There are a few times in your life that you can sit back and just know that a giant shift is coming… some are obvious (duh, if you are about to give birth, you can pretty much expect a life changing shift in your future), before your wedding (even if you don’t show up to your wedding, everything is about to change for you), bla bla bla… I don’t think I need to go on, most people understand the concept.
Today is just like any other day – my kids are happily in their rooms doing their things, and likely mentally preparing for going back to school on Monday; my husband is sleeping soundly in our bed, preparing for another weekend at work; I am sitting in the living room happily typing away on my teal buddy, drinking my aminos and thinking about what is about to happen. Today is just like any other day, but it is different.
Monday marks a big shift in our lives – I am officially back to school as of January 8th. My kids all go back to school that day, too. But that isn’t big news. They’re excited, sure, but it is not as big as my old ass being a student again. This will be the third time in my life that I have been a college student. I have a couple other diplomas, but I am not a fan of them. I am lucky enough to have been able to be at home with my kids all these years, watching them grow, attending all of their school/sports events, being home when they are sick, spending an inordinate amount of time with my husband…. It has been nice, and it has filled my heart more than I can explain, but I felt like it was time for me to do something for ME. So back to school I go, to see if I can’t find my passion/niche.
Now, I know that there are going to be at least one or two (or a handful) of opinionated assholes who are going to think/say “welcome to the real world” and to them, here are both of my middle fingers. I may not have had normal 9-5 jobs this whole time, but I have worked. And not in the way that most stay-at-home-moms work… I have had jobs this entire time. It may not have been a “full time” job, but since when is that the only thing that equates to living in the “real world”? My life is hard, it has been harder, but it remains quite difficult and trying. My life is just as real as anyone elses, my struggles just as hard to deal with, my situation is not ideal or perfect by most peoples standards, but I have been fortunate enough to have a husband who provides well enough for our family that I can stay home and take care of my kids (one of whom has diabetes, and that shit is NOT easy to handle on a day to day basis, trust me) My life is real, it always has been real, and if you are a douchebag who is going to use the “welcome to the real world” on me, you can kindly fuck right off and keep your opinion up your ass, right beside your head.
I am going back to school. And sitting here, I am realizing that this is our last “do nothing” Friday. Any Friday after this will be filled with my schoolwork, exams, and eventually, work. My husband and I have been lucky – since we got together, he has had jobs with rather unorthodox shifts. At first, he worked 4-on-4-off, which gave us 4 days a week together. Right now, he only works Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. So we have had a LOT of time together, just him and I. We generally get every Monday-Thurday together. Even when I was working, I was off at noon, so we still had every afternoon together. It has been nice. I have been spoiled. And deep down inside, it is crushing me to know that this part of us is coming to a close (unless I only get a part time job.. but only time will tell).
I understand that it is normal, it is “real life” and millions of people live this way. But I haven’t. I have had a very “unusual” 7 years of my life, and I have loved every second. I have loved being with my kids, I have loved getting so much time with my husband, I have loved packing up and leaving at a moments notice during the week, I have loved not having to take time off for my sons Childrens Hospital appointments, I have loved hugging my kids on the couch when they are sick, I have loved taking them to school every day and being there every day to pick them up, I have loved being at every one of their assemblies/craft days/class parties/sporting events….. it has been anything but “normal” and I have loved it.
I don’t graduate for a year and a half, so I know that there is more of these moments in my future, but I also know that graduation is looming, and life will shift once more. It is a shift that will be fun and I am looking forward to, but when you are used to something being one way for so long, a change like this can feel cosmic.
But it was time. When I graduate, my oldest will be starting grade 11, middle will be starting grade 9 and my little baby boy will be going in to grade 3. My husband and I are talking about things he could possibly take online to further his education/employment, so we will see where that goes. But it is time. My kids will always need me, this I know. But I also know that by the time I go off to work, they will be self sufficient enough that my presence won’t be required all of the time. It both excites and saddens me.
But time and life march on, and this time, I am part of the parade, not just a spectator.