I’ll have to admit, I went back and forth on writing this blog. I didn’t really like the thought of admitting something like this to the world, but then it hit me: If I feel this way, then it’s pretty much guaranteed someone else has/had the same exact feelings. So, here’s a little bit of real mom life for you…
I laid out Finley’s uniform the night before her first day of school — even thinking back on it now, it’s hard to believe that we actually have a kid old enough to be in school, yet here we are. She was ready, so excited to start her first day, and to tell you the truth… so was I. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a rough a summer. She tested me all summer long and is starting to prove she has a lot to say, oftentimes getting her into some trouble — a typical 5 year old some may argue. I was exhausted and more than ready for her to start school to put some distance and space between us because it was obvious we both were in need of it.
I felt so guilty. I saw all of these other moms posting photos from their child’s first day, and saying how they were a ball of tears thinking of dropping their child off for school, and here I was… happy. Relieved. Ready to send her off. What was wrong with me? How could I feel this way about sending my first born off to school? It didn’t make sense. It didn’t feel right to me. I had to be the world’s worst mom.
Then, the first day of school came. We started our morning as we usually do, and then we all loaded in the car for morning drop off. I got Finley out of the car, helped her with her backpack and lunch, and she took off towards the door in a dead sprint. She never even so much as thought about giving me a hug or a kiss. What just happened? Could she sense I was ready to send her off? She did. She could sense I wanted her to leave. That’s why she didn’t say goodbye. That’s why I got no kiss or hug. I hopped back in my car, and the tears started flowing. This was my fault. I was ready for her to go to school and for us to have some space, and she knew I wanted her gone. Wow. I really failed.
Then it hit me. Why am I torturing myself like this? I am not the worst the mom. I have permission to feel the feelings I have — and if you felt this way too, so do you. Honestly, I think it had less to do with Finley and her not-so-little-anymore attitude causing friction, and more to do with me. I think many can agree that, as mothers, we feel like we lose a little bit of ourselves in our role as “mom.” We tend to forgo the things that once gave us life as our own person, and focus more on our kids and their happiness. Of course, seeing our children happy does give us life, but it’s different than doing something to fulfill ourselves — to “fill our own cup” so to speak. I wasn’t so much ready for Finley to grow up and send her off to school without a second thought. I was ready for more time for me. Sending her off to school would finally allow me a little more me time. Time for me to do something I wanted to do. Something for myself. I was ready for that next season in motherhood. And, it’s ok if you are too, mama. It’s ok to feel a little relieved. A little excited for the next chapter. You’re not alone in your feelings. You can feel happy and sad at the same time. Motherhood is a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s all about change. Seasons. And, there’s a little bit of happy and sad in every season of motherhood.