I am currently spending some time away from my family working on coursework for my graduate degree. I’m staying with friends while my children are enjoying quality time with dad and their grandmas. The time I am away is significant enough that I am able to catch up on sleep, work on tasks I haven’t been able to fit in, and enjoy a tiny bit of leisure reading. However, as any parent would agree, there really isn’t such a thing as total time away.
I have gotten good at letting things go a bit and allowing my husband to be in charge. Realizing that I am hundreds of miles away, I have decided not to micro-manage what is happening at home. As I’ve said before, I am a bit controlling, and I have to mentally make a decision that I will not try to run things from afar. James is an exceptional dad, which makes the decision easy. Even though I relinquish my crown, as I imagine it, I am still constantly thinking about the kids and receiving calls on their behalf.
Yesterday, during my first class of summer quarter, I received a call from Eddie’s dentist and another from his pharmacy. During my breaks, I was quickly returning those calls. This required me to order prescriptions, dig up doctor information from my memory, and go over dental symptoms that I have not witnessed for a couple of days.
As you can see, I really can’t just get away. I can’t slip into college life and leave my parenting behind. Luckily, I would never hope or intend to do such a thing. I feel sort of grateful that I am still needed and relied upon even if I can’t be physically with my children.
As I move forward in my classes, trying to be fully engaged in “student” mode, I am just going to be grateful for the extra sleep. If I have to return multiple calls and tend to other miscellaneous tasks in between assignments, I am happy to do it. My reward at the end of the day will be a night of uninterrupted sleep and unexpected phone calls from the kids. Nothing sounds better after a day of hard work then, “I miss you, Mommy.”