I feel like a fraud. 

My house is clean. No toys on the floor. All the beds freshly made. Pillows perfectly placed on the couch. My house is silent. No cartoons blasting. No shouting for me to wipe a butt. No whining, wrestling, screaming, or crying. Just my selection of music and whatever show I feel like. I slept til 9:30 this morning. And yesterday, well I took a two-and-a-half-hour nap on the couch under the warmest blanket. Soon, I will go upstairs and take a long, leisurely shower. I am able to go to the bathroom alone. No interruptions. No demands for a snack. No tattling on a brother.

I finished the second season of The Crown in days rather than months. I get to Netflix and chill. Binge watching whatever season of TV I want to. I get to eat whenever I want to. I get to go to Target alone. Regularly. When I go shopping, I go to the mall or multiple stores in an afternoon. I have the ability to take my time. No rushing. No place to be. I am able to explore my city. Try new restaurants, bars, and breweries. If I over indulge on wine, no big deal. I will just sleep it off the next day. My weekend purse is small and cute. No extra snacks, drinks, or underwear (just in case). 

While every other mom is just trying to survive winter break without offing a child or two, I am living the life every mom dreams of. Twelve hours of solid sleep. A hot bath. A clean house. No laundry waiting. Time to themselves. To rediscover. To recharge. To rest. 

I survived winter break without. Without my children. Without their little voices. Without their hugs, kisses, and smiles. 

I will admit when my sons go off with their dad, I am ready. Ready for a break. To rediscover. To recharge. To rest. However, that is very short-lived. Today I am on day six of 10 without them. Today I am ready for them to come home. I am so ready to hold them. Kiss them. Love them. My arms ache to be around them. Literally, my arms feel heavy. I long to hear their voices. More than technology allows. I want their laughter. I want their tears. I want everything about them. I would rather a messy house, dirty dishes, piles of laundry, and unwashed hair if it meant more days with them. I would shell out hundreds of dollars for a babysitter for that recharge time, if it meant that at the end of the night I walked through the door to them. Rather than days upon days of being apart. 

I sleep alone in a king size bed. One I purposefully bought so there is plenty of room for the three of us when they slip in at night. Tonight, I will go to bed alone. With more room than I can handle.

Why do I feel like a fraud? 

Because sometimes I feel like I don’t belong in the mommy club. I get to do the things other moms yearn for. Sleep. Shower. Shop. Eat a hot meal. Be alone. The things viral memes are made of. Some women can’t remember the last time they did activities that I did yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I feel like a fraud and a traitor. A traitor to moms everywhere because I am able to do what they wish they could do. I don’t want to tell anyone what I do on my free weekends because I feel like I am throwing it back in their face. Almost like I am bragging. However, those closest to me know I struggle. I wave the white flag. Begging someone, anyone to help me get though. 

It has taken me two years to get to a place where I am able to be somewhat comfortable on my own. I no longer have to take a sleep aid to sleep all night. I can lay on the couch bingeing on a show without jumping out of my own skin. The thundering sound of silence no longer deafens me after a few hours. Yet today, day six, it is pounding in my ears. The need to escape is closing in on me. Escape the reality of my life. A life where I feel like a fraud as a mother. 

I am always thinking of them. My T & G. What are they doing? How are they feeling? What are they eating for lunch? Do they miss me? Are they thinking of me? Did they get hurt? How long was their nap? Did they poop today? Are they laughing? Crying? Smiling? Playing? Dreaming? Do they know I am missing them? Do they feel my love even when we are apart? Or do they feel like mom would rather live a life without them? One where she can sleep, eat, and be. Or do they know that I would give anything to have them home every night? I would give up everything, if it meant one less hour without them. 

Although these feelings creep inside of me, I know that the love I have for my sons is true. As their mother. I am their mother. I am their safe place. I am their rock. I am their champion. Even when we are apart.

And they are my heart. My loves. My purpose. My lovely. 

Even when we are apart. 

Katie Weber

A momma of 2 young boys whose days are filled with wrestling, running, and noise. A Nebraska native with a love of coffee, the Lord, music, a good romance novel, movies, and dessert. Just trying to figure out single motherhood, to navigate divorce and co-parenting, to live and thrive with depression and anxiety, all the while finding the lovely in this life. Follow along for more at Lovely in the Dark.