I feel like I’m in a race against time. The kids leave for school and I’m like an antsy horse locked behind one of those auxiliary gates forced to run for my life or forfeit it until the next day. If you’re a stay at home parent then you’ll relate to my dilemma. Here I sit in a quiet house hearing a buzzing airplane overhead and watching young cardinals hunting for their next meal. The incoming sunlight is beckoning me outside. But I can’t go. I can’t move. It’s now or never I tell myself. Time to accomplish everything I’d promised myself I’d do when they left for school. The minutes pass and I’ve done nothing. I’m almost immobilized in the silence, stuck in limbo between that motivational pull to go after life or sit in solace. I choose the latter.
Then my anxiety goes into overdrive after reading someone’s Facebook post counting down the school year by how many days she has left to pack her kids’ lunches. Fifteen. That’s like counting down the days left in my sanity because summer is the real test of motherhood. And, for the record, I never pack lunches. That’s a life skill kids need to
learn by doing and by fourth and fifth grade they’re plenty capable. I will make the occasional PB&J only because my daughter says it tastes better whenever I do it. Maybe that’s the appeal of restaurant food that’s rarely tastier or fresher than home cooked meals. Food is generally more palatable whenever the work (grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning) is omitted.