Mondays are a tricky beast for me.
By the time night falls, the kids have been gone for 48 hours and the house is feeling lonely without them.
Normally I dodge the silence by going for a walk with friends, but everyone was pretty dusty in the wake of Catherine’s 50th on Sunday night.
So it was just me and the frigging fur balls last night. Those beloved millstones around my neck …
I spend three nights without the kids each week and it’s equal parts blessing and curse.
On the one hand, I’m lucky enough to get some time to myself. On the other hand, I really, really miss my daughters.
It’s a bit empty waking up in the mornings and remembering they’re not in their beds. Or coming home at night and not having them curled up on the couch tapping away on their electronic devices. And no bedtime cuddles with their lovely arms wrapped around my neck.
I’m thrilled with the rag-tag life we’ve created together – we muddle along pretty nicely. There’s so much love and mess and laughter.
And then there’s my OTHER life, the one with DD. There’s lots of love and laughter in that one too. And a little more mess than he’d like.
The two worlds cross occasionally, but not all that often.
Even though DD and I have been dating for almost two years, everything feels quite new. We’re still getting to know each other and I’m not in a hurry to introduce family life to that equation.
My ex has a three-week holiday coming up with SSF and her son and my kids. I don’t feel that need to blend my leisure time. I find it mildly curious that he does. The idea of DD and I sneaking moments together – just the two of us – is still too enticing. But, then, I suppose my ex’s relationship isn’t quite as new as mine.
I like my time alone with my kids. I like my time alone with DD.
I think the kids like getting me to themselves too. Though the youngest did say DD might come in handy on our next trip to the dog beach at Mosman, as we need three people to guard the various entrances while someone gambols with the fur babies on the sand. Since the dogs are entirely untrained they can’t be trusted not to do something stupid like run away when they’re off their leads.
She’ll also be stoked when she comes home this afternoon and discovers DD’s put a new handle on the lounge room door. We’d been using a tea towel threaded through the hole for months after it broke.
For a scientist, DD can be quite handy around the house. He’s even crazily offered to build me a back deck. I see a Christmas gift idea coming on …
But back to my fractured life. I’d really rather it not be fractured. Having two grown-ups sharing the hard stuff – and expenses – would be so much easier. I’m a little envious that my ex and SSF will split that load when they move into their apartment together.
That’s not my future. I’ve decided to be the one who stays near the kids’ schools and friends and endless activities.
Then again, I get to escape to the seaside each week and run away from the mess … as evidenced by the grime on all my window sills and skirting boards.
There’s not much running away when you’re married. I feel a little guilty when I complain to the married mums about only getting Sunday, Monday and Wednesday nights to myself, while my ex gets the primo Friday and Saturday slots. They gently remind me that they don’t get any nights, especially the ones whose husbands work 12 hour days.
I am lucky and unlucky at the same time.
It is good. It is bad. It is sometimes ugly.
I love it. And I hate it.
You SO don’t want to be me … but you SO do.
I was in a waking coma for a very, very long time.
Now I’m getting a second chance at life and I’ve realised how precious that is.
Song of the day: Dandy Warhols “Bohemian Like You”