Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids; they just aren’t “my world.” I never understood those mothers that go so far out of their way to make their world revolve around their kids that they are miserable. Kids eventually grow up and you’re old and lonely, even if you’re married. I remember feeling guilty any time I left my house with my mom alone inside and you know what? I really fucking hate that she made me feel so guilty. Here I am over a decade after moving out of my mom’s house and I still think back to those times with so much resentment and blame that I feel even more guilt! How is that even possible? Only my mother could make a guilt trip intensify over a decade later. I don’t want my kids to look back at our time together and have these same feelings.
I totally love my kids; I’m pretty sure they know that since I tell them every time it pops into my heart that these little crazy people barking around me are perfectly imperfect and I love them even more for it. I may not be a warm mom, per se, but I’m not cold and mean. I really like my space and they know that. At least they are coming to know that…they’re figuring it out. Being emotionally awkward and a parent is not easy. Being introverted and a parent is even harder. I get frustrated often because I spend all day home alone and they come home from school and right away I feel way too crowded by their presence and noise. They are everywhere! They want snacks and drinks, shoes are in the hall, socks flung here and there and PUT YOUR DS DOWN UNTIL YOU FINISH YOUR HOMEWORK!
It’s a lot to handle for me and I become overwhelmed pretty quickly. So when Kasper tells me he’s going to the gym after Skas finishes his homework, I don’t get sad that after 45 minutes I’ll home alone, again. I get excited. They leave, usually by me pushing them out as early as possible, and I take a nap because I am that overwhelmed or if I planned a big meal for dinner, I get started on that because both are huge stress relievers for me. One: I usually smoke a joint before I do either and two: napping and/or a challenge is good for an injured brain. One might think cooking a big meal alone with one hand, terrible balance and a brain map charted by a cat with a crayon would make that overwhelming residue left by their kids worse but no…putting on Joplin and singing my heart out while I marinate chicken or mince garlic is cathartic. Pushing yourself to find patience through organization (you need to be somewhat organized to cook a big meal), is great therapy for a mind that is easily jumbled by emotions and the chaos that is other people.
When Kasper goes to his mom’s to work on her property and doesn’t bring the boys back because they all decided without me they would spend the night there, I don’t become sad or angry. I feel guilty that I don’t miss them. There is a very small sliver of mommy in me that whispers to no one listening that it’s sad I didn’t get to kiss them knowing I wouldn’t see them until the following evening (I might have given them an extra second on the goodbye hug and maybe a follow-up kiss on the cheek had I known). However, that little whisper is quickly swept away by the wind of my hope they’ll decide to stay two nights!
I think of them when they’re away. I’m writing this post because I feel so guilty for not missing them; obviously this is my way of missing them. I think of them when I pass their empty rooms and have no reason to yell because the light wasn’t left on again. I think of them when I turn the T.V down then realize I can have it as loud as I want because no one is sleeping. I think of them when I don’t have to be quiet with the bag I’m stealing cookies from because there’s no reason to hide my munching. I think of them when I’m having sex with Kasper and remember there’s no reason to bite the pillow (thankfully, that thought only lasts a second, huh?); and I think of them during miniscule things like only washing two plates in the sink instead of four.
When I think of my boys at these times it’s not because I’m missing them. Maybe in a way it is but what I feel most is grateful. Grateful for the break; grateful for the opportunity to recognize there is no true peace in the silence of their absence. I’m grateful for feeling out of my element without them here; grateful to realize that my schedule has developed around them without my trying. I enjoy my time without them, I don’t think it’s fair I’m made to feel so guilty for that. Maybe that’s a social impression made on me which would make it less fair. I love my kids and I don’t think I have to miss them every second they’re away from me to prove it.
Is that not okay?