This weekend, my husband had to ‘go home’ (to the city we grew up in, which is 2 hours from where we live now) for a sporting event. At first we had all planned to go- me, hubby and the kids. I usually welcome such weekends away to see family and friends, and shop in a mall that has more than 4 stores.
Then I had a brilliant idea. I’d send the kids in with their dad (to stay at Nana’s) and I’d stay home. Alone. All weekend. I repeat: ALONE. ALL. WEEKEND. 2 nights and 2.5 days all by myself.
And here I am. Aside from the howling of the wind outside and the growling of my stomach (because I’ve been eating nothing but peanut butter and cheerios since yesterday), I’m sitting here in silence. It really is golden.
I’m one of those mothers who spends pretty much 24/7 with her kids (outside of my working hours). If you see me somewhere in town, 9 chances out of 10 my kids are not far behind. I live in a small town with no family support and my hubby works shift work (thus works and sleeps at weird times) and has more extra-curricular activities than me, so it’s just me and the kids a lot. And I’m too cheap to pay a sitter while I run to Sobeys, so we go together or we do without 😉
The idea of having a weekend alone excited me far too much. I was told I was worse than a kid at Christmas. It was true. It’s truly the little things that bring me joy and for me yesterday it was coming home from work to an empty house. I had no one to cook for, no one giving me attitude, no one to referee, no one to bathe, no one to discipline. No legos to step on or toys to help clean up. I was free.
So naturally, I ate a crappy supper, did my exercise videos in peace without almost smacking one of my kids in the head with my dumbbell or having them crawl under my legs as I do my squats or hold plank. I danced around my living room with music on bust, curtains open (sorry neighbors), and I sang along and danced like no one was watching. That’s what they say to do, right? Well, I did it. Then I binge watched my shows and crawled into bed an hour later than usual (party animal, I know!).
This, ladies and gentleman, was the moment I was waiting for. SLEEP. Not broken sleep like I get every damn night, but true sleep. Consecutive hours of uninterrupted sleep. You see, I live on broken sleep and I can’t blame my kids. My husband is loud. So when he’s coming and going at midnight (from hockey) or 4am (from work), I wake up. When he’s making popcorn or nachos or deep frying French fries at midnight or 4am, I wake up. When he gets in bed and says good night and starts snoring, I wake up. Add to this the odd time my youngest wakes for a) his blankie to be placed over him or b) to tell me he loves me, it makes for a lot of broken sleep. Of course my oldest wakes up at 5:15am on the regular so I can’t catch a break. I’d never wear my Fitbit to bed to track my sleep because it would depress the shit out of me. So last night I got in bed and I slept for 10 solid hours straight. I don’t even know if I woke once. I never rolled out of bed until 8:45am. That may as well be noon for me. I felt rested for the first time in, well, 7 years.
The house was empty. Quiet. It was so weird I had to turn on the radio to drown out the silence. But with my fellow mama’s in mind, I took advantage of it, soaked up every moment……and I cleaned. My sister said ‘fuck cleaning, do whatever you want’. I laughed because that’s what I wanted to do -clean. I cleaned my house from top to bottom. In peace. Not a rushed job because someone needed me or my attention. You could eat off my floors today, and not because there is dried food stuck to it. I cleaned the bathrooms and 5 minutes later there was no pee on the floor or toilet seat. My house stayed clean. And when I was mopping the floors I didn’t have to be a walking, talking wet floor sign, warning small feet to be careful not to slip. I also didn’t have to curse at big feet for walking right across my freshly mopped floors with dirty ol’ work boots. It was glorious.
I ran errands (alone!!) because tonight I am getting together with a few friends for drinks (something else that doesn’t happen very often, let me tell ya). Because I had a decent sleep, I imagine staying up past 10pm won’t be a problem. And I can stay out late because I won’t have anyone waking me up throughout the night or at 5am. I’m gonna have some drinks, eat too much junk and enjoy myself. Even if I do have to pay for it tomorrow.
The truth is, I do miss my kids, I swear. I’ve called them 3 times since they left. I’ve texted with my mother, mother in law and my hubby to check in on them about 25 times. To make matters worse, to my surprise Aiden cried to break his heart yesterday because he didn’t want to leave me. I honestly felt sick to my stomach as they pulled out of the driveway, regretting my decision to send them in. I felt guilty. Even though I knew that I need this break, that I deserve this weekend alone, I felt greedy for wanting this time to myself. I shouldn’t, but I did.
I learned the hard way that I need to make time for myself, to do things for myself. While I’ve gotten better at doing that (Zumba, walks (alone or with my buddy) and occasional movie or dinner dates), its weekends like this that help give me the true break I need. Not only do I feel recharged, it’s also a nice reminder of how lucky I am to have my family. To have kids that I get to tuck in at night and tell me they love me. It gives us a chance to miss one another. It also gives my kids a chance to spend time with their grandparents and cousins. So there are pros for all of us, not just me.
Tonight, I’ll put on something other than my yoga pants or work clothes and I’ll do my hair and makeup like I’m 25 again (only this time I’ll have crow’s feet to try to cover up the best I can (haha)). I’ll enjoy my kid free night. Then I’ll come home late and hopefully sleep late tomorrow morning. I’ll need the rest because tomorrow is back to reality. I know the second I wake I’ll sit and stare at the clock, waiting for my little men to arrive home so I can give them a weekend full of hugs and I’ll kiss their faces until they tell me to stop. And even then I won’t. I’ll go back to being a referee and will likely be back to wanting to pull my hair out 10 mins after they get back. But that’s it! That’s life! That’s motherhood. You take the good with the bad. There’s no way around it.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
P.S. That’s bullshit- I’d totally change Aiden’s 5am wake up time for sure. But that’s it, I swear. I don’t want to be greedy, right? 😉