Husbandface is a teacher and as such every 6 weeks or so we know that we will get at least a week, possibly two, once a year six, to hang out as a family. It’s one of the upshots to his crazy full pelt demanding job that uses up so much of his energy. It’s awesome for the boys to get much more time with their Dad and it’s brilliant to share the ups and downs of parenting (and you know I get to see his lovely face more which isn’t too bad either…). It always takes a few days to adjust though, which means half term should come with a bit of a health warning as I have to adjust expectations and remember husbandface needs time and space as well in this week.
In my head I plan perfect days, failing to remember that we have a toddler with a cold who doesn’t sleep right now, and a baby with a cold who also doesn’t rate sleep so much. Half term isn’t a break from all of that, it’s beautiful because we are well and truly in it together for a week, not because we have the perfect week of joyful non stressful experiences.
I also have to remember not to make life about a competition to see who is getting the most sleep, who has had the most time off the boys, who needs more rest etc. It’s incredibly difficult to remember to act with grace towards each other and not just demand our ‘right’ to rest and have down time. We’re called to love sacrificially and so I have to scrub out the charts in my head as to who has had what time away from the boys recently. I want to love well, I want to be generous even when I don’t get what I want in return. It’s the crazy love God has demonstrated to us and wants us to walk in. I want to trust that God has my rest in hand, that rest comes from gazing deep at him, not just in time without the tiny people.
In the midst of all those kind of thoughts, of my responsibility in this whole loving each other in the relentlessness of life right now thing, I’m glad that I have a sacrificial husband who loves me and the boys very well and also seeks to give me time to rest from them. Brilliantly, one Saturday a month that’s made very easy by a new Dad’s and toddler group he’s helped set up just down the road from us. That’s why I’m to be found still in my pj’s, sitting uninterrupted on our sofa, laptop open, typing away with a hot cup of tea in my belly and listening to music that doesn’t have any connection to small people.
We planned lots for this half term and we’ve done some of it. I haven’t been the perfect wife and mother I want to be in these times. I’ve been despairing, tired and weary. Shouting Wednesday made a brief appearance again and most of our attempts to have some quality us time have been thwarted by the sleep hating small people. Despite all that I sit here glad of the time, glad to see the patience of husbandface with our boundary pushing bad choice making delightfully weird toddler. I’m glad of the development of the small ones and I’m glad there are only another 5 weeks until the Easter Holidays and we get to work out all this again.