I dropped my son off at kindergarten...now what?
Ah, the first week of school. While many parents are seasoned pros who have had kids in school for years, we should all take a moment of silence for the moms and dads out there who are sending off their babies for their first day of kindergarten. It's rough, I tell you. I am now the proud mama of a first grader and a kindergartener. I feel like I'm an empty nester, like I can now buy an RV and tour the country living off steak and red wine. No wait, I can't do that quite yet.
I dropped Rhys off this morning for his first day and he was so excited and gave his teacher big hugs. Hats off to the kindergarten teachers, by the way, for keeping parents in the room for a few minutes to fill out paperwork. This is smart. It gets the paperwork done for the teachers and gives the parents an excuse to hang out for just a few minutes without feeling like a hot mess of a helicopter parent who doesn't want to let go and leave their baby with total strangers.
I told Rhys's teacher that he's my last baby to go off to school. She complimented me that I was handling it so well, keeping the sobbing to a minimum. I was tempted to ask her for a sticker or gold star for my shirt but I thought that might be taking it a little too far. Then she asked me a question I've been hearing many times over the last few weeks..."what are you going to do with all your time now that your kids are both in school?" Well, for those of you who are interested, I've done some thinking and here's how I plan on spending my new found freedom.
6:30 Wake up early and lay in bed scouring Pinterest for bento box ideas. Because this is going to be the year that I finally have time to make beautiful lunches for my kids. Even if it kills me. Plus, I need to redeem myself for the marshmallow fluff sandwiches I sent in during the last 2 weeks of school in June. Ooohhh, organic cherry tomatoes and brussel sprouts on cute plastic skewers. My kids will eat that right up!
7:00 Time to get up and really start my day. Now that I have two kids in school, I better up my game with healthy, filling breakfasts. I start by cooking up some whole wheat blueberry pancakes. Since I've got some extra time and ingredients, I'll triple the batch and bake enough for the whole week. When you're a mom of elementary students, you need to think ahead like that. Except, I didn't account for my younger son eating 8 pancakes in one sitting, so maybe they will only last until Wednesday...if I'm lucky.
7:30 The boys need to leave pretty soon, so I better get going with those bento lunches. Darn, all I have in our fridge is some peanut butter, some cheddar cheese, and a container of olives. Oh wait, I found an old jar of pickles in the back. Does that count as a veggie? I'll chop up this peach, throw in some pirate booty and call it a day. I better make a note to run to the store later and get some better lunch ingredients.
9:00 Drop off time. My first grader is too cool for school and probably won't want me to walk him to his classroom, so I give him a fist pump in the hall and send him on his way. My kindergartener still lets me hold his hand so I walk him down to his room. I keep my sunglasses on because, apparently it's trendy, and it'll also hide my tears if I do lose it. But since I'm a cool mom, I'll only walk my kindergartener in for a few days and then it will be time for him to gain some independence and go in on his own.
9:15 I am kid free! I start off this glorious morning by heading to Starbucks because, well, there's no one in the car to rat me out and tell my husband that I spent $5 for a cup of coffee. I should be kind to myself for this transition I'm enduring, so grande mocha latte with whipped cream it is. Holy moly, I just realized that since there are no kids in the car, I don't need to use the drive thru! I park and go inside to enjoy my coffee. So this is what the inside of Starbucks looks like. The nice, quiet atmosphere makes it a great time to peruse Pinterest some more for fun after school snacks that I can have ready the minute my kids get home.
10:00 With all this Pinterest browsing, my shopping list in Google Keep is getting quite long. Time to head to Aldi. I wander the store aimlessly until I start to get on people's nerves. I never realized how crowded that store gets. Or how large the shopping carts are. It hits me that Rhys and I always used to go to Aldi together and I reminisce about how much he loved that store. No wait, he hated that store. I'm pretty sure he's glad not to be with me.
After Aldi, I absolutely have to go to Target. I need to find the perfect bento boxes, a thermos so I can send hot lunches, and those adorable silicone cupcake liners. Nothing says bento lunch like silicone cupcake liners. Since I'm sans kids, I get a little carried away with my shopping and make a few extra purchases, including a pimped out raft for the pool that comes with a detachable floating cooler! Now that my kids are in school, I can go to the pool alone and just float around in sweet bliss, not having to worry about my kids drowning. I've been waiting 7 years for that moment.
I push my cart into the checkout line. One glance at my cart and I realize that maybe I'm going over budget just a tad. Hmm, Dan may not be happy about my $39.95 inflatable raft purchase. I better run back and get a few bags of potato chips to even the score.
12:00 My errands are done and it's time to head home and get to work. When "Fight Song" comes on the radio in the car, I get to belt it out as loud as I want because there's no one in the back seat yelling, "MAMA, your singing hurts my ears!" I love this song. "This is my fight song! Take back my life song!" This can be my new theme song for the year.
1:00 Now that my kids are in school, I have plenty of time to focus on my photography business. Let's see, I'll start with some editing work. Only, it's just not the same trying to edit photos without a little person shoving LEGO pieces into your face, saying "Mama I can't take these apart!" Editing will have to wait. I just can't focus under these quiet conditions. I spend the next few minutes logging on to Class Dojo, hoping my first grader has stirred up some drama to entertain me. Nope. His score is all green. Darn first born rule follower.
3:00 Cleaning and cooking is exchausting. After cleaning the kitchen and baking up some delicious white chocolate chip cookies, I decide to take a much needed break. The cat and I lay down to watch a little Netflix. I can only watch one show because I really do have other important things to do. Awwww, but they have Kindergarten Cop on Netflix! This reminds me of my sweet little boy and I need a good cry. I call a friend to vent about how it feels like just yesterday I was bringing home my boys from the hospital blah blah blah and look how big they are now.
4:00 Where did the day go? The boys just walked through the door and go straight for the freshly baked cookies. I get handed beautifully labeled plastic folders that I can't wait to get my hands on so I can read all the papers inside, chock full of information about volunteering, homework procedures, and teacher wish lists. On second thought, reading three whole pages about the new behavior reward system is too overwhelming to read right now, nor am I ready to pour over a brochure on getting my kindergartener up to speed on his phonemic awareness skills. It'll have to wait. I'd rather enjoy the rest of the afternoon playing with these little boys that I've missed so much. Being the involved mom that I am, I ask them how their day was and what they did all day, to which they reply, "fine" and "not much," before asking for a glass of milk to go with the cookie. I say back, "yeah, me too" and pour us all some nice cold milk.
Okay, maybe this isn't really how I have my days planned, but it could become a sad reality on some days. What am I really going to do now that my kids are in school? I'm going to grow my photography business to be more full-time, with more times available for photography sessions. I'm going to do some work as a substitute teacher in our town's schools (in my pre-mom life I was a kindergarten teacher, so this will suit me perfectly). I'm hopefully going to volunteer in my kids' classrooms. I'd also like to get more involved with a ministry in our town that deals with pregnancy crisis. Other than that, maybe my house will be a little cleaner from now on...but I'm not making any promises.
Keywords: cary, holly springs, life, momprenuer, personal, photographer, photography, raleigh, small business
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