06 June 2011

Home Alone

Last weekend, hubby and I had an evening to ourselves to go out for dinner for my birthday. We dropped the MissyMoos off at my parents' house on Saturday afternoon, where they stayed overnight. After dropping them off, hubby and I felt a little, well, lost. We realised that we had not had no children overnight for over two years, since before MissyMoo2 was born.

Our first stop was a café for some afternoon tea. It was a relief not to have to concentrate on little people but we found we could not relax and were talking about the kids most of the time. Later that afternoon at home I had a shower and although the house contained no little people, I could have sworn I could hear screaming and crying through the sound of the water. During the course of the afternoon, hubby and I slowly began to relax and enjoy our quiet house. At Mass that evening we guiltily enjoyed the fact that the kids making distracting loud noises were not ours.

And then came dinner. Oh, it was soooo good. We went to a local restaurant so there was no long drive. We had a secluded table for two with a water view. We enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal, hubby had a glass of red & I had a mocktail. But by far the best part of it was the things we didn't do. We didn't have to go for a walk to amuse children while we waited for our meal, we didn't have to eat dinner in daylight in winter, cut up food into tiny pieces, or eat our meals cold because we had spent so long organising the meals of others. We didn't have to leave without having dessert because someone was getting restless and ended the evening crying after banging her head whilst crawling under the table...

We had wanted to make the most of the night out and had had plenty of ideas of where to go after dinner. But in the end, full tummies and tiredness led us back home at 9pm! I guess parenthood changes you for good, even if your kids aren't actually physically present!

Hubby and I really enjoyed our night off, however we both remarked that the most overwhelming feeling of all was guilt. Every time we found some pleasure in an aspect of time without the children, the counter-weight of guilt at feeling that way surfaced immediately and would not be shaken off.

I love my kids and I did miss them terribly by the time my generous parents brought them back the next day. I tell you what though, I'll suffer the guilt for a night off every now and then ... once every couple of years anyway.

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