I don't think I realized until just this week how much I actually do get out of the house in a seven-day period. And more than that, how much time I spend passing my children off to other people. Any time we're at church (at this point it's a minimum of three times a week) - they're in the nursery. When I have a girls' night - they're with Philip. When we have a date, they're with Aunt Dia. For anywhere from one to three hours, multiple times a week, I am free to converse and interact with other adults. Free from the whining, the inexplicable crying, the unintelligible babbling I am intended to understand but really just frustrates both listener and speaker at the inability for true communication.
The interesting aspect to this is that I never realize how much I depend on these mommy-breaks throughout the week for keeping my sanity and my peaceful attitude with regards to my children. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
It is not until I am in a home all day every day for going on a week now with two adorable children who demand my undivided attention every waking moment of the day (and some that should be sleeping moments but for some reason aren't) that I finally begin to understand the need for rest. A respite from insanity.
Thus, as I began the day, after a sleep-less night thanks to a son who apparently likes to talk in his sleep (a fact I never notice until we're sleeping in the same room for nights on end) and an attempt to find a solution to this "problem" which only leads to many waking hours for all involved, making breakfast for a daughter who seems to cry at every question or command these days, I found myself with the desire to shed a few tears as well. I told myself when Philip got up, I'd ask him to take point today in the parenting department, because I just couldn't handle it anymore.
But I didn't ask him.
Because the moment he came out of the bedroom, he whisked my son from the floor and demanded I go rest. Two hours later, I opened my eyes to he and a happy baby sitting next to me, asking what the aforementioned happy baby needed to eat. And then my husband fed my son cereal while I padded around in p.j.'s for the fifth straight day (not the same ones every day, mind you). My daughter actually ate the peanut butter sandwich her daddy made her for lunch (after refusing mine all week). After lunch, Philip prepared the squirmy worm (the elder, as the younger was snuggling in for a nap) for an afternoon of outdoor fun in the snow. We made a snow family, complete with Easter egg eyes and Craisin mouths. And I had fun. Because I wasn't stressed.
And then, then he dug my sister-in-law's jeep out of our driveway so she and I could actually escape for a blessed hour and a half before the next wave of "wintery mix" hits the greater Shawnee area.
And I breathed.
And that's why I love my family. Because they love me and they need me. But they can survive without me.
And sometimes I'm just allowed to take a break from being mommy. But not for too long. Because, honestly, who doesn't want those tiny arms wrapped around them (or the snow version of them, which is almost as adorable) as a precious voice declares, "I loll you, Mommy."? This girl sure does.