The return isn’t smooth sailing for me. I feel like I am stepping back in time. It feels awkward. I feel clumsy and incompetent in that job that I used to do with so much pleasure and efficiency. That ʺroleʺ I was so proud of. I feel like I spend most of my time tidying up, cleaning, cooking, working… being a mom, the way I used to do it. The way I feel done with. I feel like the girls are also back to their old selves in a way, leaving the doors open, fighting over toys, saying mama-mama-mama all.the.time. Needing projects, needing activities. It’s weird. It’s so different. So fast. I expected to have more time to deal with the transition, but I don’t and I’ll be honest with you, I am struggling.
:: On the first night we arrived, they asked me to show them how to do long additions (with thousands)... at 9 pm! ::As I pace around the house, folding the upteenth batch of laundry, picking more Lego while scraping my calves on the half-emptied boxes from storage still waiting to be taken care of, I try to chase the negativity that wants to take over. I felt like we had reached a place of peace as a family this year, a place of joy. A nagging voice inside of me wants to say that it’s easy to be happy and joyful when one travels, but much more challenging when one is back in a different reality and that maybe, just maybe, I haven’t changed that much, we haven’t changed that much…
Right now, amidst a little girl that wants to sew a Waldorf doll and knit another doll and bake rhubarb and strawberry pies and make kale chips and plant a garden all on the very same day (ohhh Mathilde!), lots of translation work to do, lots of other kind of work to do and lots of adaptation to do, I give myself permission to feel like my world is upside down. I am not planning to dwell on it or to wallow in it, but I need to just feel it.
:: Rediscovering the beloved dress-up chest! ::I am truly happy to see my friends and family members, however, and they really make our return exciting. Hugging my dear friend Nini who lost her husband this year while we were away was a moment I had been waiting for for a long time. I was so happy to see her and it was so beautiful to see my girls and her boys play together all day as if they had seen each other the day before, without a single fight!
Meeting 4 month old Naomie, the first baby in our family, the girl’s cousin (JF sister’s baby) was a very special moment for all of us. She is so adorable!
I know this too shall pass. There are much worst things than feeling down after a wonderful family travel experience... but this is my truth right now. Being a mom on the road and a mom at home is so very different. I did not realize how much until I came back.