As the summer ramps up, I find myself experiencing serious SAHM withdrawal. Two years ago, I waited for the end of school with the joyful knowledge that I, too, would be sleeping in mornings; going to the pool for much of the day; seeing blockbuster films on sweltering afternoons; and living a blissfully unscheduled existence. Together, the kids and I were like a team of beach bums (without the beach, unfortunately). I’m not saying that there weren’t trying moments; after all, the kids were always up in my grille in one way or another, but overall, spending my summers with my children- just the three of us- is a privilege that I miss.
This year, the kids are being cared for during the day by their father’s girlfriend. I am 90% happy about this turn of events. They get to spend each day at their dad’s home (formerly, our home), with someone who they really like and who cares for them not only because they are cool little kids, but because she loves their dad. She can take them to the pool right down the street, cook them meals, help them get their rooms straightened up, have water gun battles with them… Okay, so maybe I am only 75% happy about the situation. It’s hard, honestly, to see how much this looks like my life, pre-divorce. But, truly- above all- I am grateful that they have another person in their life to love them; what’s not to like about that?
This divorce thing is tough. While I don’t spend much time second-guessing myself anymore, I still experience pangs of sadness at each turn in the road. Summer. The first day of the school year. Holidays. You know the drill: happy occasions are marred slightly by a tinge of melancholy. The best thing I can figure out to do is acknowledge the feeling, count my blessings, and move on- hopefully- into our new lives.
I took off work for a half a day this Friday so that my ex-husband and his girlfriend could get out of town for the weekend. Instead of the usual annoyance I might feel at having to arrange for childcare, I’m so thankful to have them to myself. I’m going spend the time trying to relive a little of the Stay at Home Mom summer!
Oh, yeah, sorry for the short post. It’s just that I have to help a kid find a helmet. And, I need to get the pool bag packed. And, the dog needs to go out. And, I need to get to the grocery store, but should I do that before pool so we can have healthy snacks, or after so I only need to make one trip out??
Hmmmm… maybe “unscheduled existence” was romanticizing a bit. Have a great weekend, everyone! Especially all you working moms: stay-at-home or otherwise.
(This blog was originally published on the Charleston Daily Mail’s Mommyhood blog.)