I dropped the boy at preschool this morning and did my usual anxious thing of standing as far as possible from the other parents and trying to avoid eye contact with anyone at all. It’s a huge trigger for me, and I’m really trying to deal with it.
Another mum said hello and started talking to me – maybe she could sense the panic, maybe the sweats and shakes gave it away. But we spoke and she told me how she, like me, had just the one child and how she went to preschool two mornings a week. She told me how she dreaded it as she really missed her while she was at school and she really missed her.
And then the dreaded question:
“We all feel the same though don’t we, do you miss him like crazy when he’s at school?”.
I laughed, nodded and agreed and then thought about it when I got in the car after dropping him off.
The thing is – I don’t dread it. I don’t ‘miss him’ as such – how bad does that sound, does that make me a bad mum?
The mancub is a gorgeous, happy little man yet he is a strong-willed and challenging little human to parent sometimes. He loves going to school and he needs the stimulation. And he is thriving.
And I need the break – which again sounds terrible.
I find myself exhausted all the time and as a result I’m not the best mum I can be. Tiredness leads to me getting snappy and being a bad parent.
Anxiety makes me tired, and it also makes me OCD about housework and lack of control triggers it massively. Having a three year who is loving life and learning his boundaries pushes that lack of control to the max.
So yes, I look forward to the three hours on a Wednesday and Thursday morning I get to myself – it gives me a chance to catch up on chores and mentally recharge my batteries.
By the time I pick him up I can’t wait to see him and catch up on all his adventures – and I’m a better mum and parent for it.
So, sorry preschool mum – we aren’t the same, we are different and that’s okay.