And what a hell of a reentry that was.
They came bearing packages, bags of laundry, and lots of noise. All of which happened to coincide with the whine of chainsaws and segments of tree thudding to the ground as we removed two more trees from our property.
The yard looks like a tornado came through, which I would think was totally fitting, if I wasn’t the one swirling around in its center.
Apparently there are findings that show people experience depression upon returning to their routine schedules after vacation. This weekend felt like the ultimate vacation. I was calm. I was peaceful. I was not done.
The moment they walked back in – in fact, even as I rushed around trying to finish things I knew I wouldn’t be able to when they came home – my stress level ratcheted up.
We showered them early because they had run around sticking to the tree sap and I looked at my husband at 6:13 PM and said, do we really have to wait over an hour to put them to bed? Whatever reserves I had built up over the weekend had been depleted in a few short hours.
One validating point: my father-in-law, when recounting how the weekend had gone, looked at me and said,
“I don’t know how you keep up with the three of them all day.”
Yes, it was a shallow victory because it just confirms how life-sucking they are. BUT – and this is a very big BUT – it means that there is not something wrong with me to find it challenging. It’s a normal, natural response that many people have apparently.
That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with on a day-to-day basis . . . but at least I know I’m not some freak of nature.
So, the take-away.
- I like alone time.
- I crave uninterrupted creative time.
- I respond well to long, drawn-out, meandering shopping trips.
- I thrill in the perfect flea market find for my home décor.
- I eat like a pig who has found the trough for the first time when I can do so without distraction.
- A new dress does a girl good.
- Certain physical endeavors provide good stress relief 😉
- I suck at carrying over these lessons to the everyday; reality, if you will.
But I have to figure something out. As I said when I lay in bed last night, in an exhausted stupor, ‘I love them. I need to find a way to like being with them.’
Whether it’s situational depression or what, that’s not something a mother is supposed to say.