So, tonight I have the house to myself. The kids are with my folks for a last-minute sleepover before summer ends and it’s back to the routine of school. I should be going out with friends; friends that I haven’t seen in forever, because, as we all know, life happens. I should be applying a refresher of lipgloss, putting on a cute outfit and heading out for a night of catching up and wine. And wine. I should be doing something.
Instead I opted to rent a movie, (a Melissa McCarthy movie, which everybody knows is gonna be great, because Melissa McCarthy is funny as hell), and order my favorite Pad Thai dish from down the street.
So I put on my favorite over sized hoodie, cuddled up with my pup, and prepared for a great night.
Minutes later, as if by psychic ability, my cell rang. It was a Face Time, from my daughter. She wanted to tell me all about her night with her Nana & Papa; the arcade, the carousel, the pizza and candy and ice cream. She carried the phone across the house to her brother, where he too filled me in on the events of the night. They were having a blast, and wanted to share it with me.
I paused the movie, covered my dinner and sat back on the couch. I had looked forward to this night alone all day. I had thought about how great it would be to get a little break from the kids, because you know…they can be super exhausting. And when was the last time I actually had the house to myself. I could watch a movie with curse words and not worry about muting it or turning it down as they enter the room.
I could sit in my sweatshirt without a bra. Ladies…you know how good that feels. AMIRIGHT?
But as I talked to my daughter, and saw that beautiful smile, I couldn’t help but feel blessed. Because you know what? She had the night off from me too – from the rules. From the “hey, don’t forget to brush your teeth.” and “you’re not having a snack until you eat your lunch.” She had a night of fun – of candy and pizza, of no rules and whatever you want. And she called me to say goodnight. She misses me. She loves me.
Motherhood is crazy. Like certifiably crazy. You love them so much, you want to hug and kiss their faces off. You can’t even put into words how much you love these little humans. Just thinking of them makes you tear up. You are sooo blessed. And literally minutes later, you want them out of your face. You will actually pay someone to take them away for a few hours – for a sleepover, for a trip to the ice cream store…just a few minutes where you can actually pee without someone trying to have a conversation through the door.
It’s not selfish. It’s not mean. And you know what? It took me a long time to realize that. I spent so many years trying to be everything to everyone, that I lost myself along the way. You can’t give everything of yourself to others or you’ll have nothing left to give – nothing left for you.
Being a parent is life changing; it’s milestones and memories, but it can also be challenging and trying and exhausting.
Sometimes you need a night off, so you can regroup and recharge and remove