterrupted time in the day.
Yesterday was a prelude for what is to come. It is spring break this week. My dad is staying with us and he took all three kids to the arboretum yesterday morning.
Granted, we have had a bit of a reprieve over the past five weeks. After hitting our breaking point with isolation and remote learning, my parents agreed to come, in tandem, to help. My mom stayed for 2.5 weeks, and my dad will be with us for three. It is tying us over until the kids resume school in April.
What did I do with my few hours of freedom? Headed to the Starbucks drive-thru and got myself a raspberry mocha. Picked up a prescription. Then went to Target to retrieve my pickup order, but ended up going into the store. The current candle I’m burning is almost out and I attempted to smell candles through my mask. Then came home and worked without interruption until they got home from the arboretum.
Aside from it being much better for my kids to be in the classroom, I am one step closer to reclaiming my days. A friend reminded me yesterday that once the kids are back in school, I will likely be amazed at how much time I have because I’ve managed to do so much with them around all. the. time.
And it’s true. I was always forced into working when I had the opportunity. My husband and I would alternate watching the three-year-old during the day, but usually the schoolwork and making sure the older kids connected to Zoom and did their homework fell to me. If someone was having a problem, he would appear at my side asking for help. I would step away from whatever I was working on as the Resident School Aide.
My husband and I used to take walks during the day… we haven’t been able to do that because of remote learning. I’m looking forward to resuming that activity.
Most of all, I’m looking forward to the silence. The mental relief of not needing to be “on” so much and having my brain constantly switching back and forth between Work Mode and Mom Mode, leaving very little room for Me Mode.
Parental Independence Day is coming. I have it on the calendar.