Please bear with me. This is a sad post, and it is an attempt to process my grief a little. If you hate complaining, don’t read it.
But this is the part I would not have chosen.
The part where my kids are going to be gone half the time, all the time.
It struck me with force one day recently that this is the way it will always be. They will be gone from my house half the time for the foreseeable future. And this is the part that seems hard for them, too. Being away from either me or their dad all the time. They want to be with both of us all the time.
I dropped them off at their various destinations this morning, and I just felt so sad. They’ll only be gone for two days, but I am sad. Last week, I dropped them off and realized I was not going to see them for five days. I had never been away from the three kids for five days before.
The funny thing, of course, is that when I had them to myself for five days in a row, I was looking forward to the things I would accomplish while they were away. Man, I haven’t organized in years! I am going to organize my entire LIFE! But then, I found myself crying in front of a work acquaintance/near stranger when we’d only been apart for about eight hours.
I did enjoy my time off. I haven’t been alone for more than moments or had free time in years. I actually got kind of overwhelmed by the sheer amount of time to myself and did not always use it productively or restfully, oddly, but rather kind of buzzing around with ADD. But on Saturday, someone came over who had not been to my house before and asked, “Are you a…cleaning person?” Nobody had thought that about me in YEARS! But I AM! I am a lot of things. I am a writer, an artist, an outdoorswoman. What else am I? I don’t remember. Maybe now I can find out again.
I did organize some, and clean more. I went spur of the moment wine tasting with some people I don’t even know that well. I watched TV during the daytime. I went out to a pub with a friend and did not have a sitter at home. I stayed up late.
So it’s nice in some ways to have this time to myself. But I don’t really want it. Because it benefits me in some ways, but it does not benefit my children, and because I was planning to wait and willing to wait to have that free time for more years.
And please, don’t tell me that I chose this or whatever. Because I am trying to do what seems to be best for everyone in the long term. And that is this. And I am grateful that the children’s father is someone I trust to parent them well and who wants to be fully involved in their lives. I know that isn’t always the case.
But hell, it hurts to be away from my kids.