Town Square

When Kids Aren't in Tow

Original post made by Jennifer Fogliani, Whisman Station, on Aug 28, 2011

It's been almost four years since I have spent a single day without a kid in tow. But this last week marked my youngest child's first week of preschool, which meant I had three mornings all to myself.

I had been looking forward to this day for years – every time my children overwhelmed me or frustrated me or couldn't seem to get along, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that preschool would be starting soon.

As I dropped my children off at preschool last week, I waited for the jubilation to overcome me. But it never came.

In a million years, I never would have expected the sadness I felt when I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw two empty car seats. I wasn't just worried about whether my children were going to be okay without me – I was wondering if I was going to be okay without them.

I pushed my emotions aside and focused on my list of errands. I figured it would take the whole 2 hours to get everything done. So there was no time to waste.

I went to the library and exchanged old books for new. I explored areas beyond the children's section that I had never browsed through before. Then I went to the super market and didn't worry about whether one of my children was going to jump out the cart or sit on the eggs. I finished in record time.

I decided to go downtown and get a cup of coffee. I sat at a table on Castro, sipped my coffee and read a book I'd been carrying around in my purse for months.

At 11 am, I walked into a few stores that I never would have entered with two kids in tow. I realized that Mountain View isn't just a great place to raise kids; it is also a great place to explore on your own.

Before I knew it, it was time to head back to my children's preschool. I picked up two ecstatic children – my daughter, who told me about all her new friends and the new things she learned - and my son, who said he played with no one and did nothing – but said it with a smile.

In fact, we were all smiling as we drove home from preschool – happy to be together but not ashamed to admit that we thoroughly enjoyed our brief time apart.


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Posted by Elaine
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Put your kids in day care so you can get a cup of coffee and read a book? I'd spend every moment with my kids if I didn't have to work. Why let strangers take care of your kids?

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Posted by Eats
a resident of Whisman Station
on Aug 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Love the piece. Love to read something honest and positive, especially about parenting. I'm not sure I really realized how divisive writing about parenting was until I started reading the comments on this blog. We're all just trying our best. I like honesty, but the level of personal affront in the comment section still shocks me. I guess I forgot how truly personal all the choices we make as parents judging we can be. How judged we can feel. Jennifer, love your writing. Keep up the great work!

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Posted by Fern
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 29, 2011 at 6:06 am

I think this is an article less about parenting and more about self-realization or an inability to cope.

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Posted by Reecie
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2011 at 10:31 am

Depending on your situation and the time you get to spend with your kids, your feelings regarding leaving them or stayin with them will vary greatly.

I think if anything, it this article shows you how when you are deep in it, it can seem never ending but in a blink of an eye, status quo changes.

It is so contrite, but time does fly, especially when it comes to your babies. Keep up the good work! Love your blog!