If you are a SAHM, or any mom really, who lives far from family, you don't want to read this. I'M JUST SAYING.
We went to visit Phillip's mom today. His dad is visiting other family and his mom is home alone and because they drive up EVERY MONDAY and TAKE US OUT TO DINNER, we figured the least we could do was drive to HER. So we did. The kids and I showed up at ten and then...
Yeah. The kids disappeared into The Toys At Nai Nai's House and Nai Nai was playing with them and/or cooking dinner (there is always much cooking when Phillip is coming for dinner) and I never know what to do with myself. I bring a book, I bring my computer, I bring "work". I sat at the kitchen island entering receipts into my budget spreadsheet and paying a few bills. I caught up on Twitter. I read a few blog posts. I thought about doing Actual Writing and then decided it against it. I drummed my fingers on the counter.
Phillip's parents own the most glorious couch in the world and I could seriously burrow into it and stay there an entire day. And lots of times I do - with a book or a computer or the newspaper or a TV show. But it LOOKS bad, you know. To be so IDLE, especially at your MIL's house.
But the thing is, my in-laws are ALL ABOUT me being idle. It's a bizarre world over there, I'm telling you. I never do the dishes. I never help cook. I hardly ever pay attention to the kids. It's not like I don't TRY to help out or OFFER to be useful, but I'm never taken up on it. Sometimes I wonder if it's because they secretly think that letting me into the kitchen means dinner will be ruined, but when I DO get an explanation it's along the lines of, "No no no, you RELAX."
So today I took myself to the movies. I LOVE going to the movies and I totally do not mind going by myself, especially when it's the middle of a weekday and the theater has maybe four people in it and the movie is excellent. ('The Fighter'. Highly recommend.)
I had an awesome time hanging out with just me, but not without a large serving of guilt. I mean, it's not like I don't OFTEN have time to myself. Family and friends abound. Sure my husband is crazy busy, but seriously. I have as much free time as I ask for. AM SPOILED.
But never as spoiled as when I come back from a movie, in the middle of the day, while someone is watching and feeding my children for free, and that exact person blows off my apologies re: three-hour disappearance with a quick, "This is your DAY OFF."
A NORMAL person would do a happy dance while counting her lucky stars and plastering her in-laws with sloppy kisses, but I am writing a GUILTY BLOG POST. I am so guilty I couldn't even tell my MIL where I WAS all afternoon. She thinks I was running ERRANDS. And she probably wouldn't even CARE if I was out seeing a movie. AND SHE KNOWS I HAVE A BLOG AND EXACTLY WHERE TO FIND IT.
I love love love my family, if that isn't totally obvious from everything I've ever written. But Phillip's family is still this crazy new experience, even if I've known them for nearly ten years. My family is huge and loud, theirs is small and quiet. In my family I'm the oldest and often organizing or planning or arranging, but in Phillip's family I'm the youngest and no one expects me to be or do anything. It's like I am SUPPOSED to be lazy. I thought this would be hard. I AM an oldest child and I am most DECIDEDLY an anal-retentive control freak. But for some reason, Phillip's family feels like a break from all that. This was always most obvious when I was doing really bad on the anxiety front. For whatever reason, sinking into that couch in my in-laws' family room was like magic medicine. I could actually NAP on that thing. And anxious people are incapable of naps!
Anyway. I am really really lucky. I know this. I try not to take it for granted. When people talk about how crazy Phillip's schedule is and how crazy mine is as a result, I always mention the fact that we have two sets of super involved grandparents and THANK GOD. There's just no way we can do this without them. I don't know how other people DO.
When I came home from my movie, the kids were upstairs and Nai Nai was with them. I took myself and my book to my favorite couch, and ten minutes later I was asleep. I heard my MIL come downstairs a few times to poke around in the kitchen, but she left me alone. And when I finally got up and tried to act like I was paying attention to my own children, she said, "Everything's FINE, go sit DOWN, it's your day OFF."
So! Don't mind if I do!