Time on my hands

The boys go back to school today.

I kept them home for the entire week. I may have needed them more than they needed to stay home. David had become an abstract concept for them. While there is no doubt in my mind that they loved their baby brother – 5 months is a long time to be without. Longer than the time they had with him.

I’m sure they’ll do fine, they’ve enjoyed their ‘free’ time as it were, but they’re ready to get back into the routine of school and friends and homework.

Me, on the other hand, I’m not so sure. When I left here with David in mid-August, I was used to the ‘big’ boys going to school and doing stuff on their own. Zachary though, was still in diapers, needed help getting dressed and still sat in his high chair. Zachary is now potty-trained, dresses himself and goes to Preschool three mornings a week.


What do I do with all this time on my hands? I’ve finally reached that point, albeit abruptly, that all of us stay-at-home moms look forward to – all the kiddos in school, no more diapers, a chance to catch your breath and do whatever it is you do when all your kids are finally in school. Guaranteed, uninterrupted ‘me’ time.

Except the ‘me’ is barely making it through the day with everyone around – how do I function when there’s no one there who needs me?

Oh, I know, there’s a million chores to be done and I’m sure I can find some sort of busy work to keep my hands, if not my mind, occupied. But the real question is:

How do I make that transition from 4 children to 3?

Aw, you know what I mean – yes, I have 2 older kids – but they’re technically adults and don’t even live in the same state. I’m talking the wee lads here. How did I leave here one sunny August day with 2 elementary school kids, a toddler and a babe only to return on a cold winter’s day with 2 elementary school kids and a Preschooler?

As I mourn the loss of my babe, I also mourn the growing up of my toddler.

All these years I’ve grumbled my way through sewing projects and chores and books and movies and walks and phone conversations because there’s always a child that’s interrupting, there’s always some wee lad that needs something from me just as I sit down or start some project.

We never miss what we have until it’s gone – isn’t that the saying? And no, I don’t mean to state the obvious – of course I miss David, that’s not what I’m trying to say – I’m trying to say that in addition to missing my Capt Snuggles, I also miss being needed.

That 24/7, I can’t do anything for myself type of need that only a baby or a toddler can provide. One of the Surgeon’s had called me a “perpetual caregiver” and he was right, having very young children makes it so. Having very young children with special needs, makes it doubly so.


Life goes on, it’s just a very different life.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Time on my hands

  1. Jolie

    I understand, albeit to a much lesser degree because I have not been through nearly what you have. I’ve considered getting a puppy to tend to. However, I work from home, so my time while the wee ones are at school is definitely busy between work that pays $, and the work that us Moms do that pays in hugs. I enjoy shopping when the grocery stores are not at capacity, in fact I can hardly walk into Walmart on the weekends as it is overload. Being able to walk without keeping an eye on a toddler is a treat you’ll soon learn to love. You will find what to do with yourself, just enjoy what it is that makes you smile. *hugs*

  2. Reading this post is a reminder that you have multiple huge things to adjust to all at the same time.
    I wish I had words of wisdom to offer you. All I can do is send you love and hugs.


  3. Jean

    You are very much needed. (It is just in a different way now.)
    Like Jolie said, I enjoy getting errands done while the stores are less crowded and no one needs to be loaded & unloaded from car seats. It also helps to be out of the house. If you are at home during preschool time, maybe leaving the TV on for noise or playing some music will help.

  4. Patty

    I tried to respond to your post on Sat. but my phone wasn’t cooperating. I was hoping that your epiphany meant that you were going to go back to your painting and after reading today’s post, it seems like your painting is calling you even more! I’ve been curious since your first post about your painting of what style of painting you do? There are so many of us that have been touched by your writing and we are grateful that you have allowed us to by a part of your journey through the hope and through the tears.

    After reading your post today, I can only think that your boys and your hubby have been forced to deal with life without you for the past five months. I would imagine that it won’t be long before they realize that mom is back and will start to depend on you again and you will feel needed once again. Whether you feel it or not, you are needed – you just need to find that niche once again. Time to go buy some new paintbrushes for that alone time.
    Praying for you!

  5. Thinking of you this evening and praying you find joy in small unexpected things.

  6. I think I would probably sleep with all that alone time, but that’s probably not what’s best. Still, sweet escape. I pray your heart can be filled.

  7. sharon

    Big empty space this week for sure with the boys all back to school. I think doing your busy work ie shopping and cleaning while the boys are out is a good idea, that way you can give them your undivided attention after school which will be good for all of you. Buying some new brushes, and maybe paints if necessary, would be good for your soul, especially if you then use them to release some of the emotions swirling around in your head and heart.


  8. Amy,

    Give yourself permission to do nothing. I always find in my life where I feel like I’m doing nothing that I wind up coming up with my best ideas. I can’t relate to what you’re going through. No way, no how, because my experiences are different.

    But, I can give you an example in my life where I was grieving many miscarriages and what I did. I put all my energy into my daughter. I thought, I could sit here and be depressed and have it affect her childhood, or I can put all of this energy into her. I started picking up French again and teaching her a second language. It was something I always wanted to learn, and I thought something we could do together that we now had the time for.

    Set up an easel. Even if you sit in front of a blank one for days until you put some color up. Somehow find some inspiration in what feels so empty. You can do this. I’m thinking of you often. You’re a smart, talented, caring woman. You have great things ahead of you.


  9. This post makes me just want to cry and cry, Amy. I am so sorry your hands are not busier and I am so sorry you are walking this road again. I cannot wrap my brain around the unfairness of it all.
    Wishing you a few moments of peace and sending you a million hugs.

  10. Pingback: My Clingy Minion | transplanted thoughts

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