Mommy, Off Duty

I sent my children to their grandma's house this afternoon. She has the day off, and she loves having them come play with her. They love it too. And, frankly, I love the break it gives me--the uninterrupted solitude it provides. I feel a little guilty for how much I enjoy it, especially when I think about all of the poor mothers out there who don't have as much opportunity as I do for a break. Every time my family makes me want to pull my hair out with their meddling and such, I try REALLY HARD to remember why it's nice to have family so close. Because for all the little things that get annoying about having both of our families live nearby, there are some obviously huge benefits.

Today, though, I feel especially guilty about having surrendered my children to grandma. Because I didn't even *really* feel like I needed a break. My house is in terrible need of a deep clean, which is what I intend to do with this sudden "free time," but I already miss my boys and it's only been an hour. Usually I don't really start to get anxious for them to be home for at least a few hours, if not more.

The wind is terrible here today. It's the kind of wind that makes you feel like you could be blown away in it. And just this morning, James was anxiously trying to make his kite fly, to no avail. The wind wasn't strong enough this morning. Now, I see the little boy from down the street--the little boy James begs me daily to go play with--out in the empty field across from my house, flying a kite with his mom. And James isn't here. And I feel terrible.

Is a little "break" from my children worth the possible missed opportunities for enjoying them? Is it selfish of me to want some time that isn't dominated by toys and tantrums? Maybe yes, maybe no. I have friends who think it's ludicrous that I ever send my children to stay with their grandparents overnight, and I have others who are happy that I have the opportunity. I suppose it comes down to a matter of opinion. But today, instead of feeling recharged and relaxed from this break, I kind of just feel lonely.

Remind me of this tomorrow, when the boys are back home and the toys and tantrums reconvene. Perhaps my outlook will be slightly different. :p


Heather said...

You know, having grown up not knowing my grandparents (or really any extended family), I think it's less about you getting a (much deserved) break and about the opportunity for your boys to be loved on by other family members. Nothing to feel guilty about there.
And the break is nice too.

MidnightCafe said...

It's funny, isn't it? Our heartstrings are so unpredictable. I *do* think that if you're comfortable with your boys going to spend time with the grandparents, then this is more than just an opportunity for you to have free time. It's a chance for them to be loved by other people and to broaden their life experiences and create new and different memories.

Rudri said...

I think it is great that you can send your kids to their grandparents. As a child I saw my grandparents on very rare occasions since they lived in India and we lived in the United States. It is great way for the grandparents to shower them with love.