My hubby came home last night after being out of town for four days. I was hoping to be awake and cheerful when he arrived, but, instead, I was snoring in bed by 9:00, drool on my pillow, lights dark in the house. Sexy!
I am a stay-at-home Mom. It's what I do. I do breakfast, I do games, I do lunch, I do dishes, I do laundry, I do reading, I do crafts, I do all the things. Every day, they are what I do. And I love what I do--that's why I choose to stay home with our 5, 3, and 2 year old chickies. So, it would seem a little funny to think that my hubby's absence would leave me snoring and drooling at such an early hour, since, after all, this staying-at-home-all-day-with-the-kids-alone thing is, well, what I do!
And yet, in the absence of my husband, I felt completely and utterly exhausted. Once the bathtime and bedtime shenanigans were over, I would stare at my kitchen full of dishes and living room full of folded laundry and I'd hang my head and let out a really unattractive groan. I was just. so. tired. And I would finally pep talk myself through the day's remaining chores, before sluggishly making my way to the bedroom, where I would turn on my nightly show and promptly fall asleep. Before 9:00. And be just as tired the next day.
My husband and I are really great about giving each other the freedom to have time away. We don't spend crazy amounts of time apart, but we both understand the necessity of recharging, the necessity of finding the space to breathe for a few days, away from the daily routine. And if anything, these times apart are a great reminder of how much we appreciate each other. With my whirlwind days that left me spinning, I realized how hands-on my hubby is with our kids. I mean, I already know it, but these weekends always jog my memory, ha. From the moment he gets home from work, he's on. He's playing with the kids, helping with chores. He's just really great.
And, I know. I know there are wives who clearly have it much worse--that goes without saying. And that is exactly what I continued to tell my exhausted, somewhat-pathetic self as the kids and I stared outside at the cold, going through our days together. I tried to grin and bear it, ignore the loneliness and smile my way through doing the dishes and cleaning the carpet thanks to a puppy who isn't a fan of icy grass.
Finally, a lightbulb went off in my overachieving brain:
It's okay to miss him.
It's okay to want him here. It's okay if I don't like doing this alone. It doesn't make me lame, it makes me a wife who likes having her husband around. He changed jobs over a year ago and the time we've had together as a family since then has been amazing. And I've gotten used to his accessibility and his presence. And I think that's a really good thing. It was liberating to recognize that I need him. Sure, if you were to ask me, "Do you need your husband?" before this past weekend, my answer would have been, "Of course!" But a little time apart helps to give more emphasis to that simple answer. Of course, yes, I do need him. And he needs me. It's great. We've had weekends apart before, don't get me wrong. And the kids and I have fun. But, this is the first time I've allowed myself to acknowledge that I'm not really a fan of doing life without him, even if it's for a few days. Time away is great for both of us, for that very reason: We miss each other.
And now, he's home. Before he left for work, I said, "I'm so glad you were able to go... and I'm so glad you're back!"
And I meant it.
Have a lovely day.