I was at a first birthday party this weekend when a fellow partier and mom of two asked me, "How do you get any time to yourself when you work full-time?" I had a simple answer - I don't.
I went on to explain that my children are in bed by eight so those few hours a day when they are sleeping and I am not are my hours to myself/my relationship with the husband. It's hard. I don't really see the kids during the week. By the time we get home we get about 30 minutes of playtime and the bath/bed routine begins. It's hard. We get our family time in on the weekends.
Unlike most families I know, we truly travel as a unit on the weekends. Rarely will you find us without one of our members (unless it's the evening and mommy and daddy get playtime). We are a pack, the four of us. We like to be together. We are happiest together. The kids are visibly happiest when all four of us are together. And honestly, so am I.
There is a safety and comfort I feel when I have my family with me that is unparalleled. I feel full of love and happiness. I feel whole. I miss them every moment I am away from them. I am the pathetic girl who can't wait to get home to her husband at the end of a girls' night. The girl who can't wait to drink in the smell of my babies after a night away.
I do enjoy the days when the kids are at daycare and I have some time off work. But not for the solitude. I enjoy them because they allow me to get things done. To clean, to organize, to shop.
I am working on it. I am trying to find myself again. To be able to define myself outside of my nuclear family. A nuclear family in which my role has changed over the last five years from daughter and sister to mother and wife. I'm working on it.