Erica is a writer, editor, wife, and mom. She has always found employment with an English degree and she excels at nurturing children and animals but struggles to keep houseplants alive. Erica currently writes at

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What Mama Does During the Day

This week, my boys BOTH started preschool.  One is in Pre-K and one is in a 2-year-old class.  This is old hat for the older one, but when I signed my little one up for school last spring, I worried that he would scream and cry when I left him.

Instead, he surprised me by walking right in.  Like, didn’t even look back except to wave in acknowledgement that mama is leaving.

I’ve been reading all of these back-to-school Facebook updates and blogs about kids sobbing and moms sobbing, and I gotta say…I don’t get it.  I’ve been talking up school to these boys all summer, and even my 2-year-old knew it was something exciting like a party.  And me?  Well there was a slight tightening in my chest when I saw my little man turn his back, and I did wonder periodically WHAT he was doing (but not HOW he was doing).  But mainly, I was just proud of my boys.  Watching them grow and change is pleasure.

I love that my older son was excited to show his little brother off to his friends, and he offered to check on him during their open play time, when the classes meet on the play ground.  And I was proud that my sometimes-mama’s-boy 2-year-old found his independent spine and walked in there, ready to learn and say Hi! to every single person he sees (literally).

So what did Mama do while they went to school?  I whined on Facebook.  No, not really.

I got my butt in gear early in the morning so I was dressed and presentable when I took the kids to school.  I brought my laptop, and drove straight from the carpool line to a local coffee shop…lest I come home and crash on the couch with an episode of Nate Berkus…not that I’ve ever done that.

Then I worked for three hours while sipping a vanilla soy latte and letting society unfold around me.

And another day, I dragged all the tubs of baby clothes and boxes of forgotten junk out of our storage room and began to organize it all: Keep, Hoist onto Unsuspecting Family, Donate, Consign, Toss.

Um, I’m still working on it.

Meanwhile, I have more big plans for errands and getting a TB skin test (don’t ask)…but on most M/W/F mornings, you can find me sipping coffee at a local shop.  I’ll be the mysterious orange laptop lady who always leaves at the stroke of 11:45 to rejoin the carpool line, cut peanut butter sandwiches into dinosaur shapes and piece together the boys’ random snippets of conversation to recreate some semblance of what they did while I was doing what I did.

One back-to-school down, 15 more years to go.


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Comments (9)

  1. Pingback: No Pets In My House « « TodaysMama TodaysMama

  2. Jenn Furber 09/14/2011 at 11:04 am

    As a teacher now stay at home mama to three girls, I’ve talked up school and it’s just heart breaking when one child would rather stay home with mama. We’re turning a corner, though. How wonderful your boys loved it so.

  3. Erin Oltmanns 09/12/2011 at 9:47 pm

    Dude. Thanks for this. I was starting to feel REALLY bad that I look forward to the little break that I get three days a week/2 hours each day. I’m with Carina, a break is good for everyone!

  4. Raejean 09/12/2011 at 5:08 pm

    All of my kiddos were happy to go to school. I never understood the crying mom thing either, until my twins (who are the youngest) started kindergarten. It was more of a new stage in life, no more pre-schoolers; but it still surprised me to get emotional. Fortunately it only lasted a few minutes.

    Enjoy your pre-school time!

  5. Jen 09/12/2011 at 10:56 am

    Ha, ha! I was wondering what you were doing with your new found freedom. 🙂 When the kids first started school, Joshua was the brave and Emma G was the crier. I have to admit the brave was much easier to handle. She’s not a crier anymore (thankfully)!

    Hope the skin test goes well. I had one of those done one time when I just knew I had contacted it upon returning from Haiti. I didn’t.

  6. Michelle Morris 09/12/2011 at 10:29 am

    I too enjoy every stage and love seeing them become more independent. I’m so proud each year as I drop off my daughter, who is now in 1st grade after successful years in Kindergarten, 4K and preschool. Did I cry the first day of each of those years though? Yes, absolutely…but because of how fast the time flies and a mix of emotions related to being proud, happy yet sad seeing how big she is getting and how grown up looking she is. Nothing wrong with a few tears on my way to work. Plus, I hold back the tears until my daughter is in school. Maybe it’s different for moms who work outside the home than it is for SAHMs/WAHMs. I know my SAHHubby enjoys having just our youngest at home when school starts. I also do “whine” on Facebook but it’s more like sharing experiences with friends who care about each other and I don’t think any of us considers it to be whining.

  7. Katie 09/12/2011 at 8:09 am

    Next year that will be me – sipping lattes at the coffee shop while I work. Oh, and I’ll work at decluttering our house too because I always here this little voice in my head telling me that what I *should* be doing.

    I still have one at home this year, and that’s okay too. It’s different, it’s good.

  8. Cairn 09/12/2011 at 7:58 am

    I am right there with you! I am so happy to see them growing into strong independent people. I love each new stage. I too have a list of projects that I am beginning to work on now that I might actually have a chance to finish them in one sitting. Speaking of which, garage here I come!!!

  9. Carina Wytiaz 09/12/2011 at 3:24 am

    I was similarly excited when my boys started school. Sure, you take a deep breath, but going to school works for EVERY BODY in this house.