Some women can be full time stay at home moms and some can’t, but we all share one thing: we relish our time to ourselves. For me, my time to myself is at work. I’m not “out doing whatever I want” but its Me and not Running-Ragged-Mommy Me. I try hard not to work evenings or weekends, this is my time to be a Mommy. Not only do I love it but I believe in the responsibility of being a Mommy. I’m happy that I work but I miss my kids – and the fun we could be having – when I’m at work. However, sometimes working at night or on the weekends is inevitable.
When I work at night, my husband will leave work an hour early to pick up the kids from day care. I love these nights out. They don’t happen often but when they do, it’s relaxing to be out to dinner (even a working dinner) without worrying about what the baby is touching (eating) and where the 3 year old is off to. Lately, when I’m out, my husband will gather the girls and call me at bedtime so that I can say goodnight. It’s funny, I’m gone for one working day and dinner but when I see it’s him calling, my heart skips a beat because I am so excited to talk to Sari and get the report on her and her sister’s day. (The little one is only 8 months old so no words from her yet!)
Then the weirdest thing happens, I hear her voice and my heart aches with missing them. I say it’s weird because I asked for work and its only one day, but still I ache and am close to tears.
These goodnight phone calls have given me a glimpse into what used to be my husband’s every day. At his previous job he didn’t believe in work hours. He is in a 24/7 field and there were times when he would sleep at work. It sucked for him, for me and for our daughter (at that time we only had one) who I knew he was missing fiercely. So I would call him and have Sari tell him all about her day. Cute, I thought. Keeps her bonded to him when he isn’t here, I thought. I also thought it was hard for him to understand what she was saying so I would repeat just about everything she said.
Well, now I know first-hand just how hard it is to understand! One night last week I had a blogging seminar. I’m enjoying writing this monthly blog and want to learn as much as I can so that it can grow and, quite frankly, so that I can continue growing. So, that day my husband picked the kids up from day care and I went to the seminar. He called me at bedtime just like I used to do for him. When I heard Sari’s voice, my whole body melted and my heart literally ached for missing her and her little sister. And then… conversation. Joe prompted Sari to tell Mommy all about her day, just like I used to do for him. Wow, you really can’t understand what a child is saying on the phone! Face to face, I understand about 95% of what my daughter says. On the phone, I understood about 5%. I wish I was exaggerating. I kept asking her to repeat what she said which was frustrating for her and only occasionally did my dear hubby repeat for me what she was saying. By the end of the conversation I just wanted to get off the phone. I went from tears to pulling my hair out in 3 minutes flat.
I think its good for us to enjoy being on our own and good to miss our kids while we’re away from them. As adults, we deserve time to ourselves to grow as people. It’s important for our children to see us develop new passions. After all, one of our dreams is for our children to become happy adults with full lives. I just wish it wasn’t so hard.