We were preparing to have out of town guests and from the looks of my house - occupied by my husband, myself and our 4 boys - it was a task even a cleaning service would turn down. Sensing the exasperation (and desperation) in my voice, my mom offered to take my kids for a few days. All four of them - ranging in age from 5 months (and not sleeping through the night) to 7 years. Now, I promise I love my children, but I am a woman who knows her limits. Let's just say I had them packed and loaded in the car before she could change her mind.
In order to ensure I got what I needed to get done accomplished (and didn't just sleep for 2.5 days straight), I made out a lengthy to-do list to keep me on track. On it were things like "clean the bathrooms" and "go to the grocery". You know, things that are pointless (bathroom cleaning) and anxiety inducing (grocery shopping) when you have 4 kids at home.
After meeting my mom for the drop off, I rolled up my sleeves and got right to work. Well...kind of ;) Here's how it went down:
- I thanked my mom for helping me out and just so she completely understood just how much I had to get done, I rambled off my list before leaving her with my munchkins. And then...I blared the radio and drove straight to TJMaxx. I mean one little shopping side-trip is bound to happen, might as well get it out of the way, right?
- When I walked in the door kidless, I may or may not have yelled "I'm FREE" at the top of my lungs. Because I could.
- I got to enjoy my morning french vanilla cafe in front of the television without having to first change a diaper, fix waffles and bacon or clean up a sippy cup that leaked on the floor (I mean do ANY of those darn things actually NOT leak like they promise on the package? LIES! All lies!) Never-mind that I watched an entire episode of Sheriff Callie's Wild West before realizing I could actually finish the 3 episodes of Real Housewives saved on my DVR.
- I could focus. Multi-tasking is SO much easier when the kids aren't around. Reading Facebook (without feeling guilty) AND cleaning the kitchen? Very possible when you aren't being pulled in 4 different directions by 4 tiny beings.
- The house got clean in half the time. This is because I didn't have a Hudson following behind me undoing any efforts I made at tidying up. Have you heard this saying before? ---> Cleaning the house when your kids are home is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. Yup.
- The house stayed clean! I may or may not have taken pictures of every room, knowing that seeing it that clean again would be as likely as the next confirmed sighting of the Loch Ness Monster.
- In my head, my 2 day mini-vacation included getting my work done quickly and then lounging around taking naps while eating the "good" snacks hidden for moments when my kids aren't around. But...that never happened. It turns out that even when you have 2.5 days without the kids, you still feel guilty taking time for yourself.
- We had grand plans to have TWO date nights in a row? What?!?! That's unheard of. What actually happened was that we had take-out both nights and were in our pajamas by 8pm. Staying in and enjoying our quiet house trumped going out for overpriced dinner and drinks.
- And if you think that an empty house meant retreating to the bedroom for some sexy time? Think again. The minute we got into bed the only thing we could think about was SLEEP. Sweet uninterrupted sleep...
- ...which I can assure you doesn't exist once you are a mom. Although my children were miles and miles away, a mom's ears are trained to perk up at the slightest sound. I must've woken up no less than 10 times thinking I heard one of their cries from the other room.