We went to visit my future in-laws last weekend and it was about 3 hours away. The drive there was fine, the drive back was something I wish to never speak of again. Magically, my children were different people once we arrived home. I can’t say I blame them, because I also like space and food, both of which they found at the house and not in the car (pro tip: mandarin oranges and fruit snacks CAN freeze).
About 45 minutes after my little cherubs awakened to find they had a snow day, I had a brutal revelation. I realized that I actually enjoy the breaks I get from shared parenting, school, and even work. I can almost hear the shudder from the mass of SAHMs who think I am neglecting my calling. Hear me out on this: the amount of love I have for my children does not cancel out my need for some space! Every one is different, so maybe there are moms who want to spend every waking moment in the presence of their offspring. (Those are not moms I’ll likely seek out to become mom friends, but more power to them!)
Honestly, I should probably be proud that I didn’t feel like hiding in the closet and crying silent tears into a tub of ice cream before this morning!
- Friday – scheduled day off from school. My oldest had an orthodontist appointment and then we hunkered down for the “Snowpocalypse”.
- Saturday – kept the kids on their dad’s weekend because when you coparent in the best interest of the kids, you can make adjustments as needed. We prepared for our trip to visit family, then climbed into the car for a 3ish hour drive. Once we arrived, there was wine (not for the kids), food, and family.
- Sunday – still up north visiting fam. Half the kids went to church with part of the family, while the other half stayed at the house for pancakes and bacon. I, of course, chose bacon and coffee. We then enjoyed a fun family lunch, before packing up the car to leave. No one wanted to leave and everyone was tired. Parts of this drive made me want to exit the moving van while we were doing 75 on the highway.
- Monday – MLK Day. I had to stay in bed for over 30 minutes because my attempts to sneak out from under the 4 year old who had decided he needed to sleep with me the night before, kept failing. I finally snuck out of bed, brushed my teeth, and had just started to make coffee, when he appeared in the kitchen with an indignant, “WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME UPSTAIRS?!”
- Tuesday – 2 hour delay! Yay, momma’s gonna sleep in! Snow day. For the love, someone take these children!
Despite having his older siblings home from school on Monday and Tuesday, my youngest was employing his keep-me-in-his-sight strategy for most of both days. I’m not sure if my son has some strange form of FOMO, or if he’s worried that I’m going to send him away [like I did the others]. All I know is that it’s really difficult to drink a cup of hot coffee when you have a squirmy 4 year old on your lap who narrowly misses knocking your cup into your face each time you go for a sip.
Just before noon, I sent a text to my children’s father (aka my ex-husband) and said, “I’m so excited for you to take them today that I feel like a shitty mom.” Around 2, he sent me a text letting me know that he had to work overtime and we needed to adjust the schedule. I assured him that I wasn’t upset with him- I screamed into a pillow. It’s worth noting that a change in plans is a major anxiety trigger for me, so this wasn’t going to go well even if I hadn’t hit my peopling wall. Either way, I panicked. Cue the fiancé who truly gets me and rearranged his schedule to come be on gymnastics duty for the evening. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!
My kiddos had a phone date with their daddy, I successfully fed them a dinner of mac & cheese, and the youngest two went to gymnastics with their stepdad. I’m calling tonight a win. Tomorrow, the littles will spend the evening with their dad (shoutout to him for handling homework before bringing them back), and I will have some me time. Seriously ya’ll, it takes a village!