Today I sent my baby off to kindergarten.
It was a day I’ve been dreading for a long time. Even the thought of seeing her walk up the steps of the bus drove me to tears.
Until about six weeks ago.
This summer just destroyed me.
And it wasn’t even a bad summer.
Nobody got hurt or had major surgery.
There were no visits to the hospital.
Our financial situation is much better, and we aren’t in danger of losing our house this year.
So maybe it wasn’t just this summer. Maybe it was a combination of things — an accumulation of all the kids and all the shit we’ve gone through in the last few years and marital stress and depression and everything else.
Either way, I have never felt so burnt out of anything in my entire life.
And I went from dreading Number 7 going off to kindergarten to literally counting down the days.
Once all the kids were gone, I posted a celebratory video on Facebook.
And people left lots of comments, but one of them in particular was spot on.
It said, The relief is real.
Of all the comments, that’s the one that hit the nail on the head.
I don’t know if that was meant in jest or not. But for me, that’s exactly how it feels.
I love my kids more than anything. But I cannot describe the burnout I was feeling. It was no joke.
It was like senrioritis.
(n) the decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college, and graduate school careers.
(n) the decreased motivation toward children displayed by mothers who are nearing the end of preschoolers and summer
I had fucking momitis.
And I had it bad.
I stood in the driveway craning my head and desperately looking for the bus this morning. The same bus I had been desperately wanting to avoid a couple months earlier.
Of course it helped that Number 7 could not wait for school to start.
But when that bus pulled away, I felt immediate relief.
Physically, mentally and emotionally, the relief was real.
Every part of me felt it.
My shoulders, my back, my brain.
Everything immediately became lighter. My perspective changed. My outlook changed. My demeanor changed. I bet my blood pressure even changed.
I’m a born again Mom.
And so the next phase of my life, a phase I’ve been trying to avoid, a phase that had me stressed and worried and losing sleep, a phase I thought might break me, is now one I welcome with open arms.
Bring on phase two.
I think it’s gonna be a good one.