Never Alone: An Update

Yesterday I posted a one-minute inspirational (ha!) video that basically featured me hiding in my van and ruminating on how to be alone. How selfish can you get?! Very.

But let’s be honest — all rosy, happy motherhood feelings aside — it’s tough to never be alone. It’s tough to always, almost all of the time, have someone about to walk into the room where you are (when you are not already with these people beside you) and ask a question or need help or want you to remove the claws of someone’s hands that are attached to his neck (if this doesn’t happen from time to time in your household, #blessed are you).

And even if you operated with a clear sense of how this will not always be the case, how babies grow up and leave the nest and it won’t always be the case — well even if you can see how one day they will all be grown and gone it doesn’t change the fact that today they are all here and up in your personal space and it’s tough. Just a tad.

I’m not saying it’s drudgery or not a complete honor to be My Kids’ Mom. Motherhood is a vocation! I love it so much!


But there are also those times (and you can speak freely here, we are in a safe zone) where it’s a challenge. It’s tough. You get tired. You want to do right by these children, to love them and care for them and lead them to Jesus and see Jesus in them and, and, and — you just can’t do ALL THE THINGS every single hour of every single day.

And that’s where hiding out in your parked van in the driveway of your home comes in as a logical, loving solution to nutting up on every single loving, beautiful child in your path.

So there I was, sitting in the van. And I wasn’t freaking out because I recognized in advance that the time had come for an Extreme Plan. I needed space, a few hours to myself because I didn’t want to freak out. I wanted to catch my breath before I had to be resuscitated. Big difference. Huge difference.

So I did something radical — I shipped the kids off. Up, up and away. I realized that in my arsenal, I had the tools I needed to stay happy and sane — I had an almost-eighteen-year-old son with a drivers license and a firm sense of responsibility. So I sent those children off to the pool. I gave them money and suncreen and said, “go enjoy yourselves!”

And they did! They left and partied and they came home SIX HOURS LATER.

They came home so many, many hours later and they came home to a mother who had been given that many hours to tackle the slime in her home, to take back the house, to stop feeling like she was living in absolute squalor because the sink in the upstairs bathroom looked like a tribute to Mary Kay (nope, that sink is not supposed to be pink).

I cleaned and I cleaned and I cleaned. I did all the things and I felt “on top of it” and then I watched that video of me hiding out in the van and thought “what was THAT all about?” Because that’s how good I felt afterwards — like I didn’t need to hide from people. Because I had gotten the break I so desperately needed.

Don’t be ashamed if you feel like the walls are closing in on you. Nobody will doubt your love as a mother, your commitment to your children and to your vocation. You ARE Wonder Woman, after all, because you are strong enough to admit that being perfect means not being perfect. (I saw that in my latest Southern Living last night and turns out it can apply to motherhood AND home decorating).

Peace out, my homies. You got this.


  1. perfect!
    I am sending this to my sister – she needs this badly as she gets used to three young kids.
    thanks, Homie!

  2. I’m never alone. I homeschool in a small home and my husband keeps choosing to work from home. I can hear him, and it sounds like his work is pleasant. I resent that very much in my dark dark heart. And my also lovely children use all the words. I’m just so tired. It’s winter here, but that means lots of wind, not freezing, so sent my youngest two outside to play. I can still hear them. It’s what you said, someone is always just about to walk into where I am and need me in some way. I’ll have to figure some time away from each other real soon too. Any self care tips that aren’t the generic ones that might apply to a mother of a few kids spanning quite a range?

  3. scotch meg says:

    Rachel, I didn’t get the video but boy did I get the message today. Ironically, the first day in I don’t know when that I have had my house to just me… overnight! Everyone who lives here – except me – was away. (That’s four other people, folks!) I am not a cleaner, so that wasn’t what I did. I had to make a homeschool transcript for my son’s sophomore year, so I worked on it. Without interruption. And I stayed up too late watching a movie that only I would enjoy. And I did NOT set an alarm for 6:15 AM.

    It was a day of peaceful not-too-much-self-indulgence. It will probably have to last me YEARS. But it was fun while it lasted. This is coming to you, too. Someday.