Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Break From My Kids

There's something so magical about being in my own house- normally so full of chaos- all alone.

As a stay-at-home mom to two little people, this is a rare occurrence for me. And by rare, I mean I am more likely to be struck by lightening- twice in one day- on two separate continents.

But this morning Addison was in preschool (!) and I tricked Daddy asked Daddy nicely to take Carter Henry with him to run his errands.

So after I dropped Miss A off and drove back home, I parked in our driveway instead of the garage because I didn't have to worry about hustling the twinsies in as quickly as possible to prevent frostbite or their never-ending temptation to become roadkill.

I slowly strolled up the path to the front deck, paused (because I COULD), and just breathed in the crisp cold air.

As I continued into the house, something euphoric came over me. A giddiness. A peace.

I kept breathing deeply. It felt weird to snarky ol' me, but it seemed to fit in the moment. I soaked in the silence. Rolled in it. Felt it hold me in a warm embrace.

Silence.

Slowly, I felt my soul and sanity return hand-in-hand to me even if just for a brief moment.

The voice in my head shrieked "START CLEANING! Can't you see what a mess this place is in???"

Instead of my usual cower, I now found the strength to say "Shut up, Bertha. I'm busy."

I luxuriously made breakfast- two over easy eggs over lightly buttered wheat toast. And then I was able to eat it. ALL. Nobody stole it from me.

I wiped down the table. And it STAYED clean.
I could see evidence of my children everywhere- scattered toys, the bowls with Greek yogurt and applesauce still clinging to the sides from their breakfast, their dirty clothes in the bathroom, a still-wet tooth brush next to the sink. I knew they would come back eventually.

But this morning? Was all mine.

I pulled out my beautiful laptop that for a couple of hours didn't hold the risk of being pushed onto the floor. I sat down without guilt to get some work done and whispered "Mama's home".

As my fingers got busy typing, using this blog post as a warmup for other work that needed to be done, I felt happy for the first time in a while.

It's not that I don't love my kids. I do. But sometimes I need a break. Not just to get a sitter and go out. But a break in my own house. A chance to just be me in my home. A chance to get some work done NOT during nap time so that I could maybe get a break too.
I was chatting with my amazing friend Patti a couple of days ago. And it was evident that I was losing my mind more than a little bit. I was over analyzing- over obsessing-over dramatizing things that didn't deserve the extra thought. Patti has ten kids (soon to be eleven!) and she asked me very gently when I last had gotten a break from my kids (wise, wise woman).

I know the people around me love me very much and they bend over backwards to help me. But I think the problem here is me. I've been going through a phase where I'm afraid that by giving up time with my kids it'll make it seem like I don't love them enough to be with them every second of every day. I worry about something happening to them if I'm not there to control the situation. But the longer I do this, the more clearly I see that I'm a better mom if I can get a bit of space every now and then. No guilt. No one saying I don't love them. Just me, all alone, drinking from the steaming coffee cup doused in sanity so that I can return to my kids with the dedication that they deserve.
So that's what I'm doing this morning. And I write about it in weird detail because that's what I do. That's where I find my happy place.

I plan on doing this again soon.

Because once the clock strikes this Cinderella's version of midnight (10:30 am)? The rat race continues.

And I think I'll be ready for it.


Parents Blog Award Finalist

Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

3 comments:

Patti said...

Love this. Not just because I'm named here. Because its truth ! P.s. LOVE the pic of Addison sweeping !!!!!! Oxoxox

Anonymous said...

Do it more more frequently Mommy !!. You deserve your own time too !!. Carter also needs Daddy-boy time !!. Maria ;)

Patti said...

I am dying over the second comment/ spam. I think you need a blogpost devoted to it!

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