Monday, September 5, 2011

The Downside

My days alone are coming to an end.  In a little while I'll be hopping in the car to meet the boys at the same park and ride that I dropped them off at.  They're getting back later than I originally anticipated, which is good and bad.  I get these last few hours to relax, now that my spree of household chores and shopping is over, but I was hoping for a little time with Jacob tonight before bedtime.  But...no such luck.  He only asked about me once while they were gone.  I'm not going to take it personally, because he obviously had plenty of other things keeping him occupied over the last five days.  I'm sure he also enjoyed not hearing me scream at him as much as I enjoyed not having to do it.  He still got plenty of discipline, apparently, but I know he also got a little spoiled.  It doesn't sound like potty training was particularly successful, either.  Should be an interesting adjustment period.

I managed to get a ton of stuff done over the last five-plus days.  I cleaned my bathroom, caulked the tub, changed the knob on the door to our garage, vacuumed and dusted the entire house, did a little yard work, enjoyed some cooking, did a ton of filing (I have a huge bagfull of shredding to do), and did a lot of shopping.  I hit up the clearance racks and found some cool stuff, and it was fun to have the time to shop for myself for a change.  I did look for stuff for Jacob, but apparently 4T isn't a great size for clearance finds.  I did get two things for him--not clothes--though I'm still deciding if I'm going to keep them.  It's planning ahead a little bit, but they were items I had my eye on for a while, and they were on clearance.  We'll see...

Anyway, it's left me a lot of time for thinking and observing. I mean, I certainly missed Craig and Jacob a lot.  Evenings were quiet and bedtime was a little lonely.  I kept wanting to turn on the baby monitor or check on Jacob in his room.  Phone conversations were hard because there was always a lot of noise on the other end and Craig was trying to keep an eye on Jacob at the same time.  Let's just say that those kind of conversations aren't the most ideal for reconnecting.  But at the same time, it was nice to reclaim the extra 30-40 minutes that usually spent getting Jacob into bed.  I found myself turning on the TV far more than I do when Jacob's here.  I guess I missed his noise a bit, or at least I'm too used to having his noise so I needed something to fill the void.  It was weird not having anyone to talk to at times, but I'll admit I probably fell back into solo life easier than I expected.  When I lived alone, I loved it.  I really didn't feel the need to call anyone...and while that's fine, it's a little scary how easy it would be to fall into that sort of non-social life and be ok with it.  I don't know...maybe I didn't miss them as much as I should have.   

It's amazing how much you look around and notice your surroundings when you're not constantly engrossed in/distracted by your own child.  I seemed to notice other people with kids far more than usual.  I noticed so many sweet, joyful little girls...which at first made me wistful for the baby stage but then made me more frustrated by how much I want a girl next time around.  I wouldn't trade Jacob for anything (nor a future brother) BUT girls are just so different and I can't help but hope we get one. They skip around and get excited about cute stuff.  Jacob is pretty serious about so many things, and sports seems to be the only thing that gets him excited.  It would be nice to have a change of pace.  I feel bad saying that, but I just noticed it a lot this weekend.

I felt sort of like I was cheating by being out shopping alone.  I would see these people lugging around a stroller or managing their kids or helping them eat, and I felt like I was getting off so easy because I didn't have to do that.  I'm a mom, I have a little boy, and yet I got to shop uninterrupted.  With my empty hands and small purse, people probably couldn't imagine that I was one of them, that I've been there.  It was weird. 

The fact that this was the first time in over three years that I've had solo time like this scared me a little.  When I was looking at those other people, I started having moments where it was like, "Can I really do this again?"  If it's taken me this long to get a free long weekend, how long will it be before another one, especially if we have another baby?  It'll be that much harder to ship two off with Craig or the grandparents, particularly when one is an infant.  If it took me this long to get around to all the things I did, am I going to have to wait that long again?  Longer?  It was just another reminder of how busy I am normally with one, and then I had a friend post on Facebook about how she looks back on life with one kid (she now has three) and laughs at how busy she thought she was then.  It definitely makes you wonder how it'll all work out. 



It was certainly and interesting few days, though.  Ultimately I hope it'll make me appreciate what I have, and if nothing else, nothing will take away the great experience of being productive and getting back to "me" for a bit.  In the end I know that I couldn't live without my boys.  I can lend them out for a few days, but this time was only as sweet as it was because I knew that they were coming back.  My life is what it is, and once you make these big decisions, there's no going back.  Hard though it is at times, anything else would be empty in comparison.  And now, it's time to go fill my life back up again...

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