This weekend I was given a gift. A really nice, extravagant, over-the-top gift. My children were all out of my home from 1:45 p.m. on Friday until 1:05 p.m. on Sunday. Do the math, count the days, the hours, the minutes. I was child-free for that much time. Blissful is the way to describe those moments.....that amazing gift I was given.
In the middle of all my celebrating and whooping it up, I had a conversation with another mom. I made mention that I had been childless for a day already. I said, "I think this might be the first time Michael and I have been in our own home without all three of our children.....ever." I continued to speak, uttering these words, "And I felt....."
At that time, my co-conversationalist interrupted me with one word, "Lost?" My heart sank.....no, I did not feel lost without them. I felt happy. I felt relaxed. I felt free.
I struggled to continue the conversation because I felt like such an ass for not missing my kids. I lied and said, "Yeah, it's like I don't know what to do with myself." However, I did know what to do with myself the entire time they were gone.
1. Showered -- uninterrupted
2. Put on make-up from start to finish -- uninterrupted
3. Sat on my couch and watched football -- just because I could
4. Ate some chips -- without sharing with anyone
5. Used my small purse -- the one that doesn't have bottles, formula, diapers, and wipes
6. Listened to my iPod -- the songs I wanted to hear
7. Drank a pop -- without having to fill up sippy cups of sugar-free Kool-aid for anyone else
8. Talked to my husband -- like a real conversation and everything
9. Left bubble wrap on the floor -- just because I could
10. Slept in -- twice
As I look at my list of things I did in my own home, none of them are grand gestures of freedom, yet every parent knows how liberating it is to be in charge of only yourself. I didn't organize, clean, or launder anything. This weekend was about me. Not about me getting stuff done. And, damn it, it was amazing.
That brings me back to my original confession: I never said I was a good mom. However, when those little ones returned home, I was ready to take back the role of mother, and boy, did it feel good.