It is school night and all the kids are asleep by 8:00. This has put me in the unique position of being able to wholeheartedly commit to doing one of two things: Work, or binge on Netflix.

But our cable and internet is out (I’m using my cell phone as a hotspot). So, hello!

We are back at it at Casa Circus over here after a short respite from parenting duties this weekend.

Andrew and I went to an out-of-town wedding which required us to stay one night away from the kids. Parents everywhere will understand when I say our reaction to such an occurrence is always twofold–unrestrained elation the moment we leave the house, followed by a dull sadness and wistfulness for our kids that is reignited every time we spot someone 5 or under in our vicinity which makes us get all immediately, “Aww, I miss the kids.”

The picture above was snapped in the first moments of our temporary freedom, as we soaked in some sunshine before taking a walk along the beach. This is also known in my world as Nirvana.

It was a pretty awesome time all around. Then we headed back this morning. The whole car ride home I was both out-of-my-skin excited to snuggle the kids, and also secretly utterly terrified to re-enter my role as Personal Assistant/Snack Maker/Butt Wiper.

And yes, the snuggles we got after coming back home were delicious.

But I kid you not: Within two hours, the door knobs and drawer pulls across three rooms were all connected by feet of blue yarn (“spider webs,” as I was told); the older two kids were in the throes of grandmother-induced exhaustion fits; and the kitchen, which was only minutes prior the picture of neatness thanks to our sitter, was in actual ruins.

Then I walked into my bathroom to see this thing stuck on the door handle:

In case you can’t tell (and why would you be able to?), that is a ball of Play Doh stuffed full of buttons–spare buttons I had saved in a tin under my bed, which, clearly, the kids have taken a liking to.

I could have gotten upset, but I laughed.

Motherhood. One day it’s a beach, the next day it’s spider webs and button-stuffed Play Doh. Either way, I’m here for it.

Sonni Abatta is a mom of three and runs this Orlando lifestyle and mom blog. She really thought she would feel rested after one night away from the kids but strangely is now more exhausted than ever. Go figure. Let’s work together! Reach out here, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more stories and tips.