Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mom Needs Alone Time


I had the opportunity to have four days with NO kids this past weekend.  I spent a lot of time worrying about if I would take my baby with me or not when I traveled.  She is 17  months old and at an age that is very hard to travel with.  The last time I took her I barely saw her because I was working so much and she SCREAMED bloody murder on the plane.  (Do you remember that post on traveling with children?)  It made for a baby that wasn't that happy (she really misses her siblings and daddy) and a mom that was worn out. 

So I went back and forth as I tried to decide what to do for the trip.  Screaming plane ride, unhappy baby, stressed mom vs baby with trusted family, and a mom that gets a much needed break.

I choose to leave her with family and felt pretty guilty about my selfish ways but in my  heart I just knew it was the best thing. 

I got back late last night and guess what?

The baby did FINE.  She even picked up nursing right where she left off.  She was happy with grandparents and they seemed to enjoy her.  (Though my mom did say she wondered why I wasn't insane.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that I am in fact half way there.)

You know what else. 

I did fine.

I have four kids, my oldest is eight and my  youngest is 17 months and I have almost never left them.  I was burnt out.  Worn out.  Tired and even a little grumpy. 

I needed alone time.  I needed time to be something other than the mom. 

Truth is I think everybody needs to be more than just ONE thing in their life, even if that one thing is mother.  Sometimes I need to be a colleague or a friend or a professional.  Sometimes I need a break from my kids.

It is so much easier to be a decent and joyful mother too when I have had a little break from it all. 

I don't really know why I feel so guilty when I actually do something I enjoy- even when it doesn't actually HURT anybody else.  But I do. 

I am however trying NOT to feel guilty about being a human being AND a mother at the same time.  I hope you are too. 

(And thank you to all the people that made this amazing weekend possible.  The Birth Boot Camp team, our newest batch of teachers, and my family.  I am so very blessed.)

(Picture from morguefile.com.)

7 comments:

momto5 said...

i'm glad you did that for yourself. you are right, everyone needs more than one thing. i wish i could be so brave as to do something for myself like that. i am a mama of 6 oldest 18 yr youngest 22 months and in that time i think i have gone away ONE night. i have worked as an RN and would work the night shift, but i was always back in the morning. and you know, my husband is a great dad, and i know the kids would be fine, i have just never been able to get past my guilt. good for you!

Anonymous said...

Some one wise told me that motherhood is a lot like a big, heavy bucket of water that needs to be carried to an important destination. Sometimes you need to put down the bucket and rest to keep your strength up for the entire journey.

Good job resting your bucket lugging hands and helping other mamas on their way!

Anonymous said...

My baby is 7.5mo and I took my first trip to the grocery store ((town is a half hour away)) ALONE yesterday. I almost passed out from anxiety 3x - I mean tunnel vision, dizzy, chest about to explode, the whole works. Not. Healthy. He was fine, his papa was fine, and I'm going out for three hours in 2 weeks to be a facilitator again. It's a slow progress, but it is progress!!

Katie said...

Thank you for sharing this! Another mothering blog I followed (past tense) recently posted a comment that was was distinctly unsupportive of the many reasons why time away from child(ren) may be beneficial to a mother. It is good to be reminded that many of us share the experience of being refreshed by such time, even though we may struggle with feelings of guilt and question whether it is ok.

Rebekah said...

My husband and I recently got so sick that we truly could not care for our six kids. Friends from church picked them up and cared for them overnight (nursey baby visited me twice during the day and then came back at bedtime, bathed and pajamaed and completely happy). In retrospect, I was so relieved not to be saddled with some kind of guilt about having LEFT MY CHILDREN, even though it was the weirdest, quietest day we've ever had. It's kind of something all of us should be prepared for, because any of us could need to at any time.

Above & Beyond Birth said...

I work outside the home 2-3 days per week and my 12 month old stays with dad. The time away sometimes is nice, but by the end of the day, I can't wait to get home and nurse my son! Breaks are needed sometimes to remain sane!

Rachel said...

Agreed, Moms totally need some alone time now and again. And, let's face it, sometimes our kids need a break from Mom too. Something do with us all being, you know, people.

My five-year-old and I butt heads a LOT, and I'm always amazed how being away from each other - be it a couple hours or a couple days (my in-laws love to take her for the weekend now and again) - makes things so much better for both of us. I guess our personality clash is hard on her too, and a little breathing space helps us both put our differences in perspective.

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