A NEW BLOG!
Thanks for stopping by. Mummy Mayhem is no longer updated. I now have a new, albeit smaller blog over at www.jodieansted.blogspot.com.au.
Drop by anytime. :)
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
The Final Year
Next year, my youngest son starts 'big school'. In the past, this is something I have longed for, and I've often counted down the years and months until I'd finally be packing off all three kids to school. I've fantasised about being able to keep the house tidy. Get ironing up to date. Write in peace and quiet. Aaaah...the bliss.
Now, don't get the wrong idea. I'm not someone who constantly needs 'me time'. Last year, a couple of days to myself (whilst the 4yo was at daycare) was all I needed to recharge the batteries. Well, most weeks anyway.
Apart from my husband's assistance most evenings and most weekends (that is, when he's not traveling for work, working back, or taking cycle trips around France...ahem), it's just me and the kids. I have no family here in Sydney to help me. If I'm unwell and my husband is away or at work, that's it - I soldier on. I can't call up my sister or my mother-in-law and ask them to come around for an hour or two.
I know I'm not the only one in this situation - far from it - and quite frankly, the way I live my life has been my choice. Hubby and I moved to Sydney - our family and friends from our hometown didn't move away from us.
But, you know, sometimes not having a break can be really hard. It was almost four years from the time my eldest son was born before I had my first whole day to myself (which I enjoyed doing each week for a year before the 4yo was born). Hubby and I rarely go out just the two of us. And when we do, it costs us a fortune in babysitter fees. (Oh, cue the violins now, will you?) And to be honest, sometimes I don't think my friends who have family around really, truly get how hard that has been at times for Hubby and I.
But to be fair, we've gotten used to it. It's the way our life rolls, and we really don't know any different (except when my sister or my MIL come to stay and I have a taste of being able to leave children at home whilst I run errands etc - luxury).
So, now you might understand why I was so keen for my youngest child to start school next year. Add to that, that he is an incessant talker, defiant, a mischief-maker, very demanding of my attention and just plain trouble at times, then, well, school looked pretty good to me. (Of course, he's also wildly cute and gorgeous a lot of the time too. It's certainly not all bad!)
Last year, I put his name down for a local preschool, which I knew was a long shot for him to get in to (not enough spaces and too many on the waiting list). Friends and family suggested I put his name down all over town at other preschools. I didn't. I figured he could continue with daycare if preschool fell through. Then one day last year, I decided that if preschool didn't happen, I'd drop one day a week of daycare. At the time I cited financial benefits and some issues I've had with his current daycare. I joked to friends about how if that happened, I'd probably go crazy. When I told my friend this idea, she said, "Are you mad?" Maybe.
Preschool didn't happen and I dropped the extra day of daycare. Even my husband had to ask, "Are you sure?" which, coming from him, is really saying something, because the idea of saving $80 a week is very appealing to my husband!
So of course, by reading this, you're now wondering why on earth I made the decision I did? How did I go from complaining about not having enough time to myself, to suddenly deciding I needed less time.
Let me explain by telling you a quick story.
Anyway, school started, the mother was happy - not a tear was shed - she was too busy and had too much on her mind. Then, about six weeks after her child's first day of school, she drove past the same park. She stopped and burst in to tears. She suddenly realised, she had never gotten around to taking her child to the park. She was too busy, and she thought she had all the time in the world ahead of her for a simple thirty minute play in a park she passed by every day.
I can't tell you how much I can relate to this story.
I may be a stay-at-home mum, but up until a few weeks ago, I hadn't had time to take my son to playgroup. Not once. (Or rather, I didn't make the time to take him.) I'm home every day of the week, and yet I rarely take him to the park for a swing during the day (I figure I'll just wait until his big brothers are home from school). Outings are trips to the local Westfield or to run errands.
Just like the mother in my friend Nicole's story, I have always figured I'd have plenty of time to do the 'fun stuff' with my 4yr old. I realised last year that I hadn't been doing it though. I was too busy with my P&F work for the school, blogging, doing house stuff...the list goes on.
So now, I have one year left. This is my final year of having a little munchkin attached to my leg. We've done playgroup. We've gone to the movies, and this week we're taking a trip to the city to see Centrepoint Tower and meet Dad for lunch.
And you know what? Even when I'm having a bad day with the 4yr old (like the Monday just passed...NIGHTMARE!), I still don't want to send him off to daycare. The idea of not having him around during the day - any of my sons - is tearing at my heart strings.
Who'd have thought it?
Are you a parent, and are your kids all at school? How did you feel when you eventually said goodbye at the school gate to your youngest child? Do you have a child starting school next year? How does that make you feel?