Mom's Corner

My kids stayed with grandma for the night… and I felt lost.

So I turn 30 in 3 days.

…I mean 2 days (12:08am)

So my husband treated me to a night out. We went to a bar that had an amazing band and we went with a couple of friends we hadn’t seen in a while. And an hour into the night and I’m texting my mother in law to watch for my toddlers breathing because she was coughing funny earlier that morning. I wanted to enjoy my kid-free night so I waited for her response and I put my phone away.

I documented some of the night on Snapchat and didn’t do much else. We had a few drinks, played a game of bags (aka cornhole), and danced.

I looked at my phone again at 12:14am and replied to confirm that the kids were staying the night at grandmas house. We went home, watched some tv, and didn’t have to tiptoe or whisper.

But I did it anyway.

I was subconsciously doing mom things. I peeked inside my youngest’s room, I panicked for a quick second wondering if I forgot to go downstairs to read my oldest a bedtime story–until I remembered she wasn’t here. We aren’t used to having the house to ourselves. I’m not used to the kids not being around. I enjoyed the alone time with my husband. But I never felt so lost all at the same time.

I can do date nights. I can go hours away from my kids (although I do admit being away from my kids more and more the older I get, sucks!). But this whole overnight thing got to me. I love being the one who puts my toddler to bed and plays peek a boo with her blankie for a few extra minutes and kiss her little toes while she tickles her face with my hair. I love one on one time with my oldest while I tuck her in, read her a story and tickle her back. Or watch tv with her until she falls asleep with me on the couch.

That’s my job.

Yes I know. I know grandmas and aunties are fully capable of watching over my kids. I could not ask for better grandmas and aunties (and uncles) for my girls. But speaking of jobs, lately, working full time hadn’t been fulfilling. I had been looking left and right as to why that is and what it is that I’ve been missing out on. I have been home for a couple of weeks being solely a mom. A mom, a homemaker, a wife.

And I have never been so fulfilled at any other job as I have felt while being home with my kids being able to spend precious, frustrating, undivided, time with them.

So last night while I was out enjoying my husband and my kids were safe, playing with family, I was also missing my kids. I missed my mommy duties.

But I also missed having alone time with my husband. I already had a kid when we met. So we’ve never really had that “just us” phase of our relationship. He gladly, without hesitation, jumped into a relationship with us two and stepped up to be the man and father he didn’t have to be. We rarely get date nights so I am thankful when we get them.

The ugly side of this all is that no matter what I do I feel guilty. Guilty that I’m missing my kids when its just us on a date night, guilty that I don’t get to be with my husband alone more often, guilty that my kids went to bed without me, guilty that I even feel guilty at all!

So I felt lost without my kids. So what? I’d get lost in the chaos of motherhood over and over again just to be able to re-experience the exhilaration of it all.

So I need to let my kids enjoy their other family members so that I can enjoy some time with my wonderful husband. Guilt free time. I need to let them get to know their family better. It’s not like they dread it. They enjoy going to see everyone. They love playing with our family and their cousins. I need to give myself a break step back from mom duties, even for one whole night.

Wife hat, mom hat. One piled on the top of the other. I can do it. I can find my way through motherhood without getting lost.

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Mom's Corner

Goodnight, little one

Goodnight, little one”, 

I whispered as I laid you down for bed. You look up at me and smile with sleepy eyes before rubbing them shut, and I melt. Just when I thought I was ready for you to lay down and be out so I can relax myself, my heart pings with a longing to scoop you up and wish you’d lay peacefully in my arms. But you won’t. Your bed is your cue for sleep, not my arms anymore.

I turn on your nightlight and creep out of your room, then I look around. The remnants of your playtime remain on our living room floor. Your high chair, your snacks, the aftermath of toys from Hurricane Baby- its the calm after the storm. Some nights I gather them up quickly and put them away, but other nights I take my time. I look at the elephant that sings and picture exactly how it makes you spin and dance, and the itty bitty red teddy bear thats the size of my palm, that you somehow manage to squeeze into a hug- and I smile. One day I’m going to long to have toys and kid-things to pick up and put away. So I grab the lotion I used after bath and snap the lid shut, knowing just an hour or so before we “argued” over whether it was edible or not, and I put it away.

There are nights when I stay up to do laundry and I sadly put aside the outfit I bought you from what I thought was last month that you’re already outgrowing way too quickly, just to put it away for safe keeping in hopes we might be able to use it for baby number three one day.

I remember being pregnant with you and wondering how on God’s Green Earth, I was gong to love you as much as I love your sister. If my heart was even capable of any more love. Then you were born and my cup runneth over– you proved me wrong.

Through your tantrums, the biting, the hitting, constantly managing to get into things you shouldn’t be in, and trying to teach you right from wrong, I miss you when you go to bed.

So, many nights before I go to bed to lay with daddy, I sneak back in your room and I sit down by your crib. If I am able, while you’re sleeping, I’ll place my finger in your hand and instinctively, you grab it.

Then off to bed I go.

“Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.” —Tina Fey

 A poem by me, Ashley CincottaGoodnight little one“, I whisper
as I lay you down for bed.
Mommy will be in the other room
watching daddy sleep, instead.

That only lasts a little bit as she
she stays up a while to think-
About the toys I need to put away,
and the dishes in the sink.

So I put away the laundry
sadly laying smaller clothes aside,
wanting you small just a little longer
my heart, it breaks inside.

I sneak back in your room
and watch you sleep so peacefully.
It’s my secret form of comfort as
you’re growing right in front of me.

I sit there watching for a while
as my work is finally done.
Mommy loves you more than life, you know.
I whisper, “Goodnight, little one“.