It's Okay to Want Your Kids to Go Back to School
Last week after snow day #3 plus one school holiday I was done. It was past time for the kids to go back to school. My husband, whose work is less flexible than mine, took off for snow day #4 so I could get some semblance of work done. When the school called to say they would open on Friday a collective whoop echoed through the neighborhood.
It’s not a bad thing to be ready for your kids to go back to school...or summer camp...or vacation Bible school...or grandma’s house. A speaker on a recent podcast (I think it was God Centered Mom or For The Love) said children remember less about specific events from their childhood and more about the overall way their childhood made them feel. Good news for those of us who provide a loving, supportive home overall but sometimes don’t enjoy all the “big moments”.
We have a few constants in our household. We eat dinner together with no electronics. We make a few exceptions to that rule on the weekends or if we need to Google something in order to end a debate and move one with a dinnertime discussion. (Google is always helpful when you need a picture of a pink cow so you can prove to your kids where strawberry milk comes from.)
Our kids know we’ll tuck them in at night, take a walk through the neighborhood with them, play a game of cards on a Sunday afternoon and snuggle in for a family movie night together. They look forward to our Fun Friday adventures in the summer and family vacations. So while I may tell them to leave me alone when I’m talking to my sister on the phone (which happens maybe once a week) or when I’m using the bathroom and they’ve brought the dog and the neighbor’s child to stand outside the door, my children know I ultimately love them and want to spend time with them.
Our job is to teach our children about Christ in our home, show them love, provide the food, clothes and shelter necessary for them. It is not to be their cruise director and coordinate their entertainment. The ultimate goal is to launch them into the world as adults able to contribute to society. Part of launching them into society starts with school or for my homeschool friends with sports or other social activities.
When they launch into the world, I’ll stand on that launch pad for a bit with teary eyes and wave until they are out of sight. Then I’ll go back to my life, because I have a life of work and friends and family. They’ve watched me balance my love and devotion to them with life outside of motherhood.
If you loved every minute of snow days and spend every summer day romping through the yard with your kids and you love it, hats off to you. Really. God has gifted you with the ability to be present and to undistracted at this time in your life. But if you enjoyed that first day of snow and then cringed when the text came that school would be closed another day, you are not alone and you are not a bad mother. God made us all different. And He gave us the children who needed our particular gifts or who will stretch us into becoming the people He wants us to be.
Now go pull out that stash of cookies you hid in the laundry room and enjoy a few before the bus brings them home again.