I vant to be alone

Ever found your keys in the fridge? Yeah, me too.

Mommies still get their groove on

That's NOT me, but I think we can all relate.

Moms feel like our brains shrink when we have kids. We feel so spacey, and air-headed, and we put our canned goods in the freezer and the milk in the cupboard and we blame it on hormones and sleep deprivation.

But my kids slept great (I was really lucky) and I STILL felt like I had my head up my ass all the time.

I think the space-headed-ness is at least partly because, with your kids around, your brain is absolutely full. At least half your attention is on them. That’s why moms do insane things like burn ourselves on hot plates—we forget we just took it out of the oven. Or put coffee grounds in the oatmeal. We have way too much crap floating around in our heads.

Aside from the daily monotony of running a house, we are constantly unconsciously thinking, Where are they? Are they safe? Are they feeding napkins and plastic spoons into the toaster? Is the cat disappearing into the dyer? Are they about to descend upon you and demand food? Will you soon hear that call of “That’s MINE!” or “STOP hitting me with that!” or, from the bathroom, “MOM! Come look at this poop I made! Can you help me wipe?” *SIGH*

But recently, I entered a whole new phase of motherhood: as of September of this year, both my children are in school, full-time. (I homeschooled Faerie Child for 1st – 3rd grades, but we finally found the perfect school for her. La Diva started 1st grade this year, so SHE is gone for a full day.)

They are both away. For 6 hours a day. Every day. *SOB OF JOY* I know I’m not supposed to love it. I know I’m supposed to pine for their baby days, and feel sad that they’re growing up so fast. In fact, whenever I make a comment about her getting bigger, or being so responsible, 9-year-old Faerie Child asks me, “Are you so sad ‘cause we’re growing up so fast?” I’m honest with her. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I tell her, “I’m GLAD you’re growing up. It means I’m doing my job right.”

I loved having my kids around so much. I really did. I don’t feel judged when homeschooling moms say things like, “I homeschool because I choose to spend my time with my children. I actually like my children.” Well, come to think of it, they are probably judging me, I just don’t give a shit.

But—typically for me—suddenly, one day, I was just DONE. I was done having them around 24/7, with short, SHORT breaks when they were at activities. I was done with never having all the space in my brain just for myself.

When they are out of the house, and I know they are safe and well and cared for, it’s like all that room in my brain is suddenly MINE again. ALL MINE!!! Bwaaaa haaa haaa!

I started working–in a real office, not just with my laptop at my kitchen table–2 or 3 days a week. SCORE! The office is an hour away. BOOOO—is what I thought at first. Turns out, I LOVE it. That hour each way is really, truly ALL MINE. I cannot possibly multi-task on the road, so I get to be alone in my own head.. and not feel guilty for sitting on my ass ;)

Also, I rediscovered something: I like myself. I think I’m pretty rad—when I’m not cooking mac and cheese AGAIN, directing housework traffic, overseeing chores, or losing it because of YET ANOTHER mess left behind for me to clean up. In those two hours on the road, I am just me—in all my car-dancing-to-loud-90s-music glory.

AND… I find when the kids are home, and I am home, I actually WANT to hang out with them. I can even put up with 22 minutes of Hannah Montana on Netflix just to hear them giggle maniacally. Because, after a break from them, that giggling no longer makes me gird my loins for the inevitable, “MOM! She hit me!” I relax and just enjoy the giggling.


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13 Responses to I vant to be alone

  1. Heidi says:

    Thank you. Couldn’t describe it better myself. Mine are in school now (half day private school, but still, get a half a day) and I actually have a job where I can finish something and turn it in and someone appreciates it and says “Thank you.” I needed my brain back and my life–but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids with every bit of my heart and soul. Go sister!

    • Theresa says:

      I know, Heidi! That feeling of finishing something–and NOT having anyone come by to undo what you just accomplished! *TEAR* It’s magical!

  2. Lisa says:

    i friggin’ love this.

  3. Erin says:

    Your thoughts echo mine exactly today, which is pretty fricken scary for everyone else, but yay us.
    I’ve had “one-of-those” days that started Friday and has yet to end. The effects of that combined with little sleep were catastrophic for me: This morning, I put two scoops of ground coffee in my freshly-brewed cup of coffee instead of creamer. I stood there and thought, “Damn, would it be wrong to strain this and drink it anyway?? I could use the extra jolt.”
    Your blog and posts on FB brighten my day. *THANK YOU* for being a kick-ass lady.

  4. Monica says:

    I do miss my kids when they were little, but I also love the people they are becoming and I enjoyed every age. Mine are now 14 & 16 and I think we have fun and they tell me I am a cool mom. I was happy when they are in school so I could have some time.

    I call all the forgetfullness “Momnesia”. It is true! We have so much on our mind all the time. We are always thinking and doing. One family friend that I babysat for as a teen kept it pretty together until she had her fourth. Then she had two babysitters for one night and none for the next. I used to tease her all the time. When my daughter was three weeks old I called her and apologized! I only had one newborn and I had lost it. Hubs teases me all the time but he is way worse than I am!

  5. Cathy says:

    I am so waiting for those days. I know it sounds terrible and I wouldn’t trade the moments I spend with my little girl for the world. I think the divide of mommy brain and work brain is hard. I work a full time, 40 hours a week job, from home while watching a two year old. I can relate to the joy I find in the small moments on my way to the office for a weekly check in also jamming out to some 90′s awesomeness!!
    Thank you for making me feel like its not just me!

  6. Neka says:

    Thank you for echoing my same thoughts!! I started a very part time job, 2 days, 5 hours each. The store is amazing, small & family run. So sick kids, school days off, car trouble, none of that is a big deal. Pretty much the best gig ever. After one hellish morning getting all four of the spawn off to school, the millions of things to squeeze in, I get myself to the store. “Boss lady” (yeah, not so much the boss as a friend) tells me if I needed to go home I could. Hell no. I come here for a break!! I come here to be me!! I completely agree with you…I have learned that I am pretty awesome. With my lil 10 hour ‘break’, where I completely bust my butt, I come home. Maybe tired, my feet hurt, but you know what?? I am more patient, I feel almost energized & ready to help tackle that science project (while cooking dinner, wiping noses & running a few loads of laundry…cause thats how us moms roll right??)

  7. Martha says:

    I’m a new mom, my son is just now 11 months old, and I have to work full time to make ends meet. Luckily I work for my dad and can take my baby to work with me every day, but I do get “momnesia”, as she said, on the regular. I used to be smart, and competent, now I’m lucky if I remember to close the bathroom door or have time to fix my hair. I actually had an adult meeting this morning. Actual face to face time with someone who doesn’t know me or my son, and can talk about things other than poop schedules. I feel horrible that I enjoyed the time away. But it’s so nice to know that there are other moms out there trying to do it all, and still being human about it.

  8. Erin says:

    Wow, I’m so glad you posted this…and that I read it !! I’ve been struggling a lot lately with needing something for myself other than caring for my kids, husband, and house. Yes, I made the choice to be a SAHM, but sometimes it feels pretty relentless and I’ve gotten worn down.

    • Theresa says:

      I think sometimes,when I consciously choose something, and then I don’t love every moment of it, I beat myself up. But being a SAHM is frickin’ HARD, damn it, even I DID choose it!

  9. Jenny Hansen says:

    I’ve still got a toddler at home part time still but now I’m concerned because I’ve been finding my keys in the fridge for YEARS. And the pantry, and the laundry basket and, and, and…I can’t believe that’s going to get worse! *moaning*

  10. Pingback: Blog Love For The Day: Pimp or Promote–Round 2! | Jenny Hansen's Blog

  11. Cassia says:

    Oh, Theresa, that made my day. I spend mosts night wondering how I survived another day of being constantly in demand. I work full time and my kids only started preschool this year and they are so wound up when I get home after working a nine hour shift and all I really want it to unwind from being in demand at work constantly to be met with the same thing at home!

    The good news is that the girls are bright and the teacher seems to think they are ready for reading and other more advanced work. This gives me hope that they will be recommended for kindergarten next year and that means full-time school! I may not be getting much of a break, but the girls should be going to bed earlier with the longer days. They sleep so much better with only a 3-hour session at school. Before school, I would literally go to work on three hours sleep – my twins just weren’t sleepers.

    This was a great post! I may just been following you more now to get a mental break from mommy-hood and some validation in my times of near breakdown from the pressure.

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