I wrote the title for a post — “Mama Needs A Break” — when I was about nine months pregnant with my second baby boy — who is now six months old. I was so tired that all I got to was the title. I think I then fell into a deep sleep with my computer next to me.
I was looking through my drafts and realized how many moms would relate to this one.
How many times do we sigh after our three-year-old has had an epic tantrum because you gave him the blue cup instead of the red cup and say to ourselves, “OMG, I really need a break before I go bonkers.”
But as parents, we don’t really get breaks. I don’t consider putting the kids to bed 30 minutes early so I can watch 15 minutes of The Bachelor before falling asleep a break. I don’t consider dropping the kids off at my mom’s house so my husband and I can go to dinner a break.
Because it’s not a break. There is always that little voice in the back of my head. The one that says not to drink too much on date night because I will have to get up at 4:30 am to feed the baby. Or the voice in my head reminding me of the laundry list of things I still have to do, like gathering all the tax documents for our accountant or remembering to move the laundry that has been sitting in the washer for a little too long into the dryer.
When I think of a break, I think of getting away. Escaping from responsibility for a week. Not having to worry about laundry, or cleaning, or feeding kids, or bathing kids, or changing sheets in the middle of the night because someone had an accident. I don’t even want to worry about letting the dog outside for the 987th time in a day.
Disclaimer: I love my children more than life itself. I would do anything for them.
Disclaimer #2: I wish I did not have to include disclaimers in my posts, but not surprisingly people do judge.
The first time my husband and I had one of these breaks was about three months after the birth of our first little boy, I vividly remember us getting to our hotel room and just laying on the bed in complete and total silence. We literally just laid there. For a long time. It was magical.
We haven’t been on a kid-free trip for way too long. Our annual family trips are absolutely amazing, but they also require us to wake up early and take care of the kids all day.
Don’t think that I don’t enjoy my time with my kids, because I do, but I can’t remember the last time I read a book by the pool without having a baby monitor next to me. I haven’t been able to go out and really just enjoy myself in forever because I feel like I’m so tightly wound. Are the kids okay? Henry didn’t have a full blown tantrum for the sitter, did he? Did they remember to give Simon his acid reflux medicine?
Are all parents like this? Please tell me I’m not alone in this one.
For a week, I don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night because I think I hear a kid crying.
For a week, I want to take a shower for as long as I want.
For a week, I want to be able to sit in silence.
For a week, I want to be able to watch tv sprawled out on a bed without a kid sitting on my face or crying because he wants to watch Minions.
For a week, I want to eat meals without grubby little fingers trying to steal food off of my plate.
For a week, I want to not do ANY laundry.
For a week, I want to relax and do things for myself.
For a week, I don’t want to change one diaper.
For a week, I don’t want to clean up any poop from anywhere in the house.
For a week, I don’t want to look at some random place in my house and think about how it could really use a deep clean.
For a week, I want to be able to have a conversation with my husband anytime I want without a tiny human interrupting asking where his Captain America action figure is.
(PS: Captain America is usually right under his nose. Or in his hand. Or in the backpack on his back.)
For a week, I want a break. I need a break.
Am I being selfish? I don’t think so. We all need a little time off. Time off to maintain our sanity and refuel.
I think that if I want to be the best parent I can, I have to take breaks.
I have decided I will take a break in the year 2018. I will go somewhere with my husband and relax. I will take showers and read a book and eat a dinner at a table that does not require a high chair.
And I know I will miss those grubby little fingers and snotty noses after a day or so. But it will be worth it. Because I devote my life to raising these tiny humans. And sometimes I need a little time off.
Plus, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?