Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This morning, my husband and my sons got on the plane to travel half way across the country to see Husband’s family, where the boys will be spending a week while Husband and I, as we do every June, work at our company’s largest conference. After taking the three of them to the airport, where I quietly shed many tears as they boarded the plane, I came home to an empty house, and it has been nothing like what I expected. I knew I would miss them. I knew I would feel sad. But I was also looking forward to this time, two days—48 hours!—at home on my own before I leave on Friday morning to travel to the conference. I thought about how much I could get done: organize the closets, upload some pictures online, set up the crib (yes, Baby is still sleeping in the bassinet, even though he is way over the weight limit), replant a bunch of plants, get a haircut, get a pedicure, put away maternity clothes and outgrown baby clothes, and the list goes on—not to mention hours and hours of uninterrupted work time (I work at home most days). For two days, I will be a free woman, I thought to myself.

Instead, I sit here, feeling completely empty.

I caught myself looking at the clock to see how soon 5 p.m. will be here so that I can go pick the kids up at the babysitter’s—before realizing that at 5 o’clock, I won’t need to go anywhere. I reminded myself to return my friend’s phone call tonight, thinking that I could do it around 8:30, immediately after the kids go to bed—before realizing that I have no one to put to bed tonight.

It’s amazing how certain things become so ingrained in our minds. After four and a half years, motherhood is more that just part of my life. It is my life. It is in everything I do. I am more than a mother, but I am a mother first and foremost. I know that not every mother feels the same way, and I really respect that. Looking back, I think this may have been the toughest transition for me when Child was born. I felt like I was losing my old self, that it was being ‘invaded’ by the demands of motherhood. But with time, it became more comfortable, more natural, so when Baby was born, I was able to delight in the joy that a new baby brings instead of dwelling on what this addition is doing to the ‘real me.’ The ‘real me’ is very different now, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Today, in an empty and quiet house (exactly the type of house I crave so often in the chaos of everyday life), I feel so completely incomplete.