Since becoming a mom I have begun to treasure my quiet alone time. I get a fair bit of it because my boys are the best little sleepers and I put them to bed early. Husband is away a lot, so I get to watch Call The Midwife or Downton Abbey and Coronation Street at my leisure.
But sometimes I want more.
Sometimes I want to drink my coffee while it is hot, without fetching things for others or wiping sticky hands or answering the phone. Sometimes I want to do only my favorite things, and I don't want to be interrupted, and I don't want to stop for a snack or a rest.
Well, guess what? That ain't gonna happen.
I have two sons. They are aged two and four. They fight almost non-stop. Their fighting entails screaming, hair-pulling, and the occasional bite. Sometimes I think I'll go crazy. I was raised with four brothers and, although I did grow up knowing how to fight, it was not something we did much of. I am baffled as to why two little boys will not share and why I can't turn my back for one minute without a fight breaking out. After a few weeks of Husband being gone, and if we have not had much outside contact with the world, I am certainly ready for a break when he gets home. But I am realizing that what I need is not to escape from my life for a few hours (not that I'd turn down a trip to the greenhouse alone!) but what I need is more time out with my family together. Instead of just trying to get all the yard work done on Husband's days off, we need to take time for some family activities that bring us closer together. I have reset my expectations and feel more content as a result. Example:
Husband just had four days off. We had planned to take the kids to a street festival in the nearest city. There would be free games, possibly balloons, clowns, you know, kids stuff.
My day began at 1 a.m. with a little boy up to poop. He was up again at 4 a.m. and needed to snuggle mom because he was scared. After a bit of a snuggle I convinced him to return to his own bed because he wiggles so much he keeps me awake. Miracle of miracles I got back to sleep, to be awakened at 5:30 a.m. by a littler, louder boy who never sleeps in, who likes to bounce around, and who always must be fed as soon as he is awake.
Husband was nice enough to take the bouncy one downstairs and I managed to get a bit more sleep. At about 8 a.m. when I came down, I was greeted by the two happiest little boys with hugs and kisses because for once they were up without me. We had our breakfast and packed up a few things to take with us to the festival. We arrived to play some games and ran out of the bouncy castle tokens just in time for lunch.
We ate a delicious lunch of cod, fries, Newfoundland dressing and gravy at a roadside stand. It was a lovely (if pricey) treat and fun for the kids to eat outside. When we got home, 2 year old had a well-deserved nap while Husband and 4 year old began construction on a dog house. I spent the afternoon weeding around the abandoned pond project and I realized, at some point, that we had just pulled off the perfect day together.
I need to stop thinking that the perfect day means I am alone with no one needing me. I used to be alone, before I acquired all these crazy people that live with me. When I was alone I got lonely. I began to wonder if anyone would ever need me. Like, need me when they are scared or when they have to poop at an odd time of day. What I have now is what I always dreamed of. I need to remember that when I am chasing a sticky-fingered boy across the dining room, or when a bath has erupted into a water fight. Whether or not it always goes as planned (usually not), it is perfect. Gotta remember that.