The summer is finally over. That means the children are tucked back in their beds upstairs with their blankies and their things surrounding them. I can tip toe into their rooms and check on them while they are sleeping and wake to the sound of them giggling and sometimes fighting. And for the time being it makes me smile.
Summer is a difficult time for divorced parents. We give up our children for large blocks of time to the other parent and make do with silence and stilted phone calls and sometimes no phone calls at all. We wander aimlessly about, not sure what to do with ourselves. And, we miss them.
But, summer is also a time to recharge. The summer solstice, when you are all alone with no responsibilities to entertain, cook, set up play dates, drive to camp or kiss the boo boo’s away from a fall on the bike. You don’t have to schlep to the pool or wonder what you are going to do for another day with no school. This is what parents who send their kids to camp over the summer must feel like.
For some it is a sigh of relief to have the free time, while others spend their time twiddling their thumbs and worrying. For me, it is a time to buckle down and work. It is a time to get things done. It is a time to take care of me. Is that selfish? I don’t think so.
You see if you don’t take care of yourself, who will take care of you? You are no good to your kids if you aren’t good to yourself. Instead of being sad and lonely while the kids are away, use the time wisely and do those things you can’t do when your kids are with you. See the movies you want to see and eat dinner at 9 pm. Have a glass of wine and a bubble bath without a knock on the bathroom door. Go for a run or take a yoga class. Work until all hours. This is your time.
As precious as your time is when you have your children, the time away is just as precious. Enjoy them both. Take advantage of them both. And, count yourself lucky that you get to have both.