I am not going to win any Mom of the Year awards for saying this but having a break from my kids is kind of a good thing. Divorce has given me two or three days a week when I don’t have my kids and I didn’t realize it until this new arrangement settled in, that time away is an ok thing-for all of us.
It isn’t like I actually go for three days without seeing or talking to them. Most weeks sports, the phone and volunteering at school gets me sneak peaks into their time away from me. And my time away from them is mostly filled with normal things like cleaning and errands and the gym, things that are nice to do without my helpers. I schedule work travel these days and I re-group and prepare for their return to me. Some weeks I have a lot of alone time and some weeks are packed with friends and some weeks I miss the boys a ton and some weeks that missing is not such a strong feeling. I am always ready for them to come home.
Our time together isn’t crazy. Sometimes we are on the go, and sometimes we just lounge. We talk and laugh and argue and yell and cry and get time outs and tell stories. We do homework and chores and they fight and I get mad and I feed them, trim their nails and make them pick up their little army guys that make the floors dangerous for bare feet. It is no different from what any other parent does, but now for me, the time away from them makes these every day parent-kid things more bright. I notice the details, tiny changes stand out and I react more calmly and nudge smarter. Our time becomes embedded in my mind, not much happens anymore that I let just move past me, without recognition. And I am not sure why I couldn’t do this as well when I had them everyday. I am not sure why I couldn’t see them as clearly as I do now. Maybe I am just more conscious of the fact that my time with them is limited so I capture it and hold it more tightly so I don’t really ever miss a thing.