With my three kids, who are almost 7, 5 and 2.5, I find that I really do need to be reminded that I’ll miss these days of being constantly needed. Quite honestly, there are days that I need to be reminded this about every half hour. Knowing that I’ll miss it doesn’t always make it easy to deal with the present moments that feel like eternity sometimes. It has nothing to do with how much I love my kids and everything to do with the developmental stages they (and I) go through. I can handle the whining, hitting, scratching, fighting, stealing, tattling, asking for snacks every 10 minutes, constant struggle to keep the toys picked up, the complaints about being bored or hating the food I work so hard to serve them, constantly being interrupted from loading the dishwasher or folding the clothes to wipe up another accident on the floor, then the tantrum that ensues when it’s time to try to get clothes onto my 2yo daughter who just wants to be naked all the time…but only if I’ve also done some things to take care of myself. I really can’t handle all that, especially in its 24/7 constancy, when I haven’t had a break from it in weeks, months, years. As I get older and grow in my role of motherhood, I find I’m having to learn how to take care of myself again just as much as I have learned to take care of my children.
Up until Thursday last week, I couldn’t last more than about 30 minutes from the moment I woke up in the morning until the first time I lost my temper with one of the kids. True, the littlest trigger could set me off (and my 2yo is nothing if not a master of stomping on all my triggers first thing in the morning!). Until Thursday, I could barely think about the fact that the kids will be out of school in two weeks, and then we have the long summer before us to be together constantly….All I could think was: “Oh my God.”
These are the thoughts of a woman who felt trapped, exhausted, stressed out, worn down, who couldn’t enjoy her kids.
Thankfully, on Friday morning, I woke up with a smile on my face, knowing that in a few hours, after the morning rush of prepping breakfast, lunch and dinner and getting everyone dressed, fed, clean and out the door to school, I was going to have two full days and one whole night to myself! And better yet, I got to spend it with two of my fabulous girlfriends! I had just about forgotten what it’s like to be able to do whatever I wanted to do, eat when I want, talk, relax, sleep when it suited me, and not have to worry about how everyone was doing. It felt so great to be selfish and self-centered for two whole days. Before this weekend, I hadn’t been away from my kids (and my house, with the laundry and all the responsibilities there, plus my business) since October last year. Living in Canada when our families are back in the States is a big reason for this. It’s just hard to get away without someone to care for the babes when they’re so little.
So I just wanted to share that, although I was long overdue, a weekend away gave me the chance to recharge so I can love my kids when I’m with them. I’m the kind of mom who still needs some selfish time. When I don’t take care of myself, I can’t be the mom I want to be. When I do, I’ve definitely got more of myself to give to my family.
I think I’ll book a couple more of these small getaways this summer!