Wednesday, September 3, 2008

And Exhale...

Just another day in the life of a helicopter mom. Always hovering. Always lots of things spinning & up in the air. I decided to put the kids on the bus for the first day of school. Then, I stalked it. When I got into the school parking lot (feeling like a retard for trying to find that one elusive parking spot when I didn't even have any kids with me) I saw all of the cute, happy little families walking hand in hand to find their classrooms and felt a twinge of guilt for throwing my poor children out into the cruel world of public bussing and finding their classrooms on their own. Hey, at least I followed the bus I thought. It occurred to me that I was perhaps slightly like a spirit mom (watching from afar.) They couldn't see me or hear me but I was there nonetheless ready to jump in and rescue them & give them guidance if they needed it.

I had given Tatton the "special" job of making sure everyone got to their classrooms. (Why is it that I can't even say special without feeling like I'm making fun of someone now? Why did they have to go and ruin that word?) Anyway... At the open house last night I noticed that it worked out well that Tatton's class was the furthest from the bus drop-off zone since he's gone to that school longer than the other kids. So, as they walk from the bus together they drop off each kid as they come to their class door with Tatton's class being last right after Brooke's. I sat in my car anxiously observing to make sure that he was, in fact, the good big brother that I suspected and that he chaperoned his little sister to her class. Once I witnessed that my anxiety ALMOST subsided & I was able to drive home to my QUIET house.

Coming home to a quiet house is a very bittersweet thing. While it's entirely delicious to have 6 straight hours to do what I want / need to do without interruption there is an underlying guilt aspect that adds it's own stress. It's sometimes hard enough to explain being a stay at home mom when you have preschoolers. When all of your kids are in school full time people tend to look at you weird & ask rude questions. I'd like to use this blog to publicly make a statement. I just want to shout out into the universe, "No I do not sit around watching soap operas and eating bon bons all day, okay?!"

It was kind of nice over the summer in the sense that with 4 busy kids around staying home seemed justified. When I had 4 tag-alongs at the grocery store nobody questioned my busy-ness level. In fact, people would comment on how I had my "hands full" and ask if I was going for a basketball team. At the beginning of September though those comments change to "must be nice" (if you heard the tone that it's said in you would understand what's implied) and "what do you do with yourself?"

Okay, I'll be the first to say that it IS nice. Those 4 kids don't magically take all of their needs with them to school. They still generate a ton of laundry. They still need me to grocery shop & cook for them. There are still dentist appointments. I volunteer in their classrooms and chaperon on field trips. The six hours that school is in session fly by in a flurry of chores & errands. I feel bad because I just barely pull it all together and so I have no idea how moms who work full time do it. I'm in awe. I feel like I NEED to be home to give my family the mom & wife that they deserve. It makes me kind of resent the women's rights movement because back when my grandma was raising her kids practically all of the moms stayed home. Now, most women HAVE TO work and they're still doing all of the stuff that they were before too. Dustin prefers for me to stay home, so that works for me. As long as he doesn't make any (totally innocent) comments like he made last night. I was filling out all of the kids' paperwork for school and he was impatiently waiting for me to snuggle up & watch a movie with him. He said, "I just figured you could do that tomorrow on your nice, relaxing day off when the house is quiet." I snapped, "It's not a relaxing day off!" and threatened to get a full time job.

Don't people know that being a helicopter mom is exhausting?


  1. I am so scared I'll have to go to work full time when Meara goes to school! This summer I decided things are actually easier to get done with my kids home - thanks to the chores they've been doing. And having them gone really only eliminates making lunch - EVERYTHING ELSE STILL HAS TO BE DONE!

    Great call on this post!

  2. Ah, Harrison informed me this morning that I was not to walk him to his bus stop. He wanted to walk with the big kids across the street. What to do? I too stalked his bus this morning and had to yell at him to get to class.