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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.