Derek and the boys have been gone for a week.
Wait...read that again to make sure you understood it because I almost don't believe it myself.
It's true. Derek had a conference right by his parents' house. He asked me a while ago, "Do you mind if I take the kids with me for a week and my parents could watch them?"
"Hmmmm..." I thought. "The other option is that I'm alone with the kids for a week. I think your idea is better."
So last week I said goodbye to my kids for 8 days. This is the longest I have been away from them. I think it might be the longest I have been away from Derek too. And here are some things I have learned.
- Binge watching Netflix is NOT overrated.
- I really do like to exercise. When I'm not exhausted and stressed out it's fun.
- Trains tracks are not a permanent fixture on my floors.
- There is a world of social opportunities out there and I will get back to it one day.
- Having fun myself doesn't mean I love my kids less.
- I still have no time to do all the things I need to do but I stress about it less when it's just me.
- I run my dishwasher so much less when I'm not feeding kids five times a day.
- My floors can be free of Cheerios and raisins for more than a day.
I also have been working three days a week for the last two months and have noticed that simply having time to go to work makes time with the kids better. I didn't understand how Derek wouldn't want to get out on his own during the weekends like I was dying to do. Now I understand it a little more. When you don't stay home with your kids five days a week the weekends are family time. When you see your kids for only ninety minutes a day before they go to bed you want to help get them dressed in the morning. It's good to have a break and get away from the family from time to time. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder -- and you can eat an ice cream sundae in peace.