This past weekend my very brave and gracious brother-in-law decided to watch all three of my kids who are 8, 6, and 3. And not just for a few hours, but for the Whole. Night. Yep. I think brave was a stretch; nuts is possibly a better word. It’s extremely rare that my husband and I get an entire night to ourselves, so the possibilities for what we could do with our time was endless. Being newbies in the lowcountry, we had so many choices for things to do. A possible history tour, carriage ride, or trip to the aquarium were serious considerations. A ghost tour was not to far from my mind either; however, then I’d be considered the nutty one.
But instead of anything fancy, we kept it very simple with a bite to eat, a walk in the park, and a Netflix binge of our new favorite show The 100. And it turns out I really missed those very simple things. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Cookout. Seriously, nothing elaborate. We went inside, and for the first time I noticed all the decor on the walls of the restaurant. Normally I’m trying to round up my three and keep them behaved enough so we don’t look like “that crazy family.” There was a couple standing in front of us with two small girls. They were trying to order their food and the girls were sitting on the window ledge running around playing and laughing. The father tried to keep them still and standing in line but promptly gave up realizing they weren’t really listening. Instead he told them, “okay, just as long you stay right there.” I chuckled seeing myself in his words. Quiet defeat. I understood. At least his girls were happy instead of whining and shouting or screaming. And really that’s the best you can hope for when you’re going out to eat with kids.
At one point, one of the girls ran into me. The mother apologized and ushered them out of my space. I smiled and told her it was okay. I wanted to confide to her that I too understood. But I didn’t. Instead I relished in the moment of not having to confide that I understood. She didn’t know me or my life, and maybe it was selfish, but it was a simple moment to watch someone else in my own shoes and pretend that I had no idea what her moments felt like. Sometimes we as mothers need that. Moments of looking back to what it was like to have child-free days. It’s in those moments I find I appreciate motherhood so much more.
It helps me to remember that underneath my facade as a mother, I am a woman, and underneath that still, I’m just a girl with my own selfish dreams about life. That girl who is now a mother loves her position, and I am ultimately so very blessed to be chief commander of my own little troop. But sometimes “that girl” wants to be just that, a silly carefree girl living life on her own terms. And that’s totally normal and ok to feel. It took me a long time to realize that it wasn’t wrong for me to feel that way.In fact it was better for the kids when I did things that didn’t make me feel like a mom. Those simple things always brought me back to them feeling refreshed.
The next morning the sun peaked in through our room darkening curtains, and I was delighted when I looked at the clock and realized it was already 9 am. 9 am I repeat again. Neither of us could remember the last time we woke up on our own accord. So simple. Yet so needed. Mamas find those very simple things. They are so necessary.