When my big girl started school, I felt all the usual emotions - nervousness, excitement, worry and sadness. Four years later, my baby boy had his first day of Reception. And while I was a bit nervous that he would be scared, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and happiness. I was happy to finally have a little bit of freedom. And of course, being a mother, I felt guilt. Ah, there's always some guilt.
I made the decision to become a Stay-At-Home-Mum over three years ago. Doesn't that mean that I should want to be with my children at all times? Maybe there are some mothers out there who want to be with their kids 24/7. But I am not one of those mums. It doesn't mean that I don't adore my children. It just means that I want, no, that I need time on my own.
Sometimes I just want to drink hot tea in quiet. Or go to the bathroom without anyone asking me for a cuddle (I like cuddles, but come on, not on the toilet!). Sometimes it is the thrill of going grocery shopping alone with no one demanding to stop by the cafe. Sometimes I actually tidy and clean my house. But in peace. And it might not sound exciting, but after years of rare privacy, it is delightful.
Dubz has been attending pre-school for the past two years (the first year he attended for a whopping nine hours a week spread over three days, in the second year he went for 17 hours across four days). Now that Dubz is in Reception, he is in school for 32 hours a week. And his school is right next door to his sister's school so I am only dropping-off and picking-up at one location.
After I take my children to school in the mornings, I walk down the hill with a spring in my step and a grin on my face. And the guilt has gone away, as I feel like I have become a better mother. I am able to get more done during the day so that the children get more quality time from me. I have a bit of freedom. And it makes me gloriously happy.