My three children are gone this week, and I have lots of time to myself. It is a welcome relief. Depression has made caring for them every day feel like an overwhelming task. I used to feel proud of how I parent -- I am generally resourceful and energetic as a mom. But in the last months, it is an accomplishment if I can stay off the couch and play with them. I've had a lot of days when I hope, hope, HOPE they will just play on their own and leave me alone.
But when I'm alone, I'm sad. I mull over the state of our lives, the situation at our church, my loneliness. I have found it very difficult to make friends here, in large part because I do not feel safe at our church.
I realize that caring for my children is a buffer against all this weighty thoughtfulness, and I know it will be good when they come home and I am busy again. But I also (argh! so shameful!) do not miss them. I love them. I think of them. I am glad they are enjoying a visit with their grandparents. And I would not mind if they were invited to stay another week.
I never imagined I would be like this.