Once the plan to have RJ stay in NY with his grandparents was set, I was a little nervous about how it would pan out. He’s stayed away from home with family for a few days in the past, but this was 2 weeks. What would those weeks be like for him? What would they be like for us? He’s been back home for a week now, and I’ve had time to process 5 takeaways from 2 weeks without my child.
I worried, but not the way I thought
I missed RJ a lot, but I didn’t spend the time calling him every second or endlessly worrying about him. I did worry, but it was just hoping he was enjoying himself and not driving his grandparents crazy. We were 700 miles and 12 hours away from NY just going to get him was not an option. Factor in that his stay got off to a rocky start and we I had a right to be a little nervous. The original plan was for him to split his two weeks between Hubby’s mom and dad’s homes. Well, the first night at Hubby’s mom, didn’t go as planned. It was all good until that evening when they were getting ready to go to bed. She has cats, four to be exact, and RJ was extremely concerned about where the cats would sleep. That turned into an all out panic about the cats. We tried, for 30 minutes on the phone, to get him to calm down and at least spend the night, but to no avail. We went and got him. He stayed with Ralph’s dad and step-mom for the entire two weeks. Luckily, after that slight hiccup he was fine and had a blast with Grandpa and Grandma.
I had to get use to being home alone with my husband
At first, I didn’t know how to act with just the two of us in the house. I mean my god-sister was staying with us for a day or two, but she mostly stayed in her room watching Netflix. Suddenly being home alone with my spouse after years of young child being in the mix was different. Yes, we have alone time on date nights or when we take trips with just the two of us, but that’s different. In those instances, you’re focused on other things. On a date, it’s the meal, movie or whatever activity is planned. On a vacation, it’s the new place, sights and sounds we’re taking in. At home, you’re just home, looking at each other. Yes, there are “other” things, but I’m sorry I couldn’t do those “other” things every free minute of the day for 14 days straight! We had to find our groove again and remember what we were like before we became a family of 3. It was great practice for years down the road when RJ leaves and it’s just us again. Kids can’t be a buffer forever. Knowing how to live with and enjoy your spouse is important.
The joy of random date nights
If you didn’t know, we don’t have family who live in our city. So, typically, if we want to go out we hire a sitter. We do have friends who would likely take RJ for a few hours. However, they have their own kids and for sanity sake, we don’t like adding our kid to their mix. Since we use sitters, we have to plan when we want to go out. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed the two of us being able to go out on a whim and at no extra cost to us. Hubby and I agree making more time for just the two of us is a must. I guess I’ll be getting off of the coins more frequently!
The break from Mommy mode
If you’re a mom, you understand Mommy mode. The never ending cycle of drop offs, pick ups, questions, answers, play dates, study time etc. Tirelessly trying to create a space where they don’t grow up to be too sheltered, too carefree or sociopaths! You know, balance! It can be exhausting. I’ve took our break to relax as much as possible. When Mommy mode crept in and I started to wonder, if he was eating way too much sugar, was he driving them crazy, was he homesick, or what his hair looked like, I stopped myself, exhaled and picked up a book or a glass of wine. As long as he wasn’t calling crying or hurt, he was just fine and it was ok for me to be as well.
The perfect time to purge toys
My child has TONS of toys he doesn’t play with or that I’m not even sure he remembers he has. They have taken over his room and our living room. I’ve purchased numerous bins to make the collection more organized and less visible. However, it seems, the more bins I buy, the more toys come into our home. So, I used his time away to drastically reduce his collection. It was tough because my husband is a hoarder. Things I marked to toss, he argued needed to stay. When it was all said and done I took two bags of toys to Goodwill.
We didn’t just survive the two week separation, I think each of us thrived in our own way. Two weeks was just enough time for us enjoying being apart without missing each other terribly. Now to start planning for next year!