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 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.