I’m sitting alone in a quiet house.
My leftover Lasagna is still hot at the time I’m eating it, I just chopped up a basket load of vegetables for our slow cooked Chicken Cacciatore tonight whilst listening to a podcast. This morning I went out for coffee with some Kinder mums and I didn’t have to leave my chair once or cut a sentence short to deal with an altercation. There were no kids yelling at me from the back seat to turn up the music and I’m blogging at home in the middle of the day.
Today is my first experience of family daycare. A magical arrangement by which someone else does all the work in looking after my children and I pay a (ridiculously small) fee for her to do so. The government will even pay a significant percentage of that fee for me. What kind of amazing deal is this!?
Of course, it wasn’t quite that easy. Ivy looked at me with such a haunting face, hysterical when she realised that I was leaving her and it pierced my already guilty heart. My Ego was in full force as I drove away, berating me for hand-balling off my children, asking me if the freedom was worth breaking their hearts, zooming in on the heartache and cutting off the peripheral realities.
Hanging out with other mums who ‘got’ this was so healing for me this morning. If I hadn’t had the coffee date scheduled I probably would have been crying in the car or watching my phone ‘just in case’. Ashleigh in particular was incredible, supportive and so understanding of the internal battle that comes with being a mum and learning to let go.
It is no secret that as a Type One in the Enneagram, it is hard for me to let go. Yet reading over the description again, this tip caught my eye: “Learn to relax. Take some time for yourself, without feeling that everything is up to you or that what you do not accomplish will result in chaos and disaster. Mercifully, the salvation of the world does not depend on you alone, even though you may sometimes feel it does.”
I love that there are so many layers of understanding in this framework for understanding personality and that each time I revisit the Enneagram – both for reconciling my own idiosyncrasies and the characters of those around me – I learn so much. I harp on about this so much, but if you haven’t already discovered your ‘type’ you can do the free test here.
As much as I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this parenting thing and not need a regular break or help from others, there is really nothing to be gained in stumbling over the ‘finish line’ (whatever that might be), dragging limping kids behind me. I need the ‘village’ and there is nothing shameful about that.
Well, I’m off. There are nails to be painted, yoga to practice, a novel to write… and an eerily quiet house in which to do it!