For over 10 years I have been parenting. I have put my career aside, sometimes in the midst of drama, opportunity and with explosive emotion spilling. I have gone to countless parks, beaches, play centres, and bakes millions of muffins, cupcakes and toasted cheese sandwiches.
I am so deep into parenting I even make my own Macaroni and Cheese Sauce.
For the first few years I tried to fight against it, to retain a little bit of my “pre-kid” life, but in the end, there were too many balls in the air and far to many dropping all around us.
I gave in.
I became “Mom”
In fact, I became a “Just Mom” for awhile. Fully and completely committing to my kids. Cloth diapers, homemade baby food in ice cube trays.
Glue and cotton balls (my new found nightmare)
I did everything I was supposed to do and spent time with my kids. Loved my kids. Played with my kids and embraced these moments (as every woman over 50 says I need to) knowing they are fleeting and the days will move to fast.
Well, the days didn’t move fast. I did a 10 year stint as Mom and it played havoc on my confidence, my ability to think logically, although I did end up having tighter buns because of it (thank you drop in childcare at the gym)
But this was the year it was going to change.
I have been preparing for this moment for the last 2 years, slowing building myself back up again, re-creating my career and finding hobbies and passions to fill my soul.
But the world has turned itself against my clever plan.
This year, 2014, the year when all THREE kids would finally be in school. The year when I could FINALLY have a moment of time to build something beyond my kids. The year that I could sit in a quiet house and fill my 8:00am-3:30pm with all the stuff that didn’t get done for the last decade.
This was going to be the dawn of ME, and the fading of The Mom.
This was my time dammit.
But it is not to be. The latest news from our BC govt is that they are going to compensate parents 40$ per child (under the age of 13) for each day they are NOT in school, starting Sept.
I was one of those blissful parents, holding out hope that this job action would be resolved (i know, naive aren’t I) but this latest news was the nail in the coffin of my new life, proof that I won’t be shooing my little Kindergartener off on September 2nd.
I want to stomp and tantrum and drag my kids to school anyway (what would happen if I just left them there?) See, I am tired, and this was the moment I had been waiting on for years. This was the light at the end of my tunnel, and I was finally close enough with school supply lists in hand, only to have the darkness come back again.
I have done my best over the last decade, but teachers, now I need YOUR help. My 3 kids need the schools, the learning and the friendships and I promise I will do my best, at home, doing what I do best (cause lord knows teaching math isn’t for me)
And Govt. I get what you are trying to do with that 40$ per kid, per day, and thank you (I guess) but in all honestly the 2k you will pay me for September is nothing compared to the toll it will take on me (or my kids, or my husband) to have our kids home for ANOTHER month.
I have done my time and I am shaking the gate begging you to let me out.
But I know the gate will hold, and the chance of a last minute resolution is slim, so I am going to find some great ways to use your $2,000, to benefit my kids. Perhaps it will be using our Avion points (finally) and taking the kids to learn about Eurpoean History in the flesh, or maybe an undersea exploration in Hawaii (biology anyone) Heck, 3 days in the British Museum and they will have a pretty good sense of EVERYTHING they need to know.
Art at the Louvre? Explorations at Drumheller? Earthquake museum in San Francisco?
Or maybe it is a day at the Royal Museum in Victoria and getting a better understanding of where our little spot on this world came from?
A few days working our farm, digging and preparing garden beds for next spring, planting apple trees and growing worms will help them see the food cycle and understand it’s value?
The world is there, at our fingertips, and for that I am grateful, but what my kids need is recess and lunch, friendships and stable learning.
I will get my head around this change in plan, and as great parents (and with a cup ALWAYS half full) we will find a way to make September amazing.
But I might just be bitter and angry about it.