A Mom's Game of Tug of War

I could not fathom how I got to a place where peeing while my son chewed gum with the neighbor was a great pleasure....
08/07/2013 01:44pm ET | Updated October 7, 2013
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Heading into week number three of the boys being away at camp, I decided to reflect a bit on the last two weeks sans kids. I will admit: It has been nice. Really nice. Sometimes, a little too quiet and others, a bit too much time with just Henry and me, but overall REALLY NICE. Do they have to come back?

I am just kidding. Sort of.

I mean those kids are such a time suck. I must have an extra 24 hours a day to do what I want when they are not here.

My neighbors just had their second baby. I look at them from afar and remind myself that was me not too long ago. Walking around like a zombie wondering when I would actually get to take a shower longer than 10 seconds minus a screaming baby on the other side of the curtain. I remember my best 20 minutes as the proud mom of two sons was when my fabulous neighbor, Carolyn, took Jackson off my hands and let him chew gum and play with her cool Jeep. I don't even know what I did. Probably peed in peace.

When I was back in that stage of my life, I used to laugh about my college years. Geez, we thought we were sooooo BUSY. Busy planning what time we were going out and what time we should start getting ready to go out. It was all a big game of micromanaging our time in order to get our work done to go out. I could not fathom how I got to a place where peeing while my son chewed gum with the neighbor was a great pleasure....and, yet there I was.

These days, I often find myself still peeing with the door open out of habit, or perhaps fear that I will not be able to answer the calls for 'mom' fast enough. You know -- MOM and 911 -- we are both judged on our response time. No need to do kegels when you have to stop your urine mid-flow in order to hear what your 3-year-old needs. My pelvic floor is probably my strongest muscle (and I am in good shape).

Either way, the last few weeks have been so nice and now I fear going back to life as I know it. My boys can fend for themselves, mostly. I really don't need to stop peeing to hear them, and for the most part, I am a glorified driver. I drive to school and activities and Bar Mitzvah lessons while cooking up a mean chili in the crock pot. I bring fevers down and put on wart medicine better than anyone. I also calm nerves over a math test and soothe tempers after a lost sporting event. I have had to do none of this over the last few weeks. I am concerned that I will not remember what to do when they get back. That is a scary thought.

It has been a selfish couple of weeks. No game of Tug of War between being a mom and everything else I have to do. While writing, working out, seeing friends who I have not seen in a long time, laughing with my mom, texting with Debbie about shoes, doing things without locking the door (other than peeing), and outlining creative ventures for 2014, the last 14 days have actually been better than pretty nice. They have been awesome...

BUT, when I look out my window at dusk and see my neighbors with their Bjorn and their stroller getting their little ones some fresh air in hope for a good night's sleep, I miss my babies.

As incredibly awesome as the last 14 and I am sure the coming seven days were and are, I am counting the minutes until I can add MOM back to my list of things to do.