Every day I see at least one post about how important is it to take some time for yourself, that self care is not selfish. It’s usually a beautiful picture of a mom at the beach, or the spa, or enjoying a cup of actual hot coffee in a serene setting. For a moment I’m living vicariously through them. Then I wonder, is it real? Are they really there, alone…or are their crazed children hiding behind the scenes? If it’s real…HOW DO THEY DO IT?!
The last time I was alone, well, away from my family and mom/wife obligations, was in 2013 for my grandmother’s funeral. 2013!!! That was pre Wes, and right in the thick of searching for answers for Logan. It was one of the most stressful times in my life, and losing my beloved Gogo did not help. So, that doesn’t count here. I’ve never taken “me time”, and I’m feeling the pains of not considering myself important enough.
Being a stay home mom to three incredible kids is fun and rewarding, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But, it is harder than anything I will likely ever do. I’m always on, 24/7. Even when my kids are at school I’m constantly checking my phone for messages from the teachers, especially Logan’s. Like most moms, I’m spread thin and underpaid! Add in special needs to that and I feel like I’m fighting a war, then am taken off to a hidden room to be mentally tortured. Moms (and some dads too), you know what I’m talking about. Every parent struggles with raising their littles, and no matter how big or small their battles are, they are still important and we feel like we just can’t get out of the trench. Each parent deserves…each parent NEEDS time to reset. But somehow I cannot manage to do this.
I have two and a half mornings a week to myself. A whopping 3 hours (well, less considering rushing to pickup). My main goal during this time is to exercise. I’ve always loved working out, and it is my main stress relief. Now, I need it for actual strength. Carrying and transporting Logan is a beast. She’s getting bigger, heavier and stronger, and I need to stay 10 steps ahead of that. Some nights I’m up all night with her, so I don’t always make it in to the gym or out for an early run. On the days when I’m with Wes all day I get up early before the kids and fit it in. But, then I come home to a super rushed morning, making sure everyone is up, dressed and fed, book bags in order, lunches are made, dishwasher is emptied, etc. I end up feeling more stressed and drained than I started. I know I can prepare better at night, but once the warriors are in bed, the messes are picked up and dishes are done, I just don’t have it in me.
On the weekends I want to make sure everyone is having fun, and is happy. I know David works incredibly hard during the week, and as soon as he gets home he jumps right in. I want him to be able to relax, and feel guilty leaving him with the kids alone for too long. So, I usually take a few hours tops to get errands done that I could just not fit in during the week. Plus, it takes two of us to take all three kids to do something as simple as going to the park. This time away is not very relaxing, and I usually get a call from someone that makes me feel like I need to be home fast.
So where and how am I supposed to fit in this self care vacation?! I get exhausted just thinking about all of the work and planning it will take – not for my getaway, but to keep the ship afloat while I’m gone. I am the gate keeper of the schedule, and as David said last night, I’m the internal clock of the family. Lovely, huh. That means I’m constantly telling everyone what to do, to hurry up, and I’m constantly nagging. Please, tell me I’m not alone in this.
Also, how do you get rid of the guilt when you actually DO plan something? Do you just ignore it? And wait, are you planning it for yourself, or does your spouse/partner see you are cracking and do it for you?? I know I deserve a break, and desperately need one. I know my family will feel the benefit of having a rested and sane mom. My ideal spot would be at the beach, but then I start thinking of how my kids constantly talk about the beach. How can I go without them? How will that make them feel? Especially Jack. He’s my beach buddy, and he so deserves a break too. If I take just him, does that even count?
I need all the advice and tips I can get. I have plenty of time to plan here, as there is no good time in sight for a while for this. But, is there ever a good time? David has some golf weekends coming up, that are mainly business, but also for fun. Every time one is added to the calendar, I can’t help but think “that could’ve been my weekend”.
And, how do you give the dad a break, without breaking yourself?! David is an incredible husband and father, and does so much. There has to be a balance somewhere, and I’m needing some help to find it!!!