Last night I met my MIL,Sharon, and she took the kids for her moonthly weekend with them. I know some people judge me for this and think it's wrong that I am without my kids one weekend a month, but I don't.
Up untill Emma was 6 months old she had never been away from me for more than the 8 hours I was at work and one night she spent just the hours she was sleeping with my mom. One day Sharon asked me if she would be able to keep Emma for a whole weekend. My first thought was no way can I be without her for that long, but after talking with Dave we decided to give it a try.
Sharon lives about and hour north of us and she works full time which means we don't see her very often. My mom has always lived within 15 minutes of us meaning we see her at least once a week if not more. Growing up we saw my moms family so much more than my dads and I always felt weird around them because of this. I didn't want that for my kids, I wanted them to be close with both sides of their family and Sharon was willing to help make that possible so how could I say no.
That first weekend was so hard, I wanted to cry when we left Emma and really most of that weekend, but I didn't and before I knew it Sunday had arrived and Emma was back home. Sharon had really enjoyed spending the weekend with her. A month later she asked for her again and this time I said yes right away but I knew it would be tough for me. After a few of these weekends Sharon came to us asking this time if we would be comfortable with Emma staying every other weekend. This brought back those inital feelings of how could I be away from her so much but after alot of thought Dave and I agreed to it. Both Emma and Sharon really enjoyed their time together and Dave and I enjoyed having some time for just us.
For the next year every two weeks we would met Sharon every other weekend. When Ian was born Sharon continued to take Emma for a while. I would say Ian was around 3 months old when Sharon took him for the first time leaving Emma with us. It went well so a few weeks later she took both the kids for the weekend. Since then Sharon has taken both the kids one weekend a month.
The kids love their weekends with Sharon who they call Mam maw, Sharon loves the weekends with her grandkids, and Dave and I love our weekends with each other. This however does not mean I don't miss my kids when they are gone but I know they will be back and I know it's important for them to have this time with Sharon. Without it they would only see her on holiday's or family gatherings.
This past year these weekends have become important to me for another reason. When Dave started selling cars he started working weekends and evenings. He has one day during the week off, one other day where he opens so he is at home in the evening, and then he is off every other Sunday. Dave also decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in Computer Forensics so his days off are mainly dedicated to homework and classes. That leaves me at home with the kids by myself most evenings and weekends. The wekends the kids are at Sharons I have the house all to myself from 8am to 6pm every Saturday and if Dave is working that Sunday I have from 12 to 5alone as well. I have found that this alone time is so important to me for many reasons but mainly it keeps me sane and gives me some quit time to get things done or unwind from all the crazyiness of the previous month.
This morning I decided that I would use some of my alone time to go shopping by myself. I was able to look and try on whatever I wanted without screaming or fighting children. I bought myself a couple of new outfits and a pair of shoes for work. Then I came home and had some lunch. Now I am sitting her writting this post without any interuptions from one of the kids and I am watching my Buckeyes play Michigan State and so far they are winning but I learned a long time ago not to count Michigan State out of the game until the clock say 0:00 in the fourth quarter, but thats a story for another day.
I know that Dave and I are very lucky to have Sharon and without her I would not get the alone time I do. I am also very grateful to her for this and I have told her many times how much it means to me that she does this. I also like to think that she gets something out of the time she has with Emma and Ian.