My kids are 5 and 7, and this week they are both home from school for Spring Break. We didn’t travel anywhere; we couldn’t have even if we wanted to. My husband and I both have careers that don’t go on hiatus just because our kids are home from school. We both work from home, which is a blessing and a curse during weeks like this. It’s a privilege to continue doing our jobs without having to arrange for childcare (I honestly don’t know what parents do on school breaks when they both work outside the home). But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I could just go to work in an office with other grownups and escape the insanity of my home.
I wish I were the kind of mom who soaked up the extra time with my kids that breaks like this provide. I expected to be that kind of mom. The hard truth, though, is that I’m just not.
I love my career. I love my independence. I am a better mom when I’ve had time during the week to myself to work, to focus, to just be Amber for a while instead of mommy. Right now, I’m surviving on morsels of that time. My kids go to two different schools, one of which is a preschool and is over half an hour from my home. Between my daughter’s already short preschool hours, and the 1-hour drive it takes twice a day to transport her, I only have about 2.5 hours a day to myself. But even that, even those measly hours, are enough to sustain me. I forget how much I need them until they are taken away.
Everywhere on social media, I see posts of families making memories over Spring Break. Traveling together to mountains or beaches. RVing through the countryside. If they stayed home, baking cakes together and doing crafts. As for me? I’m just surviving, trying not to get triggered by my kids and attempting, however imperfectly, to arrange fun things for them that don’t mess up my workday too much.
I have no solutions to offer. I have no advice. I guess, dear reader, I just wanted to show you that, if you’re like me, you’re not alone. We are the invisible moms, the ones who society loves to shame for clinging to our independence and identity — for not losing ourselves into the joys of motherhood. We love our kids, you know that. We just aren’t the Mother Goose types, and that’s okay.
You’re a good mom. I promise.