I ran into an acquaintance at the grocery store today. Her youngest son and my sons were in the same storytime together at the library a year ago. I asked her how she was, and she said that she was great because all three of her children were in school now! I asked her what she did to fill the time and she went on about how wonderful it was. She gets to go shopping alone (Admittedly, this was a particularly attractive concept at that moment as my children had been somewhat less than cooperative on this particular shopping excursion!), take a shower alone, she gets to exercise and make her own lunch every day - all the things she used to take for granted before she had children. I told her that those opportunities did sound amazing!
I meant it. My days are full of child-centered activities. Anything I want to do involves bringing two small children along. Alot of time, I don't even get to use the bathroom alone. "Me" time takes place at night, after they are sleeping, and even that is stretching the definition of "me" time because that is when I work. If I'm lucky, I get one night a week to sit and relax and work on a hobby and watch some television with my husband. I can't even remember my life before children. What did I do to fill the time? So, yes, the idea of having five hours to myself every day certainly has some appeal.
Honestly, though, as much as part of me is looking forward to that day 2 years from now when both David and Isaac are in school, I know that it will be a trade-off. I will be giving up all that time with my children, time that I spend now listening to their stories and playing games with them and going to playgroup and to my parents' house. I will miss adhering to our own schedule, and being able to spend snowy or rainy days inside where it is warm and cozy. I will miss curling up on the couch after lunch and reading book after book to them as they snuggle close.
We will instead have to adhere to a school schedule which will determine when we get to have our quality time. There will be homework and extra-curricular activities and lunches to pack for the following day. There will be peer pressure and parent-teacher conferences. I think that I will be trading one set of challenges for another!
I am in no rush to get there. David is starting kindergarten this Fall, and I am trying hard to savor these last few months with him at home. I know we will all adjust come September - life is about change, after all. But part of me just wants to hold on to now for a little while longer because where I am is a very good place to be.