Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Welcome to this week's

All the boxes of crayons, glue sticks, pencils and various other supplies have been labelled with my children's names.  The backpacks are all loaded and parked by the front door.  Special clothes have been set out and are ready to be donned first thing in the morning.

Yep, the first day of school has arrived.

I'm not sure if I am excited or sad.

Is it okay to be BOTH?

You see, there's the part of me that is sad that I'm sending my youngest off to kindergarten.  Partially because he's been my buddy for the last five years.  Kindergarten means he's growing up, innocence is fading.  That little face of his is no longer that of a baby, but a little boy.  But I'm also sad because I no longer get to be the main influence in his day.  I'm not sure I'm ready for others to have so much input in his life!

Okay, I admit, too...I'm also sad to trade in our lazy, sleep-as-late-as-you-want mornings for the rush to get four kids (and one daddy who is a teacher!) out the door on time.  It seems so unfair to wake up a five and six-year-old at 6:30 in the morning! 

On the other hand, I'm a little excited because my kids will finally have STRUCTURE to their days again.  Not that home was total chaos every day.  I'm just not the kind of mom who excels at filling her children's days with fun and engaging activities.  Or planning play dates. 

School takes care of both of those: fun, educational projects and built-in interaction with kids their own age!  It's a win-win!

Mostly, I'm looking forward to finally having some SOLITUDE in my day again.  Time when I can be alone with God and not have to keep one ear cocked to make sure no one is fighting or stuck in the bathroom with no toilet paper.  (I gave up trying have early-morning quiet time years seems that no matter how early I get up, at least ONE of my kiddos gets up with me!)  Time to devote to study and prayer and writing without feeling guilty for abandoning my children or husband.

And yes, I cannot wait to sit in my tidy living room with my coffee and my Bible, and know that it will STILL BE CLEAN for at least another few hours.

Ahh... I can't wait for the first day of school!

I used to feel guilty for admitting that.  Wouldn't a good mom be sad that she no longer got to spend every waking hour with her children?  Wouldn't a good mom be reluctant to send them off to spend the bulk of their days at school?

For other moms who share my sentiments, my eagerness for school to begin, let me say this: Being a mom is one of the most difficult jobs God ever crafted.  It is exhaustingBut nowhere have I seen the rule that says you have to LOVE it in order to be GOOD at it!

God did not create every mother to be the kind of woman who thrives off of caring for small children...or children of any age, for that matter!  I am not a "natural" mother; I have to work at being motherly.  I adore my children, and I am fierce to protect them and provide for them.  But being a good mom does not necessarily mean that I cherish each and every moment I have with my children.  

What an unreal expectation!

Am I to cherish the days when we're stuck inside because it has rained every day...FOR A WEEK...and my six-year-old daughter is having a shouting match with her older brother?  Am I to love being with my kids when they've decided to make red punch in the bowl that has a hole in it and then carried said bowl to the dining room where the previous owner was nice enough to put down white carpet?  Or how about when the older brother woke the younger brother up WAY too early and now the younger brother is crying every time anyone looks at him wrong?

Do we really have to cherish these moments?

Of course not!

But these are REAL moments, REAL parts of being a mother!

Being a good mom doesn't mean you have to love every minute of motherhood or that you have to want to spend every hour of your day with your children.  Being a good mom means being the mother that God wants you to be and doing what is best for your kids.  For me, that means sending my kids to school where people with a lot more creativity and patience can teach them some things they need to know.  

So, fellow glad-for-school moms, do not lament the fact that you're not like those other moms, the ones who cry sad tears as they drop their kids off for school each morning.  Let your tears of joy slide down your face as you wave to your kids at the bus stop, knowing that you ARE, indeed, a good mom.  You have nurtured and prepared your children for this day, and you will be waiting for them with open arms when they come home.  You will listen to them with every ounce of patience you can muster as they recount their day to you, and you will spend every minute of their "at home" time pouring into them lessons of God's goodness and love... and how to load the dishwasher.

Have a great school year!

My excited second grader!

Brother and sister, ready for their first day of school!


  1. Am I really the first comment-er? Can't believe it, as I've been trying to think of something to say other than THANK YOU! I'm definitely a glad-for-school mom, but often feel alone in this. Thanks again.

  2. Nadine,
    Sometimes it just helps to know you're not the only one! We can LOVE our kids AND LOVE sending them to school! :)


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