David is on leave (which to all of you civilians means vacation); he’s a happy pajama-wearing, beard growing man who is unintentionally throwing off our school schedule. I’m trying to stick to the basics but also hold our days loosely in my hand. We’re a family, and these are relationships.
I constantly fight the urge to run out the door, however, not because I don’t want to be home but because I spend my days alone with six humans under the age of ten and in my head, husband on leave = freedom. “Look at them, all curled on the couch together!” I think. “The baby is asleep, the toddler is occupied, the daddy is home, I can leave!” And I want to leave. Every second of the day I want to leave.
Re-reading those words I think I might sound desperate and dramatic, so let me set the record straight. I’m an introvert who loves to be with her family–but who also loves to be alone. My husband is an incredibly generous man who takes pleasure in affording me the chance to go. The temptation is to take advantage.
There was a time in my parenthood when I would never have walked out the door. For the first seven years of being a mama I buckled down and held on tight, and never said goodbye. Then one day, everything changed. I’m not sure what, or why, or how–maybe it happened when we started schooling through afternoon naps?–but I was done.
I began to leave on weekend afternoons, and everything became happier. Both David and I found a rhythm which provided mutual rejuvenation. I became less needy and exhausted, and he appreciated the opportunity to sit in a quiet house (as quiet as it can get with six kids) after a long week of people-interaction. I am not dragging him to events and experiences, and he is not accidentally ignoring me by mentally checking out. We have an understanding, like good, proper married people do.
But still. Still, there is an overwhelming temptation to capitalize on his goodwill and awesome parenting and leave every single day of this stay-cation to do all those non-mommy things I love.
I’m writing this because at this moment I’m holed up in my room putting two sickies to sleep, and trying really, really hard not to run out the door. If I tell you about it maybe it will calm the urge and I’ll stay put!