I rolled over and woke to my husbands groggy face smashed up on the pillow next to mine. “Whats the time” I ask, and he rolls over to check the time. “8:30” he mumbles.
I hop out of bed with very minimal spring in my step and walk down the bright green hallway to the kitchen, past the strings that line the wall that display paintings, drawings and scribbles my kids and their friends have done for us. (Not a single picture makes any sense.)
I turn the kettle on and trott quickly back down the hallway to the toilet to do my first pee for the day. It’s quiet, eerily so, there is not a single scream nor a single question, there are no muffled cries from other rooms.
I get out my ole faithful white cup with the “for fox’s sakes” words on the side, and a batman cup for my husband, naturally.
I carefully carry the finished coffees back to bed, where my husband groggily gets into coffee in bed drinking position. I am scrolling my news feed on Facebook, with a coffee in my hand.
Quiet. No nagging children, nothing.
No one wants anything from me. I am filled with a warm smugness that reminds me, all three kids are at sleep overs and I won’t have them all day long.
I sigh….a sigh of relief because this means that today when I get dressed I’ll do so at my own pace, I’ll hop in the car without a single “Please just sit down and put your seatbelt on” remark.
It means I’ll go to my specialist appointment and sit in the waiting room with other families…. alone. In silence.
It means I’ll coffee and lunch with my friends later in public in a cafe with other people without observing any crying or yelling from spawn that I have to quiet down or bribe with snacks.
It means …. I can thoughtfully seek out and buy those high waisted old lady undies I’ve been dying to try out, but have been unable to do so for fear of making the wrong selection with small kids in tow.
I roll out of bed and into my sneakers, (Maybe not as easy as that) I squeeze my bad boys into my two oldest sports bras and tell husband to put on 15 minutes of music. I get out my skipping rope outside in the cold and start my day one of skipping for fitness, I tell myself I’ll do this every day. You know, for fitness, but my heart tells me I won’t because life.
15 minutes later I realise…. I am terribly unfit. And them boobies are just too big for skipping.
Later in my specialist appointment she asks “Are you sure that this is something you want?”
“YES, it absolutely is” I reply, probably a little too eagerly,
I sign the ‘approval for sterilisation form’ as fast as I can, fearing she will say “Wait, you’re only 31, what if you want more kids??”
And thats it, I am booked in to have a Laparoscopy and Tubal Ligation. Just.Like.That, I will be unable to have any more kids, unless you know I am that 1 in 200 that it fails then buckle up Shaun, the 4th is on its way.
I join my friends for a coffee at the shopping centre near by, where we discuss the mental health of the world, we decide that we are all actually a little bit fucked up but it’s okay because humans aren’t supposed to live our lives with such pressure.
We laugh, we console and I realise that I have surrounded myself with the very best selection of people for myself.
And for a moment there, I remember who I am.
My friend and I eagerly walk to Kmart, oohing and ahhing over the delightfulness that is Kmart.
I buy myself a new bag, not a trendy one shoulder strap kind but a small back pack, because when you have kids, you have to lug around too many water bottles, snacks and changes of clothes for ‘those days that the kids don’t all want to share a single drink bottle because the biggest boy one doesn’t want to share because there is always floaties, or for the day you can’t afford to eat out but have got to leave the house before someone dies and for the days when that one kid always pisses in their pants for fun’.
I buy the fuck out of those those undies I dreamed about, the high waisted ones with added support and I find myself strangely more excited about them than I am about the new bag and I rub them on my face later because they are too soft for words.
I buy a bird feeder, to plant succulents in because I’m fancy like that and a Star wars book for the kids (because I can’t help myself because my kids are too spoilt).
Hours pass, and I bask in the humanness I experienced on this truely magical day.
I pull up out the front of my very generous friends house, I fight the need to hop out immediately because I miss their damn faces so much, so I sit, for a moment.
I mentally prepare myself to go back to the reality that is, motherhood, the constant smell of piss, crying, screaming, nagging, chest pain, and probably some poo.
I head in faster than I told myself I was going to because I missed them more than I could ever miss another human, I appreciated my day of freedom but never as much as I miss those kids.
My children are playing outside, and my daughter of course smells like piss. My friend and I chat and laugh about the absurdities of life and the insane bargains of Kmart, in-between being interrupted by children…. I get half assed kiss from them.
I bribe them from the back yard and into the car with the Star wars book, realising my daughter has run down the busy street after some paper, I can’t see her and I see the crush of her head under the tyres of the car and me falling to my knees because my world has ended.
Oh nope, its okay, she’s only just past the fence and not near the road, false alarm everyone.
I drop the new bag showing my friend and break my bird feeder….. she says “maybe you could just take it back and say it was like that?” and we laugh.
In the car there is crying because the boy one doesn’t want to share the Star Wars book. “What do you want then?”
“I want my own toy” he sobs
“Okay what do you want?”
“I want a car”
“Okay well I’ll get you a car”
He stops sobbing immediately.
I realise he has me exactly where he wants me. I am a slave to these children, I do what they want and when they want it. I am exactly who they need me to be. And I am good enough.
Except for this whole day today, I was exactly who I wanted to be, I was a late riser, I was a patient in a waiting room that got to scroll her phone, read magazines and people watch.
I got to be a listener, and actually just listen and talk with my friends about important topics. I got to shop, for myself.
I got to eat food without sharing a single bite.
I got to be me for a day.
So let this be a reminder to you all, to those of you that don’t have kids.
Every night is date night when you don’t have kids.