This weekend will be the first time the boys spend two days with their dad at his new apartment.
Though I’ve been slowly preparing them each day (today we talked about picking out a new, special toothbrush that will be at Daddy’s always so they never have to worry about forgetting something as important as dental hygiene), my own reality of two days alone snuck up on me, and I forgot to write out all my lists of how I’ll fill my time while the boys are away. For the first time. Two whole days. Not at a conference, not working 7am-7pm at a cafe so they can have time with their dad in my house. Alone, in my own space, full of hope and potential and projects. And guilt.
Here are my tentative plans.
Cry, eat popcorn, and watch an old John Hughes movie. I’m guessing Pretty in Pink but don’t be surprised if I report back that it was Some Kind of Wonderful.
Sleep the sleep of a mom who hasn’t slept a full night in her own house in 9 years without waking to the sound of a child crying, vomiting, seeking affection, or sleeptalking.
Wake in a panic that the kids aren’t home. Cry while making tea, then go for a run.
Cry. Or read a book without interruption. Or both. Resist urge to text boys’ dad, repeating mantra “He will text if something is wrong. Everything is fine.”
Make feeble attempt to declutter. Find something delicious that doesn’t need to be cooked. Eat it. Shake head ruefully while walking back and forth between the rooms of the house, daunted by all the cleaning and decluttering that really should happen. Debate crying again, but calculate the ratio of tears to popcorn and reconsider.
Do one million pushups and sit-ups to make up for ten years of forgetting. Or have more popcorn, maybe, while building a better Netflix queue.
Bounce between reading, pacing, and playing mind games to keep myself from texting.
Sleep, full of guilt that I’m enjoying uninterrupted sleep.
Wake, convinced there will be a reassuring text. Feel disappointed, then angry, then sad that there isn’t. Cry while making tea, then go for a run.
Plan to cook the week’s meals but forget while binge watching Orange is the New Black. Or Parks and Rec. Or Dr. Who. Definitely not season one of Glee. Again.
Freak out that I’ve wasted the weekend on trivial things, resolve to put together dozens of pinterest-inspired kids’ crafts projects to welcome the boys with full attention and adoration. Get caught up surfing and reading about Pluto and patient parenting and domestic hate-crime mass murders. Bounce predictably between buoyant and depressed.
Open the door to tired, happy, filthy, hungry children who don’t particularly want to hear my stories about the fall of civilization and former planets, and who wonder why the place looks exactly the same as it did when they left.
Feed, bathe, read to, and adore the children.
Make plans to use my time wisely in two weeks when they go again. Then cry that they’re fine, I’m a wreck, and there aren’t enough hours left to watch The Breakfast Club.
I have full confidence in my popcorn abilities. The text resistance? Not so much.
I think that sounds like a perfectly good way to spend the first weekend away from the boys. There will be others for being productive! :) Hang in there!
I don’t know how real people handle weekends. I usually do all kid duty one day and all work the other day. I don’t get this two day stretch. But now that Alexandra mentioned takeout, I’m hopeful I will be wonderfully slothful. I mean productive.
Hour 21 is a lot of my life.
You can do it! Some Kind of Wonderful would be my first choice. I am still in love with Watts. Then Pretty in Pink. xo
I respect your artistic preferences. Watts is the best teen girl ever written, I believe.
Guilt is always tops my lists too. They are beautiful children, mama, I know why you’ll miss them. Take it easy adjusting to the new normal. Even though that is never easy. I know words will come pouring out, and that is a very good thing. xo Eating take out in front of THelma and Louise never hurt either.
Take out! I forgot about take out! You’re the best!
Hang in there. Popcorn And a movie is a great way to begin the weekend. The crying will come and go so if the weather cooperates, get out there do something to blow off some of those emotions. Good luck.
I binged Grace and Frankie on Netflix. Dear maude did I laugh so much I got a stomach workout and drained my face.
That pic is awesome. Butter looks like he is carefully avoiding the sidewalk cracks with all his might. Peanut is honey badger gives no shits about the cracks breaking momma’s back la la la! Those two kiddos, such personalities show thru in the pics.
A bath is always a good idea. with wine. and bubbles. and quiet. need I say more……???
I was just writing you a long overdue letter. Laughed out loud at honey badger giving zero shits about my back…so true.
I hope your weekend alone has much less crying than this suggests! He will text if something is wrong :)
No tears so far. Four movies and way more productivity than seems justified. Three bags for goodwill and a full recycle bin.
I forgot how much I love quiet.
Your weekend sound like its gonna be wonderful.. Im sure its much needed
They’re having fun and I’m loving the freedom. Couldn’t be better.
So curious to hear how it went. And which movie(s) you watched. Hope it was high on sleep, low on tears.
Low on sleep, devoid of tears. Two very long runs during which I gorged on The Martian on audiobook. I purged the HECK out of the house. I emptied two closets and put them together half as full. I moved furniture to the garage and posted it on craigslist. I reprioritized and rethought my relationship with every piece of crap in 1/2 the house. And I watched Clueless, Before Sunrise, Office Space, and about 14 hours of Glee. The first two seasons, not the nonsense since NY.
Honestly I know having the kids around is preferable, but that sounds kind of amazing.
Having the kids around is great, AND two weekends a month of silence and organizing and projects and owning the whole space is super duper amazing.
Your writing is so honest! I loved your simplistic yet spiritual approach!
I cry a lot too (with very similar thoughts and actions). :) thanks for helping me feel normal.
I have another solo weekend right now. The list is long and the house is quiet.
You should try learning the guitar or something during these weekends, but don’t tell your kids. Eventually you’ll be really good and you can surprise them by playing a song one night. :) that’d be funny.
you’ll be ok!! I know you’ll miss them, but enjoy your little breather! it’s good for the soul
Lolol New follower. This cracks me up. Thanks for finding the time to write!
Thanks for stopping by!