Okay y’all…I know I am spoiled rotten! I am truly blessed to have my in-laws around to help take care of Eden…well and basically everything. Sometimes I’m even embarrassed at how much they do for us, especially in our culture of independence. I honestly don’t think God intended for families to go their own separate ways as they do in American culture. I am very thankful I have a wonderful relationship with my in-laws, because I know that’s not always the case. But more than anything, I am so thankful Eden has them to love on her, teach her values, and to make unforgettable memories together.
So Miss Eden Grace did not stay they night with them or anyone else until she was 26 months old. I had horrible postpartum anxiety (though I didn’t realize it for many months after she was born) and I nursed her until she was almost two. I didn’t want to leave her with anyone…ever. But Chad and I were planning to attend a farm conference out of state and Eden couldn’t come so on Thanksgiving 2017 I let Eden stay the night with my in-laws for the first time…and the rest is history! No but really…she has stayed almost every weekend with them sine then! I have a mix of mom guilt, gratitude, and liberation. During the week I pretty much take care of Eden all by myself, so it’s such a blessing to have the weekend to be alone and get refreshed…and actually get things done.
I don’t know if any other moms are like this, but when Eden isn’t home I get some kind of extraterrestrial burst of energy. I am like the energizer bunny on steroids! (She rode in the tractor for two hours yesterday and I went crazy working in the yard!) On Friday evenings Chad and I normally get things ready for farmer’s market, eat dinner, and sometimes watch a show, and then go to bed early. (We have a secret: Eden still sleep in our bed…shhhhhh…don’t tell anyone…but it’s nice to have the bed to ourselves on the weekends…our backs definitely hurt less when we wake up). On Saturday Chad leaves the farm at 6:15am to get to farmer’s market and my father-in-law helps me do all the morning chores. It takes two people to do our chores since we move the chicken houses every morning. After chores, I normally clean house, pay bills, and fold and put away all the laundry that piled up on my kitchen table during the week (that’s when I turn into the energizer bunny!). This morning my father-in-law and I mowed the yard too. It also takes two people to mow our yard. One person mows and the other moves vehicles, tractors, and Chad’s large collection of pallets laying around the yard (insert eye-roll here).
When Chad gets home from farmers market he’s normally pretty exhausted so we do evening chores and then we try to make Saturday evenings our time of rest. We got obsessed with reading and watching Outlander so we got the shows on DVDs and watched three seasons over the summer!
Eden always has a great time with her Nana and Aunt B over the weekend. They go visit her great grandparents in the next town, go to the park, and on Sunday she goes to church with Nana (on the Sundays I go to church I pick her up and bring her to church with me).
I know my in-laws don’t mind keeping her most weekends, and I know Eden LOVES every moment of it. However, I feel guilty. I know there are so many moms out there who don’t get a break. I know my mother-in-law is tired from working all week (though I’ve asked her to make sure to let me know if she wants me to keep her). I don’t take it for granted that I get the weekend to myself, and that Chad and I can get some alone time together.
When I loaded her up in my father-in-law’s Tahoe yesterday evening I was trying hard to fight back the tears. I asked her if she was sure she wanted to go. It’s not always easy to send her away for the weekend. I miss her snuggles and wildness, but I know the break makes me a better mom…and at least my house is clean for a few hours! I know I need to relinquish the mom guilt and simply have a grateful heart for her Nana and Papa and my time of rest…or productivity! 😉