Kindergarten and Mommy’s Existential Crisis

Xavier Spidey Subramaniam
My big boy starts Kindergarten today. Whooooppppeeee! Did I just write that? Oh yes I did. I am not one of those moms who will suffer from separation anxiety, but [sigh] I will probably cry because this is a big step. Since becoming a mom nearly six years ago, I have experienced the full spectrum of human emotion on the roller coaster called motherhood.
Omaha Zoo (3)

Things I’ve given up:
A career
Adult interaction
Romance (just kidding, but kind of not)

Things I’ve had to do:
Clean up all manner of bodily fluids
Learn how to cook deceptively healthy meals
Multi-task (my lists have lists…it’s ridiculous)
Survive newborn insomnia (twice)

Things we’ve gotten to do:

Lincoln Memorial washington dc sudhagar and xavier beautiful

Explore the World

Black Headed Python at Environ. Ctr (2)

Wrangle Snakes

Elvis for Halloween (14) xavier 2008

Be Elvis










Cards Game The Subramaniams Aug 2010

Watch Baseball–Go Cards!

Tulsa Aquarium July 2013-Xavier wrestles an alligator!

Wrestle Alligators








Things I’ve learned:

Appreciation (thanks Mom…this is so hard)
Baby wrangling
The perfect tickle technique

From an existential perspective, I’m raising two kids alongside of a writing career (and when I say writing career, I mean I work in the basement, stringing together bits of writing time like seed beads on a string).
easter 2013 camille, xavier, ari, sudhagar subramaniam
Since leaving my teaching job in 2009
, I’ve decided to focus on what is most important to me: being the heart of my family. At times, I get all charged up to go back to work, thinking “I’m smart, I’m driven, I’m not a Stepford wife, I’m not Mrs. Cleaver.” Many days I am completely out of my head BORED, but then I look at these two kids and wonder, “Who will if not me?” And it’s an existential question, not a practical one. Yes, I can find a good sitter, but I know that deep down–for me–I HAVE to do this. When I think of the big picture of my life, I want to stay home with my kids until they are in school. Then, I want a career that allows me to be available for them if they get sick or have a school holiday.

I wasn’t always that way. I was the uber-independent woman who never had a relationship that lasted longer than two months. Before meeting my husband, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have kids. Then the right man made his way into my life, we birthed two little ones, and now here we are. This change has not been smooth for me. In fact, it’s reached dark night of the soul status a few times.

On a regular basis, I ask myself tough meaning-of-life questions like: Who am I? What am I doing? Sometimes it’s not for philosophical reasons either. Sometimes I’m just so frazzled or exhausted that I literally roam around my house trying to figure out what it is that I’m trying to do. Oh yeah. There’s my cup of coffee.
ari's second month--with big brother xavier
There is no singular way to raise a family; my way is a work in progress. Even though I may not have much time or energy to craft the great American novel, I know that I’ve dedicated this small piece of my life to my two best creations. Eventually, my little pieces of immortality will go out into the wide world and be my little ambassadors, representing all the love and care (and time outs) I’ve given them. And that’s my bigger picture.

To all the mommies of kindergartners: good job and try not to cry too much.

To Xavier: Have a good first day at school. I love you.

Camille Faye | Author of Voodoo Butterfly | Coming Fall 2014

Experience love, purpose, and the paranormal in New Orleans.

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  • You are just inspiration that some of us need. I have seen you go through the good and the bad, you have done it with grace! Great job mama and love you always.

    • Thanks, Kate, I appreciate that. Love you, too :)

  • You are a great mom! I admire you staying home with the kids – it’s a tough job and you do it well!

    • Thanks, Busy Lady. You are a great mom, too, and it is so cool that the kiddos get to run around at your house during our critique sessions (so the mommies can do what they love).

  • Camille: You are my kindred spirit. Thank you for saying everything I think on a daily basis, including WHERE IS MY CUP OF COFFEE? Right now, as I sit here, I am thinking how I need to a. brush my hair b. put in a load of laundry c. edit someone’s chapters d. mop the kitchen floor e. get ready for Katie to wake up and take she and Logan outside. BUT if I had to think of missing the day to day with them, I would be so sad. YAY! For X! :) I hope he had a good day. I am putting KB in preschool 2 mornings a week this year. It’s start of letting go just a little. . .

    • Ha! This was kind of a hard one to write, because I am not an advice giver and I know all moms are doing the best that they can (no guilt trips mommies!). I totally get what you’re saying with the day-to-day, because I’ll get mad that there’s things on my to-do lists not getting done. But they are only kids for so long, so you gotta enjoy the time while you can. Cheers for preschool and letting go (holding up my morning cup of joe to you). You’re a good mommy, Sandwich Lady.

  • This was such a cute post :) “my way is a work in progress” those are words to live by! I went to my last first day of highschool today, I think my mom had some issues with that. Apparently it doesn’t get any easier to deal with as we get older…. :)

    • Aww. Well, I didn’t cry and neither did X, so I felt good about that. He rode the bus home, promptly grabbed his blankie, and played computer games. I think it was his way of decompressing :)

  • Wow! Just, wow. I left teaching in 2010 to stay at home with my kiddos and looked into writing because I want to be there for them when they are sick, be able to go on field trips, etc. DD4 and DS3 will both be in preschool this Fall. I’m sure I’ll ball my eyes out on the first day, but then…I’ll have…time.
    Also, same thing with getting charged up to go back to work. I kinda suck at being a housewife. I had pictured when I came home that everything would be spotless and near gourmet meals would be served. Oh, and I never planned on being a SAHM. I figured I’d go back to work full-time until that first snuggle.
    Glad I’m not alone, thank you for writing this!

    • Rose, I appreciate your words so much. Yes! Field trips…I want to go on those, too. A friend’s mom told me, “Mothering is such a short period in your life, so just enjoy the time.” Whenever I get frustrated, I think about that. Enjoy those kiddos!

  • You inspire me through your blogs. Ive grown up in a house where all my parents know is to go after career wealth and properties must be added on every year. I never knew what was motherly love though i got all i want and need when i was a teenager.I thought i was lucky back then.But at one point i realized those arent what i needed the most. I was craving for love and attention. And oh i was then sent to boarding school where i was basically away from home till 18.And yeah i started rebelling wanting my parents attention..My sibling the one i had was my elder brother and he was far away in Russia.I just had no one to talk nor spend time with.I suppose God knew what ive been praying for which is meeting different people along my life and be there for them when family werent there. Nursing was the best choice.Well i met my Husband there too…and the rest were history.Cherishing each and every moment with my husband who have been feeding me with love care and appreciation.Id like to have a baby soon but im so afraid ill lose my grip with my child and im so afraid ill end up like my mom going after career and properties. Thats the only thing which is stopping me to have a kid. You know when karma hits right on your blary *ss. So Camille you really trully inspire me..Awesome wife and mother to these beautiful kids. ♥♥♥♥ You keep me going and ur blog soothes my daily thoughts of what im going through. Glad Vj’s mom and dad are there for us.

    • Aww thanks, Nithiya. I was the opposite growing up…we didn’t have the money for me to get the cool shoes and the fancy electronics because my mom stayed home and we had four kids in the family. Back then I didn’t really appreciate having to do chores (especially since we lived on a small farm and I had to clean out the chicken coop–YUCK–and cut the grass and care for our rabbits and pull weeds in the garden and do housework and…). But looking back I am thankful that my parents taught me to save for what I really wanted. And we were spending time together when we were working or hanging around the house. We’re so glad to have you in our family now!!! You’ll know what to do when kids come into the picture. Even though I still struggle with my decision occasionally, I knew in my gut that I needed to stay home. Love you, girlie :)

      • 😉 😉 😉 😉 …. life goes on…

So, what do you think?