...because we all have our motley moments!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Long Day

I've had a long and hard day, and the majority of it was spent without my children. Does anyone else feel like their children are an anchor for them? I know that sounds kind of scary, like I'm too dependent on them, but that's not what I mean. I just feel kind of untethered without them, especially if I'm having a hard time. I spent today doing something unpleasant, expensive, and, as it turns out, pointless, and I missed time with my kids doing it. A couple of months after my dad died it was my birthday and I went to Vero with some friends to go kayaking for the day to celebrate. I had fun, but I felt funny without my kids. I felt untethered, unanchored, like I was going to fly away like a popped balloon. When I got home to them I felt safer and more grounded. Maybe that's what it is - my kids force me to be responsible and "with-it," so when I'm with them I'm more grounded. It just seems strange, is all. I remember when I was 11 and my great-grandfather died. When my parents and I got to the funeral, my grandmother was there and she hugged me and cried and it seemed as if it was such a relief to her that I was there. I remember thinking, "How weird. She needs me? I'm only 11!" But now I get it. When I got home today my kids were at Fat Boy's with the extended family and I didn't feel at home until they were. Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I crazy? Wait...don't answer that.


Rachel said...

I think you said it well--our kids don't necessarily define us, but they do give us an anchor. Maybe it's that they spend the most time with us during the day or that they really do love us no matter what. Even when I go to the grocery store it feels strange until I get back home and our little guy runs to meet me at the door.

I'm so sorry that you had a tough day, but you do have two of the sweetest little boys welcome you home. :)

Donna said...

I definitely understand what you mean. I think the time away has to be really "worth it" to want to stay away from the kids all day. Something very fulfilling, relaxing, or spiritually renewing to make me feel filled up and "grounded" even when I'm away from my family.
The time in our marriage before we had kids, I realize now was a very "untethered" time for me. I worked too much to make meaningful friendships, yet didn't really want to be defined by my job. Motherhood defines my life, etching the curves and lines into a graceful pattern of who I am and what I am becoming that works really well for me. I can tell this is what God intended for me, and in those moments when I realize how easy it is to lose it (when my two-year-old fell down and stopped breathing, when I hear tragic stories of family loss, or when Paul goes out on an errand and then I hear sirens) I appreciate what a blessing my family is. They really do keep my feet on the ground!

Lindsay said...

I understand what you mean. I think when you are a mom and expecially a SAHM, you don't feel whole unless your kids are with you. It's so rare that I am alone, that when it happens I feel like I left something behind (and I did).

At the same time I have the opposite feeling sometimes. Like am I a bad mom because I really need to be away from my kids right now. I leave them with family 99% of the time, which I think is very important for them too. But I sometimes feel guilty for wanting/needing to be away from them too. So I can be refreshed and renewed.

Liz said...

Don't feel guilty about needing to be away from your kids, Lindsay. We all need that sometimes! I think you're right about them being around family - it's good for them. And I am convinced that not only do I need a break from my kids sometimes - they need a break from me!

Pam said...

Liz, that was a beautiful post. Right now I am in a different phase - the one where my child is sucking the life out of me, but I love your post nonetheless!