Listen, much like any mom anywhere, I appreciate (and love!) a good mom break. I need it, it’s crucial, and all those moms that tell you that they don’t need one are a damned lie. (Yeah, I said it lol.) The problem is that they don’t get to happen very often. Also, if you aren’t pro-active about taking the time for yourself, they don’t happen at all. I like to plan my me time out in advance whenever possible so that I will have an immediate end goal to look forward to as I’m doing menial things like, you know, scrubbing the bathroom walls (because #pottytrainingisthedevil). Sometimes the Me Day is just one day. However, recently it was a week. Yes, an entire week to myself! Well, not entirely to myself because I was working, but whatever. I was childless in the streets again for an entire week! The problem is that I’ve already forgotten about it which leads me to my next point: here’s what happens when you are actually away from your child for more than 24 hours.
STAGE ONE: REJOICING
This one is pretty obvious. It’s a given that anyone would rejoice at finally having some time to themselves. However, I like to say that mom rejoicing is taken to the extreme a bit. This time kind of reminds me of service at a Southern Baptist church because it involves many “Hallelujah’s,” clapping of the hands and sometimes even full out dances. Yes, I have a mini dance party during this time. #dontjudgeme Whatever you do, it’s always full of elation, lots of smiling, and tons of twirling because thank Jesusyou are still here, alive and in one piece to celebrate this (sometimes fleeting) moment of freedom.
STAGE TWO: SITTING STILL
After coming down from the high of being alone again for the first time in eons, you look around and realize that it’s quiet. Your first thought may be to panic if you have a toddler like I do, because you know that quiet usually means that there’s some type of destruction going on in the other room. Side note: Toddlers are stealth little ninjaswhen it comes to destroying things and making messes. You turn your head or leave the room for two seconds, turn back around/come back and POOF! There’s a gigantic mess. However, when you’re alone, the silence is a blessing. You sit down and relish in the fact that there’s no one calling your name, there’s no TV blaring the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” theme song and that there are no flying objects shooting toward you. All is good and well and this silence is so amazing and the fact that you can sit still and not have to move is so relaxing that….
STAGE THREE: SLEEPING
You fall asleep. Right there where you are sitting. Sometimes, you get really comfy with it and lay down, depending on where you are. However, I have been known to catch a few z’s while sitting up like #nobiggie. As you know, sleep pretty much goes out the window once you have a kid. I will go ahead and admit that I didn’t get as much of it as I should have B.A. (that’s ‘Before #Arterbaby), but then again I sure did miss it once he was here. I remember one expectant mom asking me once if I used a Night Nurse as she probably just assumed that I’d have one considering that I was full-time working mom at the time with a newborn. It makes sense. I could see it. But, the actuality of the situation was that I was in the trenches working 40+ hrs per week and struggling just to pay for a nanny to keep my baby while I worked. (I basically just worked to pay childcare smh). Because I worked so much, I got no sleep and I feel like my body still hasn’t forgiven me for it. As a result, anytime I get a quiet moment to myself, I fall asleep. But, it’s so much more blissful when it’s during my me time because I know that I won’t be woken up by a poke in the eyeball, an object thrown at me (yes, this happens a lot to me smh) or just a huge thing (also known as my toddler) jumping all over me and yelling for juice, a snack, a toy that needs putting together or a book that needs to be read. You think of all these things that could be happening and smile blissfully in your sleep because you know it’s not going to happen because the kid is not around.
STAGE FOUR: ACTS OF FREEDOM
You awake in a sweat-soaked panic because you just slept for 24 hours and no one woke you up and where is my baby?!?! Alright, that’s a bit extreme. But, side note, did happen to me right after I gave birth once when I was taking a nap and my mom was keeping Aiden for me. So weird how all your thoughts become “Where is my baby?!” when he/she isn’t with you. Maybe I’ve watched too many Lifetime movies, but that’s like my worst nightmare. However, the other week, I woke up hours later refreshed and rejuvenated. I took a shower and let my mind wander. What should I do next?!There’s only so many hours that you have in order to take advantage of this momentous alone time that sometimes you stress yourself out trying to figure out exactly what to do. Then, you start to remember all of the things that you like to do and get all excited and rush out of the shower so that you can get dressed and do it. You’re a woman of the world again! Calling old friends (i.e. those that fell off your social radar long ago because you have a kid and they don’t and most of everything that they complain about is #firstworldproblems which bores you and all you want to do is dance, drink and have a good time and they just keep talking and could never relate to the fact that your hands were covered in poop just 15 minutes before you were scheduled to meet them and all you want to do is forget about that because EW) to find out what’s going on, going shopping alone, getting your hair done, etc. The list could go on forever. You strive hard to function like you used to, but you really can’t because there are always those nagging thoughts in the back of your mind in which you wonder what your child is doing, if the person taking care of him is remembering all the things they’re supposed to do for him, if your child is happy and if he misses you. To make yourself feel a bit better, you stop and buy him/her a little something but it does nothing to fill that void in your heart that is screaming about how much you miss your child. But, you’re free for right now, so might as well have some fun!
STAGE FIVE: DESPERATION
Sometimes it takes awhile to get to this stage, other times it can take as little as 5 minutes. You miss the sh*t out of your kid and thank Jesus for Facetime/Skype because you can see them but it’s just not the same. You start to miss their little sticky fingers all over your face, their hugs, kisses and all the little “Mommy, I love you’s.” You spiral into a state of desperation in which you do everything in your power to will the time to go faster so that you can rush back home to be with your child. Nothing will feel right in the world again until you have them safely in your arms. This may be reading as the corniest stuff ever, but it is so true. You are trying your hardest to enjoy your time away, but it’s pointless because it’s only been 24 hours and you miss them like crazy. Some would equate this to being in love and I guess in hindsight, that’s what it actually is. The week that I was away from #Arterbaby felt like an eternity and, as much I still made sure to enjoy myself (because who the hell knows when it’s going to happen again) I missed him so much that desperation set in. I wanted the time to go by faster so that I could be reunited with him again.
Now that I’m back in the mom saddle again, it’s like I never left. It can be tiring as hell and sometimes I feel overwhelmed, but I’ve learned that all of this is normal parenting feelings and I should just let go and feel all the feels so that I’m ok. Woooosaaaaaa. However, at the end of the day, I am glad to be reunited with my #Arterbaby and have decided that the next time I have to go out of town for work, he’s coming with me. (Someone say a prayer!) xo