My children have been at school for about seven weeks now. Finch goes half days so every single day I have half a day to myself. Every single day.
For the last eight years I devoted myself to listening, and attempting to stay present, even when it was the last thing I wanted to do.
Now, having mornings all to myself I can run errands with no children in tow, sit with my laptop in a quiet house, or clean without constant interruption; it is like a dream come true. I pop into the post office, and if there is a line, I don't have to play my best game of I Spy. If I forget something from the grocery, no worries, I can just run in and get it. I don't have to mastermind buying children's birthday presents without them seeing them or siblings telling them what's been bought.
After an exhausting day last week I fell asleep after getting home from the school pick up. While I slept for an hour (okay an hour and a half if I'm totally honest), my kids made their own afternoon tea and put on a movie I had approved for them. Another mom from school absorbed this story in shock "Your kids are self-sufficient enough that you can do that?" she asked in disbelief. I can remember when the idea seemed too impossible to imagine, as I juggled a baby on my hip while making dinner, with another child playing blocks on the floor.
In all this new found freedom, the ease that comes with having no tiny children, the thing that has been most meaningful is silence. I have been waiting eight years for silence. For the last eight years I have been an introvert feeling like I was drowning in constant chatter.
There were so many times I felt just ragged from interacting long past when I felt I couldn't listen any more, or be touched anymore, or give anymore.
I've always been a person who loves people, but needs a meaningful amount of recovery time after expending social energy. Parenting multiple young children doesn't really accomodate times for social disengagement. I did my best (and do) with a standing "quiet rest time" that gave me the opportunity to step back and have a break. With babies, it was a goal I worked towards, and as my children got older it was more successful.
I love my quiet mornings. I love arriving home after the school drop off, and walking into an empty house. I love knowing I have several hours to get into a messy project, work in my garden, or get some work done. I love four hours of not talking, or being spoken too.
After eight years of being stretched past capacity, this introvert can finally catch a breath, and it is so wonderful.
Tell me, what parts of motherhood take all your energy, and what can't you ever imagine doing again?