I’m just going to start this post by saying – I have a couple of “trolls” on my page, particularly Facebook.
My reaction to trolls is to delete, ban and not address them BUT for the record I just want to state:
- I am not being negative;
- I am not being “woe is me”; and
- I am most certainly not now or ever keeping my children from their father.
So, with that being said, for most of this year I have had my kids at home with me full time. No weekends off, very little time away from them, and carrying 100% of the load. Every meal they’ve eaten I’ve provided. Every piece of clothing they’ve worn I’ve washed and every time they’ve dropped their crap on the ground I’ve picked it up.
Recently that changed and I finally had a weekend “off”. I try not to think about things too deeply but it’s an odd feeling as a Mum, particularly such a hands on Mum. When I had kids I never imagined that I’d spend every second weekend without them and they’d have a whole other life but that’s life as it is today and it can’t be changed. I guess the best thing to do is to not dwell on it and just accept that this is how it is.
Let me tell you, after 7 months full time with the kids and the last 3 weeks being school holidays I’m not going to lie – I was counting down the days, hours and minutes until they went to their fathers house.
That is – until they left. And then I was at home with their stuff everywhere, toys they’d been playing with before we left to drop them off still in the same spot they were sitting. B1’s Kindle still running. The house in silence.
Before the weekend I was tossing and turning between wanting to hang out with other people and just leave me alone I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone I want to cherish the silence. I opted for a bit of both. No wild plans, some socialising and some time to myself. I’ve never been a big party animal anyway and certainly have no interest in starting now. I much prefer a quiet wine, nice dinner or coffee with close friends, then some time to recover for the week ahead.
Saturday came and went fairly quickly, I squeezed in some exercise, met a friend for lunch, worked a little bit and watched a movie. As I was getting ready to pick up the baby who still comes home to sleep, I received a text message to say one of the other boys also wanted to come home.
At the end of the text message was a sentence – “hope your night wasn’t ruined”. Look, I know it was said with no meaning behind it. We have mutually decided to start respecting each other more and set a great example for our kids so I’m fairly certain it was just a “sorry if you had other plans”. Which I did. But to cancel those plans to hang out with one of my most favourite people and one of the 4 people who are most important to me is certainly no inconvenience and my night wasn’t ruined. I got to hang out with my 4 year old son one on one which virtually never happens. His little brother fell asleep pretty much as soon as we got home so B3 and I watched the Gruffalo, read the book and then we snuggled in his bed until he fell asleep. There was no place I would’ve rather been.
One on one time with any of the children is rare and this was amazing.
Sunday, the Mum guilt settled in. Maybe it was due to the night before or maybe I blocked it out on Saturday. The overwhelming feeling that I am a Mum and therefore I must do Mum things even when I’m not with the kids was not something I could shake. The guilt was so bad, I cancelled all plans to stay home and give their bedrooms a thorough clean, organise their clothes and pretty much sit home and wait for pick up time.
How do you switch off from being Mum every second weekend, especially when you are so deep in motherhood every single day. I almost feel I’m cheating on them by taking time off to enjoy myself, I don’t talk to them about what I did while they were away because I don’t want them to think that I enjoy time away from them. It’s a weird feeling. Cherishing the silence and not having to run after 4 other people but also finding the silence is deafening. Sitting amongst kids toys that are just waiting to be played with.
Prior to the last 7 months, the children went to their father’s house every 2nd weekend and I don’t remember having this kind of guilt attached to those visits. Maybe because I was going through a phase of recovery and focused on myself I didn’t have time to feel guilt. I do remember not being home very often though because I couldn’t handle the silence.
I wonder if this is how it is going to be from now on, always feeling guilty for doing things for myself even when I’m not on Mum duty and then desperately wanting “time off” when I’m knee deep in children on the other 12 days a fortnight.
My home is filled with toys, has fingerprints on everything and is never quiet. My hair is usually a mess and I’m always tired, but there is always love and laughter. In 20 years my children won’t remember the house or my hair, but they will remember the time we spent together and the love they felt.
Kirsty is a Mum, a student, a business owner, a blogger, a writer, a friend, a daughter, a sister and a strong woman determined to succeed in this new life forced upon her.
4 lively boys + 1 busy Mum = A crazy life.
Welcome to The Next Chapter!