Last week I was on a business trip to Dallas. If I’m being honest, I really wasn’t looking forward to the trip. It’s an annual conference and I knew it was going to be a lot of work. I also knew it was going to be a lot of work to be away from my boys for a week. I’ve done it enough times to know that I needed to be at home the day before I left. I needed to get my house in order and also get myself ready for a 7 am flight on a Saturday morning. I spent the whole day, 7 am to 11 pm, GOING. I was chasing boys around the house while doing laundry and cleaning. I wrote out Quinten’s typical schedule so Bryan wouldn’t have to second-guess anything. I wrote out a meal plan for the week that was quick and easy. I changed the sheets on the bed and vacuumed the whole house. I played with the boys outside because it was nice out. And I entertained Quinten when he didn’t take a nap. I think I did at least seven loads of laundry that day. Finally at 8 pm, I left the folded towels in our bedroom. They were 10 feet from the linen closet, but I couldn’t do another thing. I was physically exhausted and emotionally not ready to leave for a week. I marched on, because I had to. I got up at 4 am and put my things in the car and headed to the airport in the humid, dark morning.
My week went just as expected. I was physically exhausted. I went into the week knowing that would happen but I also knew that when I went to bed at night, however early it was, I wouldn’t be woken by a crying baby. I wouldn’t have to take care of anyone else. I wouldn’t have to ensure no one harmed themselves. (I forgot how exhausting an almost walking baby is!) I only had to worry about myself…and the tradeshow that I was responsible for. The trip would have been more enjoyable if I wasn’t still pumping, but I dealt with it and I’m thankful my baby is almost 10 months instead of younger. Physically and emotionally, it would have been very different.
Because of my extra baggage, I arrived at the airport extra early on my flight home. That meant I only got about three hours of sleep. Looking back, that was my first mistake on easing my way back into life at home. Coming home tired is not the way to jump back in. I expected happy babies to greet me. I expected Maximus to be super excited and clingy. I expected Quinten to squeal and crawl over to me. Maximus did greet me with lots of hugs, but also lots of whining. He didn’t want me to put him down. Ever. It was a day and half before I heard him talk without whining. As someone who had gone almost seven days without hearing any whining, it was awful. AWFUL on top of exhausting. Quinten really surprised me. He smiled at me when I came in the door but kept playing on the floor. He smiled at me when Bryan was holding him but never made the lunge for me. He refused to nurse and instead I gave him a couple of bottles. Bryan was gone that evening so I managed supper and bedtime without falling into a heap on the floor. I passed out on the couch shortly after they did and was woken up before 10 to Quinten crying. Oh, yah. This is what I missed last week. I managed to get him to nurse and I went to bed. He woke me up again at 2, Bryan came home at 3:30, Quinten woke up again at 5, and Maximus got up at 7. Basically, it was AWFUL. If I had known it was going to be that awful, I would have scheduled a later flight and come home Friday evening. 🙂 Although I know Bryan was ready to get out of the house after a week of two small children who were battling colds. And, Bryan got to experience my life. “Quinten was up at 12, 2, and 4. I slept through the alarm. I get it. Your life sucks.” It’s nice to have someone else share in my agony, but I felt awful that he had to do it. I don’t know what it is that makes me think it’s only my job to do and think he shouldn’t have to help. I suppose it’s since I’m nursing.
The rest of the weekend was spent un-packing my stuff and doing all the same loads of laundry again. Seriously? Didn’t I JUST do all this laundry?! And, of course, putting away those towels that I left in the bedroom. It’s great to be home. I really missed my babies and my husband, but it was pretty nice to get away. I’ve said it before on here, I’m exhausted. I need a break. I know I do. The lack of sleep and always caring for someone is taking its toll, but I know it’s just temporary. I drag myself through it and try to make the best of it. Even though last week was a lot of work it was still a relief to get away from my life. I felt like myself again. Not the mommy who is always feeding, changing, or helping someone pee. I got to have drinks with friends and stay up past 10 pm. I ended the week just as exhausted, but exhausted for different reasons and somehow that was more refreshing than the exhausted mommy feels.