I should preface what follows by saying that I have always wanted to be a mom, and a stay-at-home mom at that. I love being with my two children and am thankful for my son’s summer break from school, allowing us more time together during the day. That being said, I also have to say that I love what my husband and I have started calling our “victory time”.
Right now, my victory time finds me on our back porch swing, feeling a soft, warm breeze, smelling a neighbor’s barbecue, and hearing nothing but the wind, a few birds, and some distant cars. In this moment, there is no whining, no bickering, no crying, no singing of “Yankee Doodle” or any other song, no talking. I am most definitely an introvert, and I crave a certain amount of silence. By the kids’ bedtime, I catch myself just saying “shhhhhh”, no matter how loudly or softly they are speaking. I feel badly because a lot of the times I just want to let them talk and bustle and jump and babble…but sometimes I feel as though I literally can’t process all of it. I am working and praying to find the balance in a loving way.
Back to “victory time”. By the time the kids go to sleep, I know that if my husband and I put our heads down anywhere remotely comfortable, we could easily go to sleep for the night, too. But if we did, there would be no victory time! Instead, he heads to the gym or for a run, and I read, write, or have a lovely, uninterrupted dessert. We watch movies or funny shows. We talk and stay up later than we ought to, but all the while, we feel triumphant because we are claiming that little slice of time just for us. Occasionally, we get to go out on a late date if my parents are spending the night and can listen for the kids. We can sit at a pretty table and not get up dozens of times for that forgotten fork, second cup of milk, or extra napkin. We can eat foods that our kids wouldn’t touch, and we can each order a dessert. We can have grown-up conversation like we used to–though we usually end up talking about our dear little ones anyway. We can drive in my husband’s car, the zippy sedan next to my lumbering SUV, and listen to music of our choosing at ridiculously loud volumes. Those are extra victories.
Most of the time, we are perfectly content to have quiet victories like tonight’s: out on the porch in the last moments of daylight, recounting funny things from our respective days. When we get to have this time, we know we’ll be a bit more ready to face the next day–my husband at work, juggling busy clinic days and challenging surgical cases, and me at home, maintaining harmony and happiness with our children and home. I’d venture to say our victory time is almost as important as our time asleep. I am so very thankful we are at a place in our lives where we can regularly enjoy this sort of time. It is a universal need, I believe, for everyone to have that time. We know it won’t always happen–there are nights with long surgeries, or nights with sick children, or other unusual circumstances, but on the nights when it can happen to have some time to ourselves, we will take it and soak it up with grateful hearts.