I just dropped Shorty off for his first day at preschool.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from him.  I was fearful.  Shorty has a temper and a stubborn streak.  When he gets something in his head he is not easily distracted or coaxed out of his idea.  Silly me, I forgot how powerful the lure of new toys are to a three year old.  And so begins OUR first day of preschool …

One minute after entering the building he was leading the director and me up the stairs to his classroom.  Once in the room he forgot all about me.  He didn’t even acknowledge my good-bye kiss.  On one hand I’m happy about that.  It made leaving him a little easier.  On the other hand, um hello, how sad is it that he didn’t even care I was leaving!  Kinda makes me feel a little unloved, or trivial at the very least.

As I sit here in my quiet house with one load of laundry in the wash, beds made, breakfast dishes cleaned up, and drink my morning coffee, my mind drifts to how my Shorty is doing.  When he lost interest in the toy did he cry because he really grasped that I was no longer there?  Is he behaving?  I’m worried about his temper, flair for the dramatics, and his stubbornness.  I’m worried his behavior will lead his teachers to wonder what the hell we’ve been doing to this child?  Will they think I’ve been a bad mother?  Will they tell me there is something wrong with my child and it’s all my fault?

And then there is this part of me that wants to forget about him for these precious few hours.  This is the first time I’ve really been alone in my own house since Shorty’s birth.  I’ve grown accustomed to having someone poke his head in the bathroom while I’m doing my business.  I don’t remember what it’s like to be able to sit and think without being constantly interrupted by someone calling, “MOM!”  Usually at this time I’m begging him to eat breakfast or pick up some toy.  Or I’m trying to get things done only to be constantly called upon to help him with something or prevent some disaster (such as him killing himself as he scales the furniture and banisters).

I’m sitting here typing and enjoying a HOT cup of coffee.  There are no interruptions and I don’t need to do anything other that what I want to do at this moment.  Sweet Jesus, this is a little bit of heaven!  But even in this bit of heaven I feel a little mother’s guilt.  Shouldn’t I be crying because it’s my baby’s first day away from me?  Why do I feel less like crying and more like breathing a sigh of relief and shouting, “FREEDOM!”?  Honestly, I almost feel like giggling.

What does this say about me as a mother?  Does this mean I don’t love my child as strongly as other mothers love their children?  Will other moms who read this think I am evil.  Or is this a normal feeling to have after three years of being the primary caregiver to a little person.  I’ve spent three years with Shorty with little outside help from family, friends, or babysitters.  I’ve forgotten who I am other than Shorty’s mom.  In trying so hard to take care of Shorty and his needs and wants I’ve forgotten to take care of me.

So as Shorty begins his first experience into the world without me I hope we both have fun and learn something about ourselves.  I hope Shorty makes new friends, grows socially.  Maybe he’ll even realize that he can do things without mom and dad’s help.  If we’re lucky he’ll realize that many three year olds use the potty and he should too.  (Hey, one can hope right!) 

As for me, maybe I’ll remember who I was or who I will be when I’m not being a mom.  Hopefully, the hours that Shorty is in school with allow me to take care of me.  So I look on this first momentous day not as the weakening of my bond with Shorty but as a chance for our bond to grow stronger and for us to once again appreciate our time together.  I’ve spent so much of the past year sort of resenting the loss of myself as an individual that I’ve forgotten to be grateful for the time I spend with my child.  And so this day is the beginning of new adventures and realizations for Shorty and me.

This entry was posted in Alone Time, Changes, Children, Family, Love, Me, Motherhood, Parenting, Shorty, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Beginnings

  1. lora says:

    It means you are a good mother who is secure in the knowledge that you are raising a great kid.

    Enjoy your time.
    Shorty is well taken care of.
    You know this or you wouldn’t send him there.

    Enjoy finding yourself. It’s a wild ride.

  2. Evenshine says:

    Congrats on coming back to yourself again. It does take some time, and is, as lora said, a wild ride. Go Shorty!!

  3. faemom says:

    It’s perfectly fine to feel excited about some time to yourself and even better when you know it’s not a one time treat. Shorty, I bet, is doing fine. This will be a great time for Shorty to make friends and learn things and for you get stuff done and enjoy yourself.

  4. faemom says:

    Just to give you something to do when Shorty’s in school, I tagged you.

    • incognitomom says:

      Fae, will do this either this weekend or this coming week … been a really busy few weeks around here … can’t wait to have a few hours to catch up on my blog writing and reading.

  5. Bay says:

    I’m getting ready to try my little one in a daycare for a half day (once!) and I am already thinking all of the same questions.
    I’m sure it has gotten easier right?

  6. Kiirekass says:

    You keep writing about exactly how I feel or have felt! This post has me doubt my mothering skills and selfish-me streak a little less. I swear all those “perfect” moms out there are just a facade. Frankly, I’m simply a much better mother once I’ve had some “me” time.

    I hope Shorty is continuing to enjoying his school time as much as you are enjoying your time and hot coffee!

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