I’m probably going to offend someone with this. Probably someone in my very close family – maybe someone who is upstairs right now. As human beings, we are constantly striving to find companionship and relationships and we are wired to be social creatures. But what happens when that social part of our lives takes over and there is no longer any time for being alone? What happened to quiet? I struggle with this and lately it’s really been something that has consumed me. I wouldn’t change my family life for anything. Really and truly. I love my husband and adore my children AND the time we spend together, but I miss being alone sometimes. It occurred to me this morning that I couldn’t remember the last time I was alone in my home. I’ve been married for seven years and for nearly five of those years there have been children here, too. When I’m in a bad mood or need alone time, I feel guilty about it because now it affects other people. It used to be that my bad moods were just that, and I could wallow in them for a while and move on – but now I feel like I have to apologize for them. Yesterday I got out to run some errands and left the kids home with Steve and the entire time I felt guilty because it’s the weekend and aren’t weekends for family time? These are the things that people don’t tell you when you get married and have kids – I know it sounds ungrateful and crass, but I also know I can’t be alone in my thinking here – other people must share this feeling sometimes, right? Recently, my credit card’s magnetic strip has stopped working at our local gas station’s pumps – the one that is well lit and safe – and so I have to either wait until I’m alone to get gas (which, as you might guess is a rarity) or unbuckle both kids and go inside to have them process my payment manually. These are the little things that you don’t think about until you are faced with making the decision in 12-degree weather – do I wait with the gas light on, or do I just drag the kids in and out of the car in the freezing cold?
I know. I sound like an asshole. My kids are almost three and almost five and it has gotten easier over the past year to sit down or to get things done, but they are still really needy. When you spend nearly 30 years of your life doing things for YOU before kids come along, it’s a hard transition to constantly have two (sometimes three) people looking to you for everything they need or want. I wouldn’t change it – I am fully aware that there are people out there who can’t have children or who long to be in a relationship like mine. I know people like that might gladly trade places with me in a heartbeat. And I am fully aware that one day my house will be quiet again and I will long for the screaming fights between my kids, the getting up at 6am with one after being up half the night with the other, the “I want a snack!”, “Moooooommmm!!! She hit me!!!”, the hugs and snuggles and laughs and stories. The good definitely, without a doubt or a second thought, outweighs the bad, but some days I have to step back and reflect in order to see that clearly.