Mandatory Time Away

by Kristi Van Dyk in

I don't like leaving my children. I'm serious; I hate it. It makes me anxious; it frustrates me, and I usually end up having more "issues" to deal with when I come home. It's so much easier to just keep them with me ... BUT 24/7 motherhood is tiring! There are simple pleasures that I've lost in my life. I don't really miss them, but it's nice to remember what they are like. So, Steve did just about the only thing I'd listen to ... he forced me out of the house. This past Saturday is the first Saturday we have had NOTHING on the calendar since early May. Yup, I'm not exaggerating, it's always something. So, Steve told me I was (a) getting my haircut (I've been whining about how long it was for nearly a month now) (b) getting coffee somewhere and (c) spending at least two hours out of the house doing anything of my choosing. He told me this on Tuesday, and I've looked forward to the solitude all week. In addition to the solitude, I was awarded no getting up with Benjamin at 6:00 a.m. (which actually was 4:00 a.m. since he decided he needed a little snack, just 2 oz, in the middle of the night), a shower without having to arrange distractions for the kids, and THEN my morning away.

So, I left the house ready to get a haircut (at Great Clips, I'm not picky), but it didn't open until 9:00 a.m. (I never even considered this because I felt like I had slept so late! 7:45 a.m. is sleeping in!) So, I walked around Kohl's, then got my haircut. Then I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up The Hunger Games, a book I'd been dying to read, recommended by my sister-in-law, Alaina. I also got Eat, Pray, Love while I was there because before it became a movie I had wanted to pick it up. Now, before I see it, I will read it :). Then, I had planned to grab a coffee at B&N and read there. BUT it was far too beautiful outside (and the a/c FAR TOO HIGH) for that. So, I snagged a cheap McCafe coffee and drove to the Celery Flats where I sat on a partially shaded picnic bench overlooking the fountains and the playground. I got through the first 3 chapters of Hunger Games, enough to become completely engrossed in the plot, and then my phone alarm went off. Time to return to the family. I grabbed Steve a peace offering, assuming the kids had torn him apart, and headed home. When I walked in the door my baby girl SQUEALED and SCREAMED, "MAMA!! Color, sit, color with Kayleigh. Dadda color. Momma color. Benny color. COLOR." So, with her strawberry covered, ear to ear grin, she literally had me at hello. I smiled, kissed everyone, and resumed what I love doing, spending time with my kids and my husband.

One hour of reading in the sunlight and quiet though, does a body good :).