Last week was a tough week for this momma. I pulled my back out last Monday just minutes before my daughter’s playgroup was to arrive at our house. I then spent the entire week trying to rehabilitate myself.

I had started running with a newly established running group made up of moms from my mother’s club. We run together every weekend. I think running, although fun, has been too much too fast for my body without first strengthening my core. Twice now, a few days after a run, I have pulled my back out by simply bending down to get a baby toy.

It would appear that having four babies relatively close together has taken a slight toll on my body. My back hurts. I am shedding a lot of hair post partum. And I have been dead tired now for weeks.  A friend delicately pointed out to me, “You’re getting old”.

It is ironic that just a few weeks prior to my injury, I was feeling sad about not having any more children. As his date with the doctor drew closer, I found myself asking Brent, “Are you sure?” on multiple occasions.

Fast forward to today, I have been fantasizing about tropical islands with sandy warm beaches, dark, quiet rooms to get 12 hours sleep in, maid service, and meals out. I have been longing for peace, quiet, and no one yelling, “Mommy!” at me. I keep wishing to be able to pick up a book, check out the latest movie on a whim, or simply go out without first having to find a sitter.

You know, I could never be a woman who abandons her family. But I did, just once, this past week wonder how I far I could get if I tried to run away. Would I make it to Calistoga for that mud bath I’ve been longing for? Or could I make it up to Oregon for that visit I have wanted to pay my brother? Or what if I just randomly showed up at the airport and bought a ticket to… anywhere?

People keep asking me how I do it, how I manage a home with four small children. The honest truth is that sometimes I do it well and sometimes I don’t. These days, I am doing it on less sleep than ever before. Which even has me in awe of how I make it to the end of each day. I have to work hard to watch my tone, take more deep breaths, pray a lot, and get one foot gingerly out in front of the next one to get things done.

If I ran away I know I wouldn’t make it far before my heart would begin to hurt. I would miss the sounds of my name being called or that irreplaceable feeling of being so needed and wanted. I would miss the sounds of my children laughing or Harper blowing raspberries. I would miss hearing about the day at preschool and see the piles of paper, the endless recycling bin stack of artwork, which comes home with my creative children.  I would miss the hugs, the curious questions, and even the demands. I would miss it all.

It isn’t easy having four kids by any stretch of the imagination. To most people I would probably recommend spreading four kids out over more years than we did. Most days, I don’t get to half of the things on my list that I would like to. It’s a busy full life and I am dead tired. But I know one day, l will look back, perhaps even more tired than I am now, and remember these as the good old days. And I will miss them.