All I Wanted Was To Be Away from the Kids

All I wanted for my birthday this year was to be away from my kids.

A friend posted on Facebook recently, “I love my kids more than anything, but being a mother is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

Amen to that!

I’ve wanted to have kids for as long as I can remember. There was a time I was thinking that marriage was optional, but kids were a definite Yes. I ultimately went with marriage over the knock-me-up-after-a-night-of-drinking route (and having a supportive spouse does make this parenting roller coaster into more of a kiddie ride than a suicidal trip on the Coney Island Cyclone). But it’s bumpy nonetheless.

And I’m learning that all that jostling-until-you-almost-throw-up is kind of the point. Roller coasters are fun because they take you to the edge of your fear and then flip your stomach upside down. (Right? I don’t really know because I hate roller coasters.)

To put it another way, a wise man at my husband’s high school reunion once said to me, “Kids were so good for my character development.”

Yes!

Right now my job with K-Pants and Baby Woww is to teach them not to hit, steal, scream, throw metal objects, or put toxic substances into their mouths. Potty training would be nice, but I don’t quite have the energy yet. Heck, I’m not even 100% on the first list, so why take on more?

But K-Pants and Baby Woww? They have the hard job. They have to teach me to be functional on interrupted sleep, feed them even when I’m feeling depressed, stop judging other moms so that we’ll have people to hang out with, and find comfort in the wordsΒ forbearance and just-good-enough.

This is a different Evelyn from five years ago, and sometimes this Evelyn wants to Β carry a purse instead of a diaper bag, jaywalk, or go to a concert at the Crystal Ballroom after parallel parking a compact car that doesn’t have five layers of fossilized children’s snacks.

So that’s what my husband gave me for my birthday: time away.

I really wanted to go to our friends’ fabulous wedding in New York City, but flying–even alone–is simply too much energy for me right now. So I’m happy to be hanging out in downtown Portland at Powell’s Books where my soul sings, and meeting strangers for drinks: It’s a simple day away from my personal growth.

So cheers to all you moms, and all that damn character development you’re getting. Have a great week, and a great Mother’s Day!

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17 responses to “All I Wanted Was To Be Away from the Kids

  1. I love this post, and I can so relate! Enjoy your afternoon away and happy birthday:)

  2. Hee. I think ALL moms can relate. I love what you wrote about our kids having the harder job. Not completely sure I agree, but it’s certainly an interesting perspective to consider. πŸ™‚ My kids are a little older then yours right now and I’ll just tell you that it gets easier. Once they are old enough to ditch the diapers and the stroller and–oh yeah–talk and listen reasonably well, you can relax a little bit more and really, truly appreciate the limited time you have with them. Of course… my son has just turned thirteen, so perhaps I’m just heading into a whole new era of scare. Thanks for a truly fun post. You might be interested in checking out my blog, Mother’s Day is Every Day, which talks about mothering in the early 1900’s. http://wp.me/2iBq4 Thanks for writing! Oh and P.S. You want to stay out of the Crystal Ballroom in July and August. Take it from me—WAY too hot!

    • Yes, well they don’t have to work so hard at making me become a better person–they just wake up and do their thing. It’s harder on this end. Thanks for sharing your link and stopping by the blog!!

  3. Wow! Sometimes we need those times away! Enjoy! πŸ™‚

  4. Happy birthday! Glad you are getting a You-Day! And thanks for making me value my solitary singlehood. πŸ˜‰

  5. Hope you had a fun break from the kids today! It was so great meeting you!

  6. Yes, yes, yes, yes yes. While I am still not quite comfortable leaving Mr. T, time away from Superman is SO FREAKIN’ NEEDED!!! Why didn’t I think to ask for time away from them?

    Also, I am having a hard time seeing you judge anyone…or rather, I am glad to hear that you judge others because I thought you were totally saintly and didn’t do that and I kind of felt bad about myself because I didn’t know how you were able to feel so confident about yourself. πŸ™‚ You can judge me all you want, I will still be your friend. I am not anywhere close to perfect and frankly, would love to have someone call me on my shit once and awhile. πŸ˜‰

    Hugs to you.

  7. I love this!! I love reading your blogs…makes me realize I’m not the only one with these thoughts. : ) hope you had a great birthday…and with mine coming next week, I think I’m going to ask for the same thing!

  8. People always ask me what I want for mother’s day, etc. I’m with you – set time away – where I can get that massage, but then go and relax or sleep for 4 or 9 hours instead of going home and being bombarded by reality right away.

    Glad you had a great birthday. Deserved!

    • You know, when K-Pants was a baby, a wise friend of mine said that every year she asked her husband to take the kids away for the day or the weekend, because the one thing she never got anymore was time alone at the house–even just to do mundane things like organize. It’s true! You really value those alone times soooooo much more after kids!

  9. Oh, alone time. There really is nothing better. Glad you got some for you!

    And β€œKids were so good for my character development.” — totally going to start using that phrase.

  10. One of my favorites of yours! Thank you!

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