The past three days of having Olivia in preschool have been really interesting. I'll freely admit that I've been surprised how much I am totally loving it. Yes, I feel a little guilty about being so happy to have time without my daughter. Yes, she is loving preschool, so that kind of equals out my guilt. Right? I do miss her, but I think I especially just get anxious when I think about the fact that we probably won't ever be going back to our old normal except during the summers. It's bittersweet.
Part of the bittersweetness in all of this is that I never ever imagined that I'd be at this point in my life at such a young age. It feels like early retirement. Which is awesome, but it pricks my heart a little bit every day. I always thought that I'd have another baby at home or at least in my tummy before I had a kid gone at preschool or kindergarten. Now, here I am with no baby at home or in my tummy and Olivia is gone almost as much as kids who go to half-day kindergarten. Not exactly what I had planned. And if my friends and family didn't know that this life of luxury is my Plan B, I think I would worry a lot that people would judge me for the life I'm living right now. But since they do know, I'm trying to just embrace my life for all that it is right now. And, I'll be honest with you, it's not a very hard life to embrace. :)
Olivia went to preschool for three days this week (It's usually more, but this was the first week and it started on a weird day) and I have gotten more done in those three days than I feel like I have in the past three weeks. Or months. It is amazing and wonderful and it makes me so unbelievably happy. I've gotten so much work done on my book. I cleaned up the entire house. I did 5 loads of laundry and folded and put all of that laundry away all in one day. I've been able to run quick errands and actually have them be quick. I can walk up and down the stairs to put things away at home and not have a little shadow following me up and down the stairs every single time. Don't get me wrong, she's my favorite little shadow in the whole world, but it is so freeing to be able to just get things done without having to stop every two seconds to deal with all the little things that come up when you have a kid at home.
And I'm especially happy about all of this because, by the time she comes home, we're excited to see each other! It's hugs and love and happy smiles. She's had a blast and so have I. It seems like I shouldn't be so happy about it, but I totally am. Yesterday afternoon when she was playing and I was finishing getting dinner ready, I noticed how big I was smiling and I just thought, "I am so happy!"
For the past few months, more and more, I've just been feeling this secret, quiet wish for a big change. Good change, but big. I didn't know what exactly, but I was ready for something big. I needed something big. My life was fine the way it was, but after everything I've been through in the past few months, I just needed things to change. Do you ever feel that way?
Having Olivia start preschool has definitely fulfilled that need for me. Not only has it given me a little break from parenting almost every day, it's given me a chance to be selfish with my time in a really good way. I have "me time" when I'm free to go and do and not have to worry that she's about to wake up from a nap. And it's not so late at night that I'm wiped out from the day and don't have the energy or focus to get things done.
It's also been fun to feel like I have a reason to actually get up and get dressed in the mornings. I've put more effort into
I know that since I'm "the kind of person" who makes my daughter's clothes and is teaching her how to read that I'm also supposed to be "the kind of person" who cries every day when I drop her off at the terrible cold and unfriendly preschool that's going to give her germs and feed her school lunch food (oh the horror!). But I'm not. She is so happy there with her kind, fun teachers and lots of new friends. And I'm so happy to drop her off there with them in the mornings.
I know it makes me a terrible person and the worst mother in the world, but I am so, so happy with how my life is right now. It's not what I would have chosen. It's still not what I would choose. But for being an "in the mean time" sort of phase, well, let's just say I've been calling it the life of luxury for a reason.