It’s Not You, It’s Me

The other day while picking up my youngest from preschool, I came to the conclusion that I am truly at a different point in my life than I was when I was dropping my oldest daughter off.  I was invited to meet a few parents and their children at a local McDonald’s for lunch on their day off.  Immediately I began to think of my reason for declining the invitation!  At one point in time, I would have jumped on it.  But that point of time is long gone in regards to certain invitations to things. I remember feeling like the “old mom” at her Open House.  I had already been through the 1st child starting preschool and knew that while I was sad because she was my baby, she would be fine and so would I.  I watched the other 1st timers and just had a smile on my face.  I knew they would be counting down the hours until pick up because they couldn’t wait until they could pick their child up.  Don’t get me wrong, I cry every 1st day of school for each of my children and I love them to pieces.  But……

Ella PreschoolGracie's 1st Day Preschool Ella (on left) in 2008; Gracie this past fall

I’m finally, for the 1st time, coming home to an empty house!  It’s the 1st time that I have 3 mornings to myself to run errands, clean, or get a pedicure (have yet to do that).  I am no longer the parent counting down the hours until pick up because of being anxious to pick up my child.  I am anxiously counting down the hours to pick up to make sure I can get everything done before I have to pick her up!  I am sure there are others who feel the same way as I do.  But I honestly can’t get out of the building fast enough!

I feel like I am going to owe her a ton of apologies.  I am at the point in parenthood where~

I am over the “play date”.  I love her little friends I truly do.  But I’ve done this before and I really don’t want to have to have my house clean for it to get messed up.  My kids do a great job of that all on their own and I can barely keep up with their messes. All of my kids do have the occasional play date but it is more spur of the moment because our life is crazy busy.

I am over the indoor play areas.  I am proud to say that I have never stepped into a popular indoor play area that will remain nameless.  My older children have been there but not with me.  I know way too much of what disgusting things lie in there.  I don’t need the “XYZ Flu” from jumping in the ball pit or crawling through tunnels that occurs 48 hrs after your visit.

I am over birthday parties. Did Gracie have a birthday party? Yes- I invited her little friends.  So she was not deprived. Do I keep her from attending birthday parties?  Absolutely not to some degree.  If it’s the beginning of the school year and/or she has no idea who the child is when I mention his/her name then that constitute a “No thank you”.  And this is not just with Gracie.  This is with all of my children.  But I feel the 5th birthday is a good cut-off for the “traditional” birthday parties.  I like to give my children different options~ go somewhere as a family or pick a close friend (or 2) and do something memorable.  And I have to say, my kids love to pick 1 or 2 friends and do something fun.

Hunter~indoor football game for his birthday Hunter’s 7th Birthday celebration~ pizza and a local arena football game

I am over the scheduling of things.  When you have more than 2 children, its is truly a whole other ball game.  You are constantly running here and there.  You are constantly helping someone with something.  It is just constant.  So I truly like to be a homebody when I have the opportunity. It has absolutely nothing to do with anyone.  It is just me.  So the less I have to schedule the better.

I like activities that include some adult beverages.  Look I am not a lush.  I just prefer to be at functions, eat at establishments, etc  where, if I would like to have a glass of wine, I can.  Plain and simple.  My kids know I like to have a glass of wine when they go to bed (OK sometimes before) or if we are out to dinner.  We were at Disney this past summer and they were very patient while I stopped in Mexico while we were in Epcot for a margarita before heading back to the resort to swim.  Does this make me a lush?  Does it make me a bad mom?  No.  It helps make me a happy mom, a more relaxed mom.  And I have worked very hard to get to this point of parenthood where you can eat pretty much anywhere you want without the possibility of being kicked out because of unruly children.

Dinner at the Melting Pot Girls ready for dinner at The Melting Pot for Ella’s 9th Birthday

I am just flat out exhausted. Between her older sister’s and brother’s schedules and homework, I like time to myself.  Hey if I can put in a movie and lay down with her, it’s a good day!  A lot of people do not get this point.  But I am tired.  I look forward to putting on yoga pants and pulling my hair up.  I look forward to my heated blanket and sitting on the couch with wine and mindless TV on.  If plans are not scheduled to begin before 6:00pm (preferable 5:00), I am more likely to say “thanks but no thanks”.  My quiet time alone is very important to me.  I am going constantly and I have very little me time.  I will not lie…I look forward to the kids’ bedtime.  And the fact that they can all tell time now really annoys me!  If this makes me sound old or anti-social then it is what it is and I will own it.  But the bottom line is…..I am exhausted!!!!

I love being a mom.  I love my kids.  I love their friends.  I am just a different mom than I was 10 years ago.  So to everyone I have or will ever meet…..It’s Not You, It’s Me.

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