Compared to many of my fellow mommy counterparts, I have always considered myself on the blasé end of the emotional parenting spectrum. When my kids fall, my first reaction is to clap and say, “Yeah, buddy! That was awesome! You get a 10 for that fall. Highfive!” as opposed to rushing to their side and coddling them with, “Oh my poor snookie pookie poos! Is my babykins okay? Dat’s my widdle punkin buns. Shhhhh. Dere dere, baby.”
Without a second thought, I hand my kiddos over to their grandparents or our close friends to be watched. It doesn’t cross my mind as strange that Clint would want to spend time alone with his own kids and that he wouldn’t do as good a job as I do. (Truth be told, I’m 99% sure he’s a way better parent than I am, anyway.)
Of course, I realize a lot of this has to do with the fact that I am surrounded by an incredible support system. But, even in other parenting scenarios, I have found that I’m more of a “Let them figure it out” kind of mom.
“That cat is going to scratch you if you keep pulling its tail,” I warn, but I let them figure it out for themselves if they decide to keep at it.
“Your kids are squabbling over that toy,” someone says. “They’ll figure it out,” I shrug, and occasionally, they do, by talking and compromising with each other.
“Your daughter is licking the shopping cart,” someone says. “Eh, she’ll have a better immune system,” I think, but I still make her stop because that’s just yucky.
My point is that I am not a Hover Mother. When I’m away from my kids, I bask in the free time and the quiet. I soak up every silent second and hold on to it like it’s the most luxurious experience ever. Then, when I am reunited with my little ones, I am relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on their shenanigans again. It is good to enjoy the time away and then reach the point where I think, “Hey, I miss my babies. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.”
Last year, I took two big trips that separated me from my kids. I brought Wyatt with me on one of the trips, but he was with my friend most of the time while I went to a workshop, so it hardly counted that I was responsible for him. For both trips, I eagerly looked forward to the break from my kids, enjoyed myself, and then returned with a renewed mommy motivation.
This Wednesday, I’m flying to North Carolina to meet with and be interviewed by The Balancing Act hosts at their Raleigh stop on the Balance Your Life Road Tour. I’ll be gone until Monday and I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to this opportunity. The thought that I’ll have so many hours to myself where I can write, read, sleep, run… Well, it’s a much needed and much anticipated vacation for this mama.
Today, I looked at Wyatt. His 18-month-old chubbiness melts my heart. I love that he’s soaking up everything right now and learning to say words by the day. I realized that I’m going to miss almost a week of that.
In Zander’s 18 months of life, he has always been a character, but lately, he’s been truly honing his hilarity. He is mastering the adorable scrunchy-faced grin that he knows I can’t say no to without returning a grin to him. His and Wyatt’s newest adorable trick is to kiss your hand when you ask either of them to “Be a gentleman.”
Colby’s imagination is exploding and I love it. Lily’s, too. They’re bickering less and talking more. They’re telling stories, drawing pictures, doing and saying things that astound me on a daily basis. They’re always hugging and kissing their brothers and each other. Things were rough for a while and now they seem to be getting better.
As soon as all of this came to my realization, I was shocked at the emotion I felt.
I’m going to miss them from day one.
Six days without slobbery kisses, without singing Jesus Loves Me (again, Mommy?), without big squishy hugs (“I want the biggest hug in the world, Mommy!”), without little hands reaching up to me, little arms wrapping around my neck, or little tummies to tickle.
I have six days without poopy diapers (that’s at least 18 doo-doos I’ll be “missing”), without tantrums, without snotty noses, without buckling kids into carseats, without whining…
On second thought, maybe I’ll be okay.
So, maybe I’m not as blasé as I had originally thought myself to be, but I think that’s okay. I’m still going to cheer them on when they have a sweet fall, though.
Lindsay Maddox is the voice behind Silly Mom Thoughts. She also uses her voice to sing nightly lullabies and will likely bust out some Jesus Loves Me to her roomie Tracy Beckerman this week before their interview with The Balancing Act.