Monday, August 16, 2010

Better Than a Vacation

Wow. It is truly amazing the change in attitude, energy level, and patience that can take place after being away from your kids for a whole 48 hours.

First of all, know that I absolutely love my kids and am thankful that I get to be a stay at home mom. There really is no other thing that I'd rather be doing with my life right now. But, the past few weeks I have definitely felt a tad bit stressed and overwhelmed with everything. Whether it had something to do with being almost eight months preggo or having the heat indexes reach well into the one-hundreds or just growing weary of the never-ending pile of laundry, I felt mentally drained.

I was trying to relay to Ben how I felt the other week to which he suggested another family weekend away or some time to myself while he watched the kids, both good suggestions, but both didn't really seem to provide what I needed. In all actuality, the problem was I felt so worn out that I didn't even know what I needed.

Which is precisely the reason why I am so thankful for a mom who has always seemed to know exactly what I need, making it quite apparent to me that even almost 30 year olds still need their moms. Anyway, when my mom suggested that her and my dad take the kids for not only one night, but TWO nights, although I felt kind of guilty saying yes, I agreed without hesitation. And, I can honestly say that two nights without the kids was exactly the refresher I needed to lift my spirits.

By the end of the kids' time away, both Ben and I commented that we indeed missed having them around and were excited to see them again to hear all about their adventures with Grandma and Grandpa (which included a power outage, slushies, swimming, the best pizza they have ever eaten, and more Pez candy than should even be consumed by a grown adult). However, we took full advantage of having some much needed and refreshing time to ourselves.

Although I spent my first kid-free afternoon cleaning the house (exciting, I know...but, I will say I rather enjoyed the ease of cleaning the entire house when two if it's primary mess-makers were absent...not to mention, it actually STAYED clean for longer than 5 seconds), I didn't lift a finger to cook the entire time the kids were away. Ben and I went out for dinner followed by a little shopping and then a movie on the first evening. We felt like rebels, not returning home until well after 11:30 p.m. (on a Thursday night, no less!) and it felt heavenly to sleep in the next morning.

While Ben stayed home to work on Friday, I ventured to the outlet mall to get a head start on the fall/winter clothes shopping for the kids. Although I enjoy shopping with Allie because she can be quite helpful picking out items and giving input, it is not fun taking Zach along. He hates any and all shopping with a passion (especially clothes shopping) and is not afraid to make his strong opinion known, mostly in the form of whining, complaining, fit-throwing, and picking on his sister.

Anyway, two and a half or so hours after arriving at the outlet mall, I had found some great deals, was not emotionally exhausted from refereeing the kids' arguments, and actually ate lunch all by myself at Subway in peace and quiet without having to cut anyone's food, refill drinks, or sop up spilled milk.

After arriving home, I was able to tackle the job of organizing the kids' closets, packing up the too-small clothes and making room for the purchases I had just made. When Ben was done with his work for the day, we had a few more errands to run before heading out for pizza and then to satisfy my most recent pregnancy craving: Cupcakes.
They were so good. And, although the above picture does not do them justice, they all looked like works of art. No, I'm not telling you how many I ate, but just know that I don't want another cupcake for a very. long. time.

We ended our evening with a trip to the grocery store. Normal, yes, but I actually cannot remember the last time just Ben and I went to the grocery store alone, so it was kind of nice and reminiscent of those days spent in our previous life before kids.

After another morning of sleeping in, we headed to my parents to pick up the kids. We were happy to see them and them us (well...I'm pretending they were happy to see us even though their reaction upon seeing us was something to the effect of, "NOOOOO! NOT MOM AND DAD! WE DON'T WANT TO GO YET!). If it is possible, I'm fairly sure they have both grown since I last saw them on Thursday.

I like that the house feels full again with them home and I haven't even minded the few spats that have broken out since they've returned (yes, I know that part won't last, but I'm enjoying the feeling while it's still present). I feel like I got a vacation without even leaving home and it has left me refreshed and ready to resume day to day life with a more positive outlook.


Cindy @The Flipping Couple said...

Those cupcakes look AMAZING. I'd like one right now, actually.

Soccerbelle said...

I can relate to the grocery shopping date. It's what we ended up doing on the rare times we didn't have both kids with us.

Jen D said...

Cindy: The cupcakes were definitely amazing--the smore one was my favorite.
Soccerbelle: I'm glad we're not the only ones who enjoy grocery store dates!

lsalsa said...

I can totally relate. We just got back from a weeks vacation at the beach and while I wouldn't trade our family vacations for anything, I am EXHAUSTED!! And have decided that for future trips, I need a Mommy weekend, directly following any family holidays!

Jen D said...

Isalsa-Now that is a great idea!