5, 4, 3, 2, 1

The countdown to summer vacation hath begun.

My kids are thrilled, eagerly anticipating the occasional day-camp, swimming, and what I imagine to be slightly more typically outlawed treats than usual. 

I, on the other hand, await the heralded in transition with a sliiiiiight sense of impending doom.  I realize this may be an unpopular opinion.

This isn't to say that I don't adore my kids, or that I don't love spending time with them.  I love my kids.  I've chosen to be home with them rather than taking a more conventional job.

Stay-at-home mom (I've learned I hate that label, by the way).  Work-at-home mom (because honestly can we just admit here that there are few who work harder and longer than a mom?  Stay-at-home just seems to paint with one brushstroke).

I digress.

I love my kids.

But when I am home with them, this means I am committing to be home with them.  Through the summer.  Through the day.  Through the evening.  Through the tantrums, the boredom, the fighting, the messes, the even-larger-than-usual laundry pile, and the nap regressions and refusals.

Commitment.  For better or worse.  Except I can't really divorce the commitment because they're 9, 4, and 2. 

Here's the thing, for all of my self-created imagery around being a free-spirited hippie-dippie-crunchy-mama, (labels are dangerous, people), I'm learning the limits of my free-spiritedness.  

Having kids has shown me where I have patterns of repressed joy, where I struggle to let go of do-ing and instead just be.  They've shown me where my perfectionism and penchant for control and performing is sometimes a hindrance to being in the moment as I am, unencumbered.

On the other hand, having kids has shown me that it's possible to instil into a young mind that feeling deeply is not only okay but sometimes necessary.  It's shown me that unconditional love isn't just a nice idea, it truly exists in this world.  It's shown me that damn, I am strong and resilient and worthy of healing.

Parenting has shown me that I can be imperfect, and still worthy of forgiveness.  I can admit that I struggle with the idea of being Mary Poppins all summer, and yet I am still worthy of the Good Mum title.

Here I am, world, preparing to face this summer and my lessons in joy with a somewhat trepidatious heart (and a very full mug of coffee).  I've a feeling the noise will force me to use the quiet time more efficiently, so as to hear where to go next.  

I also have a feeling the kids are onto something with the typically outlawed treats.