This weekend Carey is going on a fishing trip with a bunch of his guy friends, so I'll be on my own with the kids. However, this evening, my in-laws will be taking the kids for supper and the evening (until about 8:00 - bedtime), so I'll actually have a bit of time all to myself. And guess what I have planned - absolutely nothing. I didn't even attempt to make plans with anyone. I'm looking forward to spending that time alone. Now that may sound strange to some of you, but I really thrive on having alone time. Yes, I enjoy spending time together as a family, and I enjoy spending time with the kids (especially when I get to have one-on-one time with each of them), and I enjoy spending time with just Carey, but equally important to me is just spending time with myself.
Any mother can tell you how much they appreciate a quiet house, but I was like this even before I had kids (although I've probably come to appreciate it even more since having kids). I think it started the year after I graduated. I went to Guatemala for 3 months with a program through Canadian Mennonite University called "School of Discipleship" (it's since been renamed "Outtatown"). Even though we were a group of about 30, we were all individually billeted in local houses for a large portion of the time. I didn't speak much Spanish, and my host family wasn't overly friendly (or perhaps it just seemed that way), so I spent quite a few nights alone in my room. It got dark shortly after suppertime and girls weren't encouraged to walk alone through the town, so unless we had a group outing, or I could find a male escort to pick me up and walk me home, then I was pretty much stuck. I got used to it, and I actually really liked it. And I still do, to this day.
Now, before you think I'm a total hermit, I have to admit that since becoming a mother, I've actually also come to appreciate getting out (or having people over) and just being with other people more. As much as I'm looking forward to my evening alone tonight, I'm equally looking forward to tomorrow evening, when the other "fishing widows" and kids will be coming over for a potluck supper. I think when you're home alone with kids all day, you need these kind of interactions to keep your sanity. Like my Y Neighbours group - I don't know where I'd be without them. I never miss a Tuesday morning, if possible. I even will wake up the kids if they're sleeping in (which I hate doing!) so we can get there on time. Playdates are another thing I've come to appreciate. They're not just good for kids - they're good for mommies too.
So this evening I will be eating my supper alone, and enjoying every minute of it. Every minute of not having to cut up food, coax a few more bites, leave the table to change a diaper, or rush through my supper to make a bottle. I will enjoy the peace and quiet. And tomorrow, I will enjoy the sound of laughter and noise, the kids running around, the fellowship around the table, and the general pleasure of being among good friends.