Let me go back a bit.
In the not-too-distant past, I was struggling with raising the kids, keeping things going on the homefront and running a business while my husband had the more traditional role of working outside the home. His interaction with the kids consisted of griping at them before he went to work, being gone most of the day, only to come home and gripe at them another hour and half until they went to bed.
It was bad and we were, as a family, pretty miserable. The kids were always coming to me, trying to get me to run interference with dad and he was coming to me because they weren’t listening. And me? Well I was being ripped apart.
My wish at the time was for Buff to develop a better relationship with his kids, one that was deeper and more meaningful than screaming at them all the time. I wanted them to learn and grow with him and, when they looked back at their father, to have fond memories of someone they learned and grew under instead of an ogre who only came home to eat and pay the bills. And I was desperate for them to develop a relationship with each other that didn’t have me right in the middle.
Then a crazy thing happened.
We experienced a monumental shift in our work/home life and the roles were reversed. Now, I’m on the road about half of the month, shooting my new show, during which time Buff runs his media consulting company from home. It works well since he’s the one with the natural bent for organization and actually cares about a clean house.
A few days ago, I came home after shooting an episode of Sweet Retreats and I was sick, and I don’t mean a little bit either; I mean the kind where the fever makes you feel like your head and body are no longer attached. So I crawled into bed and stayed there for three days.
When my head wasn’t pounding and my eyes weren’t watering, I listened to what was happening downstairs and honestly was stunned by what was not.
In the morning, there was none of the usual screaming about last minute homework assignments, no stress about getting out the door and down the street to the bus, no drama whatsoever. Buff and the kids had developed their own easy, communicative style, with a morning routine that included breakfast and bonding over basketball highlights on ESPN.
The very thing I wished for has come true and I loved it.
And… sort of didn’t.
It was the oddest feeling..I was happy.. and yet…I felt left out.
For a brief moment I thought that maybe it was time to get off the road, you know, insert myself fully into my home life again. But that’s not really the answer, especially since being good to self is one of the tenets of Good Enough Mother. And working outside the home is vital to my mental health.
No, what I came to realize is that I didn’t need to be the referee to feel important to my family. I didn’t need to break up fights. I didn’t need to be in charge all of the time.
They were doing fine on their own, which was what I had hoped would happen ultimately and yes, they still love me.
I am so appreciative and truly thankful because I know this is going to change the course of my kids’ relationship with their father and I’m happy that Buff is handling things at home because I know a lot of women don’t have that support.
The take away is this: when your wish comes true, be thankful.
And I am.
Yo! Nice to meet you! You can find out more about me on my blog, Good Enough Mother.