Real Life. Real News. Real Voices.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.
Join HuffPost Plus

What I Do When My Kids Aren't Around

Last weekend my boys were with their dad. It wasn't like it was a surprise. It happens every other weekend. But I'm struggling with it much more than I thought I would.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.


By Jessica Hendrickson, Writer with

Last weekend my boys were with their dad. It wasn't like it was a surprise. It happens every other weekend. But I'm struggling with it much more than I thought I would. I sat on my girlfriend's couch Friday night, woefully lamenting how difficult it was for me and how I wanted to call them every few minutes.

The next day I sent her this text:


"Write a blog"

Ok, Nicole. Here's my blog:

I don't like weekends without my boys.

I miss them.


I don't know what to do with myself.

So I do a lot of pacing.

............A lot of clock-watching.

....................A lot of cleaning.

..............................Some grocery shopping.

.......................................Some Facebook stalking browsing.

...............................................Some more pacing.

See, I'm used to being constantly occupied with my kids. They're 2 ½ and 5 years old. They require a lot of attention. So when I have free time on my hands, I literally DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I mean, the concept of "free-time" is cool, right? I can do anything!! I can sleep in! Stay up late! Take a nap! Read a book! ANYTHING! But the reality is far less attractive. I don't sleep in, stay up late, nap, or read a book. The hours drag. I look forward to going to sleep just so the day can end.

Being an introvert - yes, I'm a total introvert - people who don't know me well swear I'm an extrovert, but I'm not. I'm just a social introvert. A topic for another blog. Maybe my next free weekend. But I digress. Being an introvert, ALONE TIME is a cherished thing. A necessity. Something we need to recharge and reconnect with ourselves. My fellow introverts, I know you feel me on this. So when I first realized I would get precious ALONE TIME every other weekend, it was a little exciting. But when my first ALONE weekend came, it wasn't as glorious as I was hoping. In fact, it wasn't glorious at all.

It was lonely.

And quiet.

And sad.

And really quiet.

But...but...I'm an introvert! I LIKE quiet. I LONG for quiet. I NEED quiet. So, what the heck?! Why was I having such a hard time with something that should be a wonderful treat to me?

This is why.

For over five years, the crazy, hectic, LOUD existence has become my norm. Waking up to little voices yelling, "Mommyyyy" at 5:47am was normal. Chasing after two crazy humans, picking up Legos and matchbox cars along the way, scooping up babies, holding hands, wiping butts, breaking up fights, two children hanging on me at once, pulling on me, following me everywhere - -that was my normal. Starting at 5:47 in the morning, I never sat down. There was no down time, no breaks.

But what about my treasured alone time?

Here's the thing. You see, my boys are a part of me. They are me. When I need to escape from people, from the public, from society, I still need them.

I need them.

Being apart from them hurts my heart more than I ever imagined it could. People say I'll get used to it. Maybe I will. Who knows, maybe I will sleep in one of those weekends, read a book, and take a nap. But not yet. The quiet still screams at me incessantly, reminding me of their absence. The empty couch is not yet inviting. My books are untouched as I watch the minute hand of the motion...the echo reverberating through my silent rooms.

MORE IN Divorce