This summer, while waiting with my kids for swimming lessons to start, I was chatting with some of the other moms. One of them, whom I have known since middle school, was waxing eloquent and loudly about how great it was that her younger child was starting Kindergarten that fall because now she would finally have a day to herself. (She works part-time.) The part about it that was so sad, to me, was how she was loudly proclaiming in front of her son how happy she will be to get him out of her house.
Fast forward to this Christmas break. I was talking to a former co-worker of mine about a trip we plan on taking back to where we used to live. She still lives and works there, so I was getting us penciled in on her calendar. She said several times how glad she was to be going back to work soon. She elaborated that she’d been home with her two children (Kindergarten and pre-school ages) for almost two weeks and it was driving her insane. She made a point to tell one of her children, while I was on the phone with her, how Mommy can’t wait until they would be back in school and day care the very next day.
You know, I’ve already admitted to having a small case of send-the-children-off-to-school envy sometimes. But I can’t imagine being so unaware of a child’s feelings at such a young age as to tell them gleefully how much you are looking forward to not being around them soon. I will be the first to admit that in colder climates, it is hard in the winter to be cooped up in the house together all the time. Not everyone has the personality to be able to stay home with their children. By no means should most people homeschool their children, in my opinion.
But please parents, keep your feelings of joy to yourself in front of your little 5- and 6-year old. Their sorrowful little faces when they hear their moms say how great it will be to be ‘free’ of them while they are already unsure of the changes that are in store for them are just too sad.