I'm all alone. It's ten in the morning, and my house is silent. So silent in fact, that I put on ambient music while composing this post because the hum of the refrigerator wasn't enough to keep me company.
All of the kids are at school. Sydney started preschool on Tuesday. I'm thoroughly excited for her, and relieved, hopeful, and a whole mess of good emotions. I'm very thankful that the preschool had an opening and that she's able to go. She's been asking to go to school since the boys started in September. It's a great program, with wonderful teachers and specialist to help with her speech delay. It's also nearby and will have a lot of the same kids that she will end up going through grade school with, so it's really a win-win in every way.
The catch to the kids being in school is this - I'm alone now, with myself, for half the day every day. It's not a negative thing, but it is a change. It's a challenge to be by myself, because for the last eleven years I have been with my kids and/or working every day. I'm not complaining at all, I'm looking forward to having this time to myself. But the "To Do" list in my head is overwhelming me a bit. It's not a traditional "To Do" list, in wash dishes, do laundry and all - the kids may be at school but the evidence of them is easy to see all over the house. That stuff will get done, and honestly a lot of it may get done after school too. The "To Do" list in my head is the one that I've been writing for years entitled: "What I Would DO with A Few Hours Alone!"
(The exclamation point is mandatory on that, I'm sure all moms can understand.) Do I workout? Yes! What workout do I do? Should I knit? Should I write? (YES!) but what do I do first? Where do I start? I don't want to waste my time, and yet I do by spinning my wheels and not knowing where to begin.
When I first had kids, it was easy to push the things I loved doing, or wanted to do to the background. After all, there was a baby to change, a toddler to feed etc. Kids regulate your priorities pretty easily, without much input from you. But now, I've got to revisit those interest and prioritize them. I have a fear of catching myself saying, "Oh, there wasn't time for Yoga/Running/Writing today," because that would be a lie. The true statement would be, "I didn't MAKE time for what I wanted to do today."
The other piece of this, is that it's a little scary to face myself alone. I had my kids young, and therefore I didn't spend a lot of time on my own getting to know myself before they came along. So a big part of my identity is wrapped up in them. That's normal, to an extent, but I want to remember who I am as an individual. I want to be a good example to them, to show them how to be who they are, how to enjoy and cultivate their interests. I want to remember who I was, what I was passionate about, and give myself permission to delve into that, now that I've been given the gift of a few hours. Each day, my children leave our home and go out into the world to explore, learn, laugh, play, and be who they are in a safe environment. I want to embrace my mornings with the same enthusiasm and see what I can learn about myself.