|Thursday, Mar. 23, 2006 || Balancing act|
I realized something yesterday as I trudged down the steps to iron my clothes, after playing referee as much as I play teacher, pushing several hours of school behind us already (I've gotten lazy and often start the day in PJs, showering around lunchtime...why shouldn't I be comfortable typing a Geography outline on the Persian Gulf countries?).
I need time away from my kids.
Perhaps I should explain. I am pretty certain I always wanted to be a mom (at least I don't remember a time ever thinking I didn't), and I have no regrets having kiddos in my 20s and spending most of my so-far adulthood as a stay-at-home mommy, save a few outside-the-house working stints here and there.
I can remember living in Spr1ngfield a decade ago and hearing moms talk about how they had never left their kids with a sitter or how they cried the first time they left them with someone else. I remember thinking, "Am I heartless?" because I left K@y with my mom for a few hours within the first week while Rob and I made a quick trip to W@l-mart.
I remember looking forward to that first opportunity for an overnight without a baby in the next room - or any progeny, for that matter. Hearing all those moms gush about how they couldn't bear to be away from their little ones for two seconds made me feel guilty - I just didn't feel that way.
I love them, of course! There's almost nothing quite like those tender moments rocking a newborn, sleepy kisses from your preschooler, or even that spontaneous invitation for some "mom and me" time from your teen.
But this mom needs time away too.
I don't feel the guilt over it now like I used to. I've realized that it is what it is. Perhaps it is because I don't think I've ever really defined who I am based solely on being a mother. It is one of the many fulfilling roles I have - one I cherish, enjoy, find challenging...but that is not all that I am.
I talked to Rob about it this week, and he said, "You know, I was thinking the other day that I'd like to just put you on a plane by yourself and let you get away from here for a week."
And so, here's the catch. While, in a sense that sounds lovely, I don't think I really want to be *alone* that long. Sure, I am realizing I need alone time - don't we all - but I prefer it in briefer jaunts: going to the grocery store by myself, reading a book while everyone is asleep, stuff like that.
When I think getaway, I want Rob with me. One might think that is a bit co-dependent (ah, so she can leave her kids, but she does have to have someone holding her hand), but it's not because I don't feel like I can go away without him.. Shoot, I went away by myself several times while we lived in MO, and enjoyed it thoroughly. I think I am just at a place - not sure if I will be able to describe this without it sounding sappy and, well, co-dependent - where he is almost just an extension of myself, and I, him. For the most part, we just *get* each other now.
Seventeen-plus years will do that to you, I guess.
It's taken a lot of hard work, and some pretty sucky moments, to get to this place, don't get me wrong. But I can honestly say that my favorite moments include him.
I've always felt strongly that it is important for spouses to continue developing and growing in their relationship while they are raising kiddos because, you know, kids have this funny little habit of growing up and leaving one day (some not as soon as other, but you know!). I've always wanted to, when that day comes, be able to look across the table and actually know that slightly-grayer (or much grayer, depending on how the teen years of three children go) man I married.
And so, here's the kicker. I love our kids, but I need time away from them - and I want that time to be, predominantly, with Rob. I am pretty much with them 24/7 since we are currently doing the home school thing. But he works 10-12 hours a day, and while I do know that he wants to spend time with me too, he also needs time with his kids.
Balance. I know it is all about balance.
This is a tightrope I am not sure I will ever be able to walk across very well.
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007