I’ve been running on empty for a while now. I looked at the calendar; the last time I was by myself was three weeks ago when I had a doctor’s appointment. Before that, it was another 3 weeks for my previous appointment. For three straight weeks, I’ve been in the company of and responsible for somebody. As a couch potato who loved living alone, this has been very draining for me. I need alone time to recharge, even when the babies are asleep, and I get to do my own thing, I still have to be on guard and I don’t feel really relaxed.
I’ve read different articles and such about having a large family and they will list “your child never has to look far for someone to play with” as a positive for having more than two children. But what they don’t say, and what doesn’t become painfully obvious until after you’ve already had three children is: THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE AROUND. Sure it can be a positive thing for your children with their siblings. But what about parents?
Because Ryan is the selfless, caring husband and father that he is, devoted to the mental health of the household, he has made the offer many times that when I need a break, a real break, we could make it happen. I tried to last until Thanksgiving break, I really really did. But Evangeline’s latest…ahem…developmental milestone, has been exhausting and infuriating. Finally at the end of last week I had to send up the distress signal. I needed a break!
The grandparents responded in full force! My mom took the girls Saturday afternoon and kept them until after naps on Sunday. Ryan took Reuben to stay with his mom after class on Saturday. From 8:00 pm on Saturday until about 5:00 pm on Sunday I was by myself! Almost a full 24 hours with just me!
So what does a mother of three small kids do for 24 hours by herself? What does she appreciate the most about the solitude?
I cleaned the kitchen, and it was still clean 12 hours later!
I painted my toenails and left the polish sitting on the coffee table all evening. It didn’t get poured out!
At midnight I was watching tv and I couldn’t hear the dialogue. So I turned up the volume. Just like that. When an action scene came next, I didn’t turn it back down, because I’m crazy like that!
SLEEP! I turned off every single light and electronic device in the house. I turned down the thermostat and put a box fan at the end of the bed. I slept like a bear in hibernation for 12 straight hours! In the middle of the bed, no less.
When I woke up Sunday morning, I turned over and picked up a book and just read for another hour!
When I got hungry. I ate! Right then and there.
Mostly I am thankful for my little village that banded together to give me a true and wonderful break. I am thankful that when I woke up on Sunday, I missed my kids and couldn’t wait to see them again. I am thankful that I have a husband who can shoulder my burdens. I am thankful for this upcoming week; I get to spend time refreshed and renewed with the kids and getting ready to celebrate Evangeline’s birthday.
And the clean kitchen and sleep. I don’t think I can say enough about the clean kitchen and sleep.