Is This Weird Feeling What People Call, "Missing My Kids"?Jennifer Doyle
I just got home from a whirlwind five day trip to a little social media conference in Nashville. In order for me to even go, I had to arrange for my in-laws to drive eight hours to our house to watch the kids while my husband was at work, write out a three-page instruction sheet on school drop-off procedures, lunch packing, picture day clothes requirements, and 4.2 billion other details that go into my regular day job titled, Keeping the Doyle Household Running in Semi-Tip-Top Shape.
This was the fifth year for me to attend this conference, and each year I’ve longed for its arrival. It’s five days away from home in a posh hotel, with no responsibility to plan a menu or cook and no surprise wake-up calls at 6 am, five days to go and be an adult. In these past few years, I’ve CRAVED and desperately NEEDED these days away.
And if it’s alright for me to be 100% honest, then I’ll admit it. I haven’t missed my kids while I’m gone. Well, at least I haven’t missed them very much.
This year, though, it was completely different. Of course I looked forward to getting away for a few days to enjoy the spoils of hotel living. But I also felt this really odd feeling ahead of time — one that I hadn’t felt in the prior years. I have been blessed with wonderful in-laws who I knew would take care of the kids during the day while my husband was at work, so I wasn’t worried about leaving the kids.
I was…sad. I knew I was going to *GASP* MISS THEM.
This stage of parenthood has been really great. I’ve seen glimmers of sheer child-raising enjoyment amongst the tantrums and sleepless nights of yore, but I’m really loving ages six and four. Like, a LOT. Six and four seem to be the antithesis of three and two.
What’s so great is that my kids are becoming increasingly independent. My son has recently started fixing his own cereal, and he wipes his own rear end! It’s FABULOUS. My daughter has just come out of a freak-out-because-I-have-to-wear-shoes-and-various-other-injustices stage, for which I’m eternally grateful that she survived. Life right now with my little family is just so good.
I found myself checking text messages and email for updates about the kids instead of checking Twitter and Facebook for conference updates during those five days away. Instead of calling at night after the kids were in bed, I’d call early just so I could talk to them and hear about their days. The conference was inspiring and fun, of course, but I actually longed to get home to see their sweet little faces.
This stage will pass into another; maybe it will happen tomorrow or next month. Who knows! For now I’m going to soak up each second with them and know how blessed I am.
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