Today was my children’s first day of school. Like most mothers, I both love and hate this time of year. I am ready for the structure of the school year, but I am also dreading it. School days mean the kids go to bed at a set time, we eat dinner together with frequency and I always know where they are during the day. It also means I can’t take a day off work and go shoe shopping with my girls or have lunch with my son, and we can’t have lazy evenings eating greasy pizza and watching old reruns late at night.

I really wish I was independently wealthy, (two years of my current salary would work too) so I could take a year or more off from work and spend all my free time doing things with or for my kids. I would be a stay-at-home mom who would pack special notes in their amazing lunches, have time to listen to everything they wanted to tell me about their day (the patience too), make new quilts for their beds, sew homemade Halloween costumes and have dinners made before 7 pm. Of course, I would also make time for myself so I could finish and sell my book in order to make even more money to stay home.

Before I know it, my oldest will graduate from high school and my daughters will soon follow. Soon I will not have the time I want to spend with them. Until I inherit a fortune from some relative no one has heard of, or I actually enter the lottery and win, I will have to squeeze as many extra seconds out of my day as possible.