After 11 days straight with my kids (and no childcare whatsoever), I dropped them at school this morning and now I feel like my vacation has begun. The quiet is almost deafening and I freaking love it. Should I feel guilty?
We spent last week down in Florida on a family vacation (pictures and details soon) and arrived home Friday night just in time for a three-day weekend, a weekend that every single one of my babysitters (and their sisters) were away. If you do the math that means from 7 a.m. Friday, May 18 to just about an hour ago, it was Nick, Alex, Nora and me. And no one else. No babysitters to swoop in at just the right hour of the evening, no grandmothers to make a snack or help put someone to bed, no friends to watch the kids for a sec while I run to the bathroom. Am I complaining? No. Do I want a medal? No. (Well, maybe….) The point and timing of the vacation was to get some quality time with the kids after the last three months of fundraising campaign craziness . And boy did we get some quality time. But we also got plenty of the opposite because, well, kids are kids and my kids are especially kid-like and there was no one else around to soften the blow. So on my first day alone in what seems like eternity, here’s what I’m looking forward to:
1. Going to the bathroom without one or both of my children wandering in/banging on the door/telling me to get up because they’re about to poop in their pants.
2. Showering alone. And not having to hurry because someone on the other side of the door is probably doing something they shouldn't be.
4. Driving in the car sans kids. I don’t have anywhere to go today but I think I will create an errand far away just so I can roll down the windows and blast the music and not have to worry about the war brewing in the back seat.
5. Thinking a thought through to the end. Over the past 11 days, I would occasionally be struck by a deep thought but I was never able to get it out because one of my children would do one of the things in #3. I don’t even know what day it is today—Monday? Friday? June?—that’s how little I’ve been able to process and retain lately.
6. Not wiping butts. My kids go to the bathroom constantly (and always had to do it while we were driving/swimming/at the beach/eating dinner/_____fill in an inopportune time and we’ve got it covered). Honestly, if I look back over the past 11 days, it’s basically a blur of ass-wiping.
7. Not applying sunscreen 18 times, 17 of which end in a timeout because someone ran away from me. Again.
8. Not having anyone climb on me. Or "accidentally" step on my feet/pull my hair/kick me in the gut. My kids are major space invaders (as are all kids I'm sure, though see the photo for my specific evidence) and my body has truly taken a beating.
9. Making lunch. I don’t mind making breakfast and I sent the kids off to school with a great one in their bellies today. But there’s something about lunch that exhausts me. Maybe it’s because it comes so quickly after I finish cleaning the kitchen from breakfast, maybe it’s because my kids don’t eat quick-and-easy peanut butter sandwiches, maybe it’s because Nora is, well, Nora at the table, but I am thrilled to not have to deal today. In fact, I think Nick and I may go have lunch at one of our favorite spots on the water today just to toast the fact that we survived. And that we’re back to our reality, which, thankfully, we love.
I could go on and on but I want to go enjoy some of that quiet. And I don’t want you guys to think I’m a terrible mother who doesn’t love being with her kids. Of course we had a great time and I will share the highlights tomorrow. But everyone needs a break, right? Have you ever needed a vacation from your family vacation? Do even consider a vacation with kids a real vacation?