Friday The Engineer took off work, and I had all day to myself. I started by going to Toastmasters, a public speaking club I used to attend before I had kids. It was nice to visit my old friends there. Then I shopped for a baby shower, picked up real estate supplies I needed, stopped at the house I have listed, had a work-related meeting, picked up much-needed touch-up paint for our house, had lunch at Pei Wei by myself, and went grocery shopping. By that time it was late afternoon. The Engineer had taken the kids to a friend's house, so when I went home I had more time to myself there.
It was truly a treat to be able to do so many things--necessary things and fun things--without the responsibility of two small kids. But a couple of hours into the day, I found myself trying to figure out why I felt a little sad.
And I realized...I missed my kids.
As much as they (quite frankly) annoy me sometimes (okay, often), with their demands and their bickering and their age-appropriate-yet-ridiculous tantrums, when they're around they keep me on my toes. They keep my mind active. They keep me company. Alongside the annoying stuff, they also make me think and smile and giggle. They make my heart swell with pride. They bring me joy.
When they're not around, it's quiet. A little too quiet. As I drove around town, my mind was in a bit of a fog. And I remembered, I often felt that way before I had kids. I was a full-time real estate agent for three years, working from home, and while I loved my career, I was often lonely...just like I was Friday.
I appreciated my day without kids. I enjoyed it. But it wasn't quite as perfect as I thought it would be.
On the other hand, spending that much time away from my kids reminded me just how wonderful they are. It reminded me that they're pretty great company. It reminded me just how blessed I am to get to spend so much time with them. And those reminders are great antidotes to mommy burn-out.
Hmm...maybe it was a perfect day after all.