For a long time, I was really into being mommy - the whole package: homemade bread and pancake breakfasts, nursing, co-sleeping, play time, reading aloud, homeschooling. But then life changed and my kids are older. My dd is 15, quite independent and is actually applying to boarding high schools and working incredibly hard on prepping for the entrance tests and keeping the grades up. My son, however, is still just 10 and he really still needs me. He still gets books read aloud (finishing the Narnia series), homework help,etc. Although he seems to suddenly be becoming more independent as well: last night he suddenly decided he needed to make some brownies and he did so with minimal help from me.
Problem is that I am just sick of being mom - I would rather study than play a game; I would rather write than make dinner; I would rather train at the gym than do kid crafts; I prefer attending a intellectually stimulating conference than a vacation. I prefer my downtime to be active - moving, studying, practicing the violin. My kids are a little bit the same, they each have two instruments and they enjoy school. I coach them academically when they want it; I cheer on their achievements; I think I am a pretty good mom.
However, I want more to my life. I finished a masters degree but I want another one, a more challenging one in international economics or something. I want a career that is very intellectually sustaining but that career would take me away from them: longer hours, maybe a move, maybe travel - even international travel. I had a tentative offer for an overseas fellowship. How do I leave my kids? Their Dad took over the daily stuff when we separated and I went back to school and then a full time job. I feel guilty about it but sooooo relieved! And I absolutely love my weekends when they are with him and I am alone. I get so much accomplished! I will miss them but I am also really looking forward to having more freedom when they are away at school and yes, that could start for them as early as 9th grade. (For the record - they are on major financial aid as I live well below median income levels at this time; we don't actually have any money!)
I have always struggled with regular mom things like birthday parties and play dates and decorating cupcakes and stuff like that. I do enjoy my kids friends, though, they are so smart and aware. My kids are happy and looking forward and planning their futures but we are really, really far from mainstream. Luckily they go to a private school where I am not so much of an anomaly; however, we live in a very working class community where I definitely am an anomaly.
I was going to ask for advice because I have been feeling kind of guilty. However, reading back over this I realize that the more out of the mainstream mommy thing I go, the happier and more successful my kids are. The more I reject the values I grew up with, the more fulfilling our lives become. And the more I step outside of my box, the more my kids do the same.
Maybe I just answered my own question!