Ever since Henry was born I have gotten a major headache a week or so before school starts (ie, the return to my full time teaching position). I rarely get headaches otherwise. These are terrible and make me just want to lie down for days. Which is precisely what I can't do at this time of year.
August is the quickest month. One moment I'm strategically planning for the remaining three weeks of vacation, the next I'm laying out a week's worth of school clothes for the three of us. We packed in a lot of fun this summer, but that doesn't make it any easier to leave my boys. They will be in daycare for nine hours a day, five days a week. I'll miss them so much.
I am well aware that I have one of the only full time jobs that allows me to have this much time at home with my children. I am beyond thankful to have this and other benefits. Yes, advocating and navigating the system for children with special needs is stressful. I often can't tell if I've made one bit of difference in the students' lives. The salary of a public school teacher is not exactly stellar. But I am employed and because of that, my boys have everything they need. I am truly grateful--but like many moms, I wish I could have it both ways.
When I went back to work after H was born, I had to keep telling myself, "I'm still his mom. I'm still his mom." That mantra helped a bit. Even though I'm leaving them for the day, our relationship is not changing. I may not be a SAHM anymore, but I'm still their mom. I'm still their mom.