My parents offered to take the kids for a few days, so my hubby and I could have some quiet time together, maybe go to dinner, see a movie, sleep (!). After dropping them off last night, we both felt a little guilty that we had so quickly jumped on the chance. That guilt lasted for just a moment, until we laughed about it, brushed it off, and looked forward to peace, quiet, and a little time to ourselves. Time to be Melissa and Chris, not Mommy and Daddy.
I woke up this morning and breathed in the silence. There was no one crying, screaming, jumping off furniture, throwing toys down the stairs. I drank my coffee in silence, with no Dora or Imagination Movers playing in the background, and no one yelling, bossing, or knocking things over. I took a shower at my leisure, still in silence, with no worries about what mess may be awaiting me when I got out.
Then, I picked up Ella and Cade's rooms. I smiled when I saw Ella's lipsticks lined up perfectly on her dresser. I washed their laundry. I laughed when I saw the remnants of a diaper blowout on Cade's shirt. I vacuumed and swept, so my baby boy doesn't have to crawl on dirty floors. I straightened the house, so it feels nice and fresh when they get home. I went to the grocery and got a couple of Ella's favorite things to surprise her.
In everything I have done today, my children have been first and foremost in my mind. No matter how much I try to focus my time and energy on myself and getting a few things done around the house, I am just not able to separate being a mommy from being me. Just because my babies are not here today does not mean that I am not mothering them. They are in my heart and part of my thinking, part of my being. I am coming to understand why my mom still cries every single time we leave each other. Being a mom is not just something I can take off and hang up at the end of the day. Being Melissa and Mommy are one and the same, and I'm okay with it.