“One day, you’ll appreciate the time to yourself,” my divorce lawyer exclaimed.
I thought she was out of her mind!
Her words…they’d stay with me as I’d stand in the window every second weekend. After happy kisses and good-bye hugs…I’d rush the kids out the door before they saw the absolute horror on my face. Often, I’d stand behind the curtains until the car turned the corner.
Unable to hold it in anymore.
Her words stayed with me the first time they left for their “summer vacation”…TWO WHOLE WEEKS…the longest I’d ever been away from my children. They stayed with me the first Christmas Eve I spent without them…the first long weekend I had nothing to do…the first time they celebrated birthdays without me there.
I was reminded of her words, time and time again as my children walked out the door.
With each moment they weren’t with me…I felt the bitterness of my divorce creep in a little deeper than it had before.
I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that she was wrong.
I’d NEVER find a time where I’d be grateful not to have my children with me…that I’d be happy for a little time to myself.
This is the sixth summer since it all began. No longer do I think of it as ending. Six summers since I started this new life…the new me. Where I’ve re-discovered who I was and what makes me tick. Where I’ve welcomed new friends and adventures into my life. Where I’ve found joy in things I never knew existed.
For the last year, while I’ve excitedly worked at this new business…two extremely active teens in tow and one almost raised…I’ve been full-out 24/7 behind the eight ball. I’m constantly chasing the next project while running on empty…working my best to keep this hectic pace.
My children are, without a doubt, my greatest joys. They keep me laughing…keep me moving forward…keep me sane. They make this world a better place for gracing it. They need me…and I continuously feel that being their mother is the most amazing blessing I’ve ever received.
But this week, with The Tall Blonde living on her own…with Spider-Man and Bones off for a week with their father…I’m reminded of my lawyers words.
And for the very first time since I started on this journey…they’re true.
This week…I plan on appreciating a little time to myself.
A week where I can catch up on my work. Where I can start a project and stay at it to my hearts content…not needing to break my concentration to jump into “mom mode.” I plan on eating crackers and cheese for supper while sipping on a glass of wine. I’m sleeping in…working late…catching up with friends, enjoying a little live music…taking a break from the daily stresses that come from being a full-time mom.
Spider-Man and Bones are gone camping with their father and likewise…I think they’re looking forward to a break from the chaos. A little time away from all of their activities…from trying to fit three busy schedules into days without nearly enough hours.
We’ll reconvene next week…same place, same schedule, same craziness….same mom who’ll love them to the ends of the earth and work late into the night to get everything done.
But this week…I’m going to appreciate a little time to myself.
I can relate to this post so well…..I remember so well that feeling of intense loneliness when my girls would leave, even when they were just gone for one night (in the beginning). I remember being told by people that it would “get better” but I really had a tough time believing that. But you know what? It DID get easier. And here’s the thing….having time to myself allows me to re-charge my batteries and focus on myself, so that when my girls ARE with me, I can dedicate myself to them just a little bit more.As much as I love them and live for them, I have also grown to really value my own time away from them, too. It helps to keep me balanced. 🙂 Glad you’ve reached that point, too….so much better than pining away for them when they’re not there.
I find it baffling sometimes to even suggest that divorce can be a good thing! I think that as busy moms, everyone needs a break from time to time to help balance who we are with what our mom role is. Recharging is a gift. While I love and miss them…I find I treasure our time together more. I never take a day for granted!
So glad you’re in a better place as well. Pining is not fun…at all!
For a number of reasons, this gives me all kinds of warm-fuzzies. I am thrilled that there is life after divorce, and a life that can be full and beautiful. Not that I doubt that truth, but I see friends struggling in this area right now, and I’m glad that you can be a light for people feeling lonely.
There is a great wonderful life after divorce. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone…I believe everyone should work to better their marriages if at all possible…but when it doesn’t work out, you don’t stop living. I’ve found a whole new fabulous life I never dreamt existed…even being lonely.
You are such a great writer!
My ex arrived home from sea after a month last night and we had a great visit today over coffee, comparing movies and books we’ve read and watched, and catching up on kid news. I am so blessed to have that friendship in this post-marriage place, but last night, with my 13 year-old happily sleeping at dad’s, I have the dis-jointed, not-quite-right feeling like the oven left on, or door left unlocked as I lay down to sleep and feel his absence in the house. Tonight however, I too will skip supper-duty and escape to my carving shed with a glass of wine and be grateful for the time. So,thanks as always for your insights and the reminder to count my blessings always.
Thanks LIz! I love that you guys can have a friendship post-marriage. I think that’s a wonderful thing to show your children. It’s also great to show our kids that we have lives away from them! I guess I lost that in my own marriage…and I’m happy to explore it now!
LOVE your new studio! How awesome is it to have a creative space of your very own. CONGRATULATIONS! xo