The hardest thing about being a stay at home mom/dad or a part-time working mom/dad from home is the idea of “the break.” When is that break coming? When can I put my feet up, hold a cocktail and read my book without someone sitting on top of my face? When will that moment arrive? Is it safe to say it is few and far between?
When we become moms, we kind of throw out the idea of having hobbies, don’t we? I mean, we still have hobbies, but we really don’t have time to execute those hobbies. Do you read, do you like to cook, do you crochet? What do you do? Rather, what do you wish you could do?
I don’t have family close by. I can’t just drop off my kids anywhere. I need scheduled time off. I need to put it on the calendar for weeks for it to be something that I can do, by myself. It is just the way it is and it is ok. It is what we signed up for…right? But, sometimes….I need more than an hour here or there, a quick run to get my eyebrows waxed or quick dance class. It’s good. But, sometimes I need more. Is that safe to say? I feel like if we don’t get a little more, we can become a little bitter. I’m not saying we are bitter toward our children. I’m not at least. They are so cute and squeezable and they aren’t here to destroy my inner soul. They are amazing little girls and they will never be a burden to me or my heart. But teaching them and caring for them takes a lot out of us. I am constantly thinking, “wow, is it meal time again? Do I have feed them again?” i.e. fight with them so they can eat their broccoli. In the mornings as I lay in bed, I think to myself, “Is it already time to get up and get them dressed?” i.e. fight with them to put down the Elsa costume dress to wear to school. I look at the clock and huff a little bit because I’m human, pregnant and tired. “Yes, it is time to do it all again.” Yes, we have to do it again. We have to break up the fights and cook the meals, drop off and pick up. Put on your mask, it is time to be MOM.
And there are some lovely moments in our days. I love watching them when they play so nice. I love seeing the smiles on their faces when they are doing something they love. I love getting little kisses and hugs throughout the day. YES! All great. Such a blessing. But then, there are some not so lovely moments too. Truth? They are fighting a lot lately and whining immensely. It is just the way it is…
It is called parenting.
I say all this and talk about breaks because I don’t know if someone who isn’t in my exact shoes, i.e. a stay at home, (part-time working) mom, understands. It is hard to see the truth when you just don’t know. I am not complaining. I am truth-telling. If you haven’t been in it or through it, you just don’t know that when we don’t see a “break” on the horizon, it is easy to give in to those feelings that don’t look good on you. I don’t wear them well with the crinkled eyebrows and hands on hips, HUFF! This is not to say that you are a bitter person. I’m not. But, I can tell the truth that sometimes I feel a little exhausted. Because sometimes I need a break, and maybe a little fun. After 5 months of vomiting, I think it would be nice to have a little time to decompress. We all do.
I am telling my truth. I understand that working moms have their own truths as well, as do working dads. I’m sure they feel like they don’t spend enough time with the kids and feel enormous amounts of guilt when they do something for themselves. We all have our own set of everyday plights. You know why, because we all deserve our own balances. And I’m not talking about maintenance, ie. an eyebrow wax. I’m talking about balance. We all need it. Husbands, wives, caregivers, stay at homes, working moms, and everyone in between. We all need our own “breaks.” It is something to look forward to. It is deserved. We deserve it.
Go on with your day and don’t forget to tell your truth. Sometimes we just need to talk about it aloud. Sometimes we just need someone to understand and lend an ear and/or a hand. We all need to keep the parent role separate from ourselves. We all need a little love, some understanding and a little break to remind us of who we are and why we are here. I hope a “break” is on the horizon for you. If it isn’t, get it on the calendar. I’ll join you!
~Noreen Heffernan,Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR Writer, Growing Ladies