At the risk of sounding like a bad mother, I feel that I can't fully breathe until my kids are away, out of the house, occupied for at least a weekend in someone else's care. Just now, 15 hours after they've left for a weekend at the grandparents, do I feel the ever-present tension easing from my shoulders. For the first time in months, I woke up naturally at the right time and not grudgingly because some little LOUD demanding voice (or hysterical crying for juice) woke me up. I had a quiet breakfast in front of the "Today Show" without scrambling to pack lunches, get backpacks and coats, corral two kids, break up fights, force them to eat and clean up, then clean up the mess of their clean up attempts. I didn't have to do hair or teeth (other than my own), find show and share items or pack the valentines I so painstakingly made for their preschool friends (i.e. all 40 kids in the various classes they're a part of) during my "free time" yesterday. I have scheduled my day my way, which includes lunch with my sweetheart, a full day at work catching up on all the tasks I've missed from a week of kids' sick days, and a workout later. I've cleaned up the mess and the clutter of unfinished craft projects and neglected toys, and now my mind feels less cluttered, too.
I've had the time and space to plan Valentines surprises for their return...and surprisingly (or not), time to miss them a little. I wonder what my little monkeys are up to. Ah, the bittersweet victory of having a break...I just wish they were here to see the relaxed non-screaming version of Mommy! :)