I’ve got a friend who has three children and is a SAHM. She’s 100% devoted to her children and does everything for them 24/7. She’s a marvelous mother but sometimes I wonder, how does she never take a break and take some time to herself? She’s always worried about leaving all the onus on her husband and she feels a tremendous amount of guilt even thinking about spending time on her own.
Me? I felt like that when my children were very small, but not now. When my daughter was born, I breastfed her for a year, and for a good part of that time, I didn’t feel as if I could leave her side. I yearned to go to the theater in NYC, but the few times I tried, I think that my plans failed. I remember one time, I left the house and headed to the city, and mid-way on my train ride, my husband called to tell me my daughter had fallen down and hurt herself. I jumped off the train and ran home. When I got home, I realized very quickly that I wasn’t necessarily needed. It was purely my conscience.
Fast forward to now and I’ve changed. Sometimes motherhood is chaotic, and sometimes I juggle so many things that I get no time to myself. When you work and take care of a family, you must take time to yourself. Some women don’t take time to themselves, like my friend mentioned above, and doing that causes pent up resentment and frustration. I call getting away my personal “time out”.
This past week, I took a spontaneous, unplanned break. We were actually in Mystic, CT as a family last weekend, having a marvelous time. But during dinner on Saturday night, there were arguments over what my kids were eating, and the usual types of disagreements. I told myself that I needed a break. I gently approached the subject with my family after I found out there was a film playing across the street that hadn’t come to my local theater yet, and I suggested that I step out for 2 hours. No one was happy, so I followed them all back to the hotel. When they all headed to the pool, I found myself just sitting in the hotel room, so I decided to go against the grain and step out, of course telling them first. At that point, no one minded and I was a much better mom the next day. There was an obvious improvement.
What do you think? Was I a bad mom or good mom to take off during a family vacation? I want to hear your thoughts below. Do you ever step away from your husband and kids? How do they feel about it?