I am going away for work and won’t see my kids for two weeks. Deep breath! Until now the longest I've been away from them is two nights, so this is a big deal. And while it certainly won’t be a holiday, it will be a holiday, of sorts, from the endless domesticity that comes with being a stay-at-home mum, which I am kind of looking forward to.
However, as much as a part of me is relishing the idea of escaping the nappies and mess for a while, a bigger part knows I will miss them terribly.
But I’m sure our break from each other will only serve to make us appreciate each other even more. In fact, I’m already cherishing the little moments, knowing I won’t have them for a while.
So what will I miss the most and what won’t I be sad to let go?
I won’t miss ...
- Nappies. Enough said.
- The endless cleaning up of biscuit crumbs, split yogurt and banana that’s been squashed into the rug.
- The endless washing of clothes that stay clean for five minutes.
- Picking up and putting away toys all day, yet still having the house look like a mess.
- Not being able to leave the house without a drink, snacks, nappy, wipes, hat, sunscreen, dummy and teddy.
- Getting Miss 2 dressed when she’s in a cranky mood.
- Telling Mr 6 50 times each morning to get dressed, clean his teeth and put on his shoes.
- Tying Mr 6’s shoelaces each morning – only to have him chuck a wobbly because they’re not done the way he likes them.
- Taking a ridiculous amount of time to get out the door.
- Getting out the door to realise Mr 6 hasn’t brushed his teeth (for the third day in a row) and we’ve forgotten Miss 2's dummy.
- Packing lunch boxes.
- Always needing to shop for food to put in lunch boxes.
- The mad rush for school each morning.
- The never-ending dash to the shops to buy more milk.
- Going to the toilet with an audience.
- Hearing "I’m hungry", "I’m bored", "She started it!"
- Listening to the same song in the car, over and over and over …
- Nearly causing an accident because I’m fishing for a dropped dummy under the car seat, while Miss 2 screams incessantly for it.
- Watching the same DVD over and over and over ...
- Bath time (when they’re tired and antagonising each other)
- Coaxing Mr 6 to do his reader.
- Constantly having to think about what to make them for dinner.
- Making them dinner, only to have them refuse to eat it and ask for cereal.
- The way Miss 2 wakes and cries for me just as I’m falling into a deep sleep.
- Not sleeping through the night.
- Not having a moment to myself.
- Constant demands.
- Hearing "Mum, Mum, Mum, MUM, MUUUUUMY!" all day long.
What I will miss
- Singing nursery rhymes with Miss 2 while changing her nappy.
- The way Miss 2 says "Dank you much" when I give her something.
- Getting Miss 2 dressed when she’s in a chatty mood.
- Hearing the constant chatter of a two-year-old learning to talk.
- Kissing Mr 6 goodbye each day.
- The way Mr 6 runs and embraces us when we pick him up from school.
- Being proud of Mr 6 when he achieves something at school.
- The way Miss 2 screams with delight when Daddy walks in the door.
- Listening to them sing in the car.
- Bath time (when they’re making each other laugh).
- The way they smell when they’re all clean after a bath.
- Watching them play together and seeing how much they love each other.
- The way Miss 2 makes a contended "mmmm" sound when she nuzzles into me.
- The way Mr 6 squeezes my neck when I kiss him goodnight.
- Watching them sleep and feeling so incredibly thankful.
- Cuddles in our bed every morning.
- The sound of their laughter.
- Their beautiful faces.
- Their endless kisses.
- Hearing them say "Mummy".
Funny how the second list is shorter, but the weight of those things means so much more; how one giggly, joyful moment can cancel out the domestic drudgery it takes to keep those moments coming.
So as much as I’m happy not to tie shoelaces and change nappies for two weeks, I know I'll be counting down the moments until I see them again. Until then we will Skype every day and I will wait for that moment they come running up to me, their sweet little voices shouting, "Mummmmmy!"
Have you been away from your children? What did you miss the most - and the least?