There are days when I think about all the things I would like to be doing, about plans I have for my life, and it seems like it will be such a long time before I get to do those things. My in-laws went on a vacation last week in the Caribbean- an all expenses paid vacation, that was paid for by the company that we buy our seed corn from for our farm (as a thank you for giving them a quarter of a million dollars for their seed last year). They went to Mexico last year, near Cancun. I know that if I wanted to, my husband would love to take turns with my-laws on taking the vacation. While spending days on the beach with my husband sounds great, I also know that I am not the sort of person who could relax, knowing I had left my children at home. I don’t know an exact date when I will feel like it is ok to leave them for that long, but I know I will get there eventually.
As the kids get older, they have spent longer periods with other people, but I still have not been away overnight from any of them. My oldest has a similar personality to me, and I remember my parents having to come get me in the middle of the night at sleepovers, well into elementary school, although I did stay the night with my grandparents before that. I am not eager to have to go get him, and given how much he dislikes even going away overnight with us, because he likes his familiar routine, I am waiting until he wants to stay somewhere, not pushing him into it. I am sure that as the kids get older, I will be comfortable staying somewhere closer than Cancun overnight, before I work up to being farther away.
I would really like to start working on my master’s degree, but every time I start looking into it seriously, I remind myself that I would be crazy to start it at this point. If it takes me 3 days to get the dishes washed, how would I ever get the work done to finish my degree? My youngest is already 6 months, and by about a year old, my boys both dropped their morning nap, freeing me from an hour spent in the chair with them every morning. It is amazing how much more can be accomplished with an extra hour every day. At this point, I’m not sure whether or not we will have another child. Either way, in a few years, I won’t have a baby anymore, and it will be ever so slightly easier to find the time to work on my degree. For now, I just read as much as I can squeeze in.
When we remodeled our house, I insisted on leaving the door that goes from the library out onto the front porch, even though there was a door to the porch just around the corner in the living room. I picture myself taking a cup of tea and selecting a book and sitting in our currently non-existent chairs to enjoy the nice weather while I relax and read. At this point, there is no way this would ever happen. Any time I attempt to sit and relax, someone needs their cup filled before they die of dehydration, or needs a dry diaper, or any number of other things. If I take them outside, I am too busy making sure they don’t wander into the road in front of the dump trucks that go by frequently to relax. I will probably get to sit on my porch and relax about the time I get to finish all the quilting and cross stitch projects I have started. Not that I was very fast to begin with, since I have a sweatshirt I started for my baby sister, who is now 18.
I know that not everyone parents this way, but I also know that for me it would not feel right to do it any differently, so for now, I am trying to enjoy every minute I can of my kids being so young. The days like today can drag by so slowly, when I have a teething baby, and both my sons’ having colds, so everyone is miserable, tired, and whiny, and I want to shut myself in a closet for 5 minutes of quiet. The years have gone by so fast already. My oldest is already almost 1/3 of the way to adulthood. Every day he gets more independent and, I think, smarter than I am. On the hard days, I just have to remind myself that before I know it they will be living their lives and I will have the time to drink my tea on the porch.
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