I can be so forgetful…..in the last two days, I have lost both my cell phone and my driver’s license….to later find them, mocking me, in the most logical of places. But there is something really important that I forgot for quite a while…..
I really like my Hubby! He happens to be a pretty cool dude….with endearing and crazy-annoying habits. I have remembered that I used to like to hang out with him.
We used to enjoy drinks and dinner, going to the movies, laughing at ourselves, and talking on our pillows until late into the night. We would wake up exhausted and hung over…..and we couldn’t wait to do it again.
Now that I have remembered this, we have a big problem, though….the Hobbits are cramping my style!
I do not appreciate being jolted from my bed with a demand for “JUICE!” or cartoons or a diaper change.
I want to recover from my over-indulgence with extra hours of sleep, a platter of scrambled eggs, and a mid-morning nap.
But there is a solution that I only recently discovered. You can leave your rugrats!
You don’t have to wake up early after a long night….you can nap whenever you want….and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
How did I not know this sooner?!? Oh, right, I was too busy being angry and hating my Hubby…..or trying to be the perfect mother…..or wishing I could run away from my life.
I have discovered that I can run away from my life, at least for a little bit.
If I can get into the right headspace and leave my world behind, I am ready to face the Hobbits when I return.
I can forget for a little while that I am a mother….I can remember who my husband was when we were young and had fewer responsibilities…and I can remember that what I want is just as important as it once was.
Guess what? You can do it, too. You can walk away for just a little while and do whatever you want. Maybe it will be an overnight….maybe a quiet trip to the mall….maybe a zumba class….or even drinks with your girlfriends.
You really will be a better parent because you took a break.
You will not be as angry when you have had too little sleep, and you can find the energy to continue peaceful negotiations with your pint-sized terrorists….in spite of their outrageous demands and primitive communication skills.
Hubby and I ran away this week. Just a quick escape. We asked a friend to watch over the Hobbits.
This friend is a well-educated, young, single man who is staying with us for a few weeks while he is in between places. He is a polite, considerate, and helpful houseguest. So conscientious, in fact, that we knew the perfect way he could “help.”
Me: Hey, buddy, wanna watch over the Hobbits while we disappear? All you have to do is feed them dinner (carry-out pizza) and put them into bed for one night. After that one night, I have a mom friend who will take over for you. That would be great, right?
Friend: Of course, I would be happy to do that for you. You both mean so much to me, and I appreciate the hospitality you are extending. It’s the least I could do! Have fun, and don’t worry about a thing! <big hugs>
We had fun….and we didn’t worry about a thing. Mostly because we really didn’t care!
Every one of the Hobbits was alive when we returned…..that was truly my only expectation. I like to set the bar really low.
However, the friend may never fully recover. I think he may require some type of trauma therapy….
He was stunned, exhausted, and generally bested at every turn. He had minor victories, but, all in all, I call this one a win for the Hobbits!
He experienced negotiations, tenacity, and mental gymnastics that rivaled his experiences in law school. Hobbits do not follow courtroom procedure or file formal complaints…..they make the rules as they go….and change them whenever they want.
Their rules of engagement involve ear-piercing shrieks, stomping feet, and mental breakdown similar to Chinese water torture.
You can only resist for a certain time before you begin to consider slamming your head against a wall or stabbing your eyeball with a fork.
Somehow, the friend missed the little detail that Hobbits wake up early (even though he is living here)…..and they begin to argue and fight soon after. He only got six hours of sleep, and don’t we mommas know that seems like a luxury, rather than a reason to be irritated and angry all day….
He was a broken version of himself. He told funny stories of his experiences, but the laughter was a thin veil over his battered spirit.
He has reconsidered the entire vision of his future…..an only child now seems like an optimal plan!
Now, when Baby Hobbit shrieks, he cringes right along with us…..knowing a war is about to ensue. He is napping on the couch in the middle of the day and out the door before the Hobbits wake up in the morning like someone lit a fire under him.
He has lost the sparkle in his eye and the spring in his step.
From the outside, the energy and chaos of a big family can seem exciting and warm. From in here, it is game on at every moment.
There is always a tomorrow to prepare for…..always plans to be made….always a crisis to be averted.
Don’t worry about our friend, though…..I may have saved him from blindly walking down a path of madness like I did. One down…..many, many more starry-eyed procreators to go….