I came across a video shared on my Facebook newsfeed today. If you haven’t seen it, or don’t feel like watching it, I can summarize it by saying it’s basically three moms partying at Target after sending their kids off to school for the new school year. The video begins with a mom kissing her daughter goodbye and telling her, “I love you so much!” Yet, she cannot even finish turning around before following it up by mouthing a silent but emphatic, “YES!!!” as her daughter leaves. She then joins two other moms and they head off to Target to celebrate their newfound freedom.
I may be burned alive at the stake for saying this, but I cannot hold my tongue anymore. Every single year I see my friends counting down until the end of summer break, SO thankful to be getting their “freedom” back. Year after year, parents dread the beginning of summer break and celebrate its end. Worse yet, I know many people who have no problem making sure their children know this as well. They’re basically saying to their kids, “I can’t wait for you to back to school 7+ hours a day, 5 days a week – and I cannot possibly be happier about being rid of you! Hooray!”
Look, I get that having kids is hard. Sometimes these little blessings make us want to rip our hair out. I understand that all parents need breaks from their children for the sake of their sanity. I get that, I do! Please do not think that because I homeschool, I have acquired some magical ability to never get frustrated with my children and never wish I could have a day off. I’m human just like everyone else, and I most definitely do have rough days. My children are also human, and sometimes they fight, whine, complain, bicker, you name it. But you know what? I truly like my kids! Even on their worst days, I have no desire to rid myself of them! I enjoy being around them. I cannot imagine sending my children away for about as long as my husband is gone for work each day and being thrilled about it. I would genuinely miss them.
Maybe I am misinterpreting things, but what I get from all these Facebook posts about the excitement parents have for the beginning of the school year is that they don’t like spending a lot of time with their children, and that’s why they are happy to see them go. Their kids frustrate them and tire them out, so they want the kids out of their hair for as long as possible, as often as possible. It’s that fact that makes me very, very sad. And it makes me especially sad for the children who are made to know it.