My babies are gone this week. Yes, all week. They are with their grandparents, getting spoiled, swimming, drinking chocolate milk, and driving a golf cart through a pole barn. (Nobody got hurt.)
in no particular order
- I actually eat less because I am not eating in a panic. I don’t eat because I’ve found 30 seconds when nobody needs anything and I might be hungry later so I’d better eat now. I just eat when I’m hungry. Weird.
- I am nicer to our pets. I actually have affection and patience to spare for the furry critters.
- I still think like a kid. My thoughts think as if they are here. The children are stuck in my head.
- I notice the tractor and I want to say “Hey, look! A tract-y!” or “Look that cloud looks like a turtle!” We finally got some rain, and it was beautiful, warm and heavy. I wanted to say “It’s raining! Let’s go outside on the trampoline!” I was sad that they were not there to frolic in it with me.
- I am not hurried. I can change plans and say “whatever” and “whenever you want to eat is fine with me honey,’ and I actually mean it.
- I enjoy cleaning, because it is going to stay that way for more than 30 seconds. I even get creative after the room is clean. For example, I created a little school house corner in our basement using their leftover supplies from school, a chalkboard, and tiny chairs. Then I made a music center with the drums, guitar and karaoke machine. No longer on damage control, I can see new ways to use the space in my house.
- I stay up late. I don’t anticipate a little body in my bed at 615 am demanding food. I don’t have to jump out of bed and run All. Day. Long. I can ease into tomorrow, so I can stay up later tonight.
- I look my husband in the eye. We talk and we play. I remember how much I like him.
- I discovered I do actually get writer’s block. When I only have naptime to play with words, I am always interrupted before I am done playing. When they were gone for a week, I actually had moments of staring at the screen, not knowing where to start. I never imagined that could happen to me. (No worries, friends. I just cleaned something or ate something and went back at it.)
- I’m boring, or at least, much more serious. I thought I was “fun mommy” for the sake of my kids, but I think just having them around makes me much more fun than I ever would be without them. I wrote more about serious stuff. I missed their constant new material. I even took pictures of the cat. (Which I then used to write a story and send it to the kids. Pathetic.)
- I need less sleep. Caring for six children is actually physically taxing on a person. Not taking care of them, much less so. Who knew.
- I interrupt myself. Writing, even listening at church, I noticed myself interrupting myself. It’s almost like interrupted thought has become a habit, and if their squeaky little voices aren’t there on cue, then I interrupt myself.
- I don’t sit still. My task-oriented self still buzzes along as if it HAS to go full speed 100% or the time. I don’t sit still, I don’t do nothing, unless my husband is around to “make” me watch a movie or something.
- I like books. One afternoon, the internet was down, so I worked in the yard. Then, I got stung by a hornet on the bottom of my foot. After yelling and dancing around for awhile, I realized I would not be accomplishing any more work today. So I sat. And I read this book. (You should check it out.)
- I remember whose they are. They're not my possessions, they are just on loan from God for a season. I remember that when I worry and can do nothing but pray for them. They are His.
- I ache for them. I walk by their clean rooms and see the holes where they should be. I call them just to chat. I count the days (two more!) I resist making a crafty countdown, but just barely.
As exhausting as it is to do my job every day, I know I am made to do it. I am refreshed, and ready to go back to work. I'm ready to be mom again, and I'll do it with fresh energy and deep gratitude.
Would you like to see them? I would.
My babies, oldest to youngest:
Tell me parents, have you ever taken long breaks from your mommy job?
What did you learn?