Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hard Day's Night

When I was a new mother working full-time, my goal was always to spend as much time as possible with my son. Each moment I had with him was really special because so much of my time was spent separated from him. I've found over the past many months that has switched to where I now looking forward with almost equal anticipation to time I spend away from my children. And that is unsettling for me.

This is a challenging time in motherhood - these first few weeks after my sister left and while James is still getting up every 3-4 hours at night. And while Michael is wonderful about coming home early, helping with household chores and being incredibly understanding and supportive, I'm often tired and frustrated as I attempt to negotiate life with two small children. As much as I know it's good to take breaks and spend time apart from my children, as I truly believe it makes me a better mother when I am with them, I still have the nagging feeling it's a personal failing that I'm not more patient and loving.


cheryl said...

This absolutely could have been one of my posts. But I don't think it's personal failure. Everyone needs a little break now and then, if for no other reason than to get a little perspective. I KNOW I'm a better mother when I've had a little break. Being with small children 24-7 can seriously mess with your sanity. Adult conversation, or sometimes total silence, can work wonders on helping you find it again! And I think my three boys (three and under) would agree with me!

rstre2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rstre2 said...

Thank you for your honesty! This post definitely reasonates wtih me.

I work part-time and I often find myself excited about going to the office three days a week. Don't get me wrong - I love my days at home with the children but my time in the office allows me certain luxuries staying at home with the kids doesn't: wearing perfume and hi-heels, drinking a full cup of coffee (while it's still hot), talking to other adults, going to the bathroom unaccompanied and enjoying a lunch which doesn't include Annie's mac-n-cheese.

Do I feel guilty for enjoying my time away from the kids? Yes. Definitely. I wonder if I'm letting God or my family down. But, they have to understand that parenting is the toughest job on the planet. So, it makes sense for me to need time away from them to recharge my batteries. It allows me to be the best wife and mother I can possibly be.

"If Momma's happy, everybody is happy."

Elizabeth said...

Some days I say to myself, "The day will come when I can take a shower all by myself and not be interrupted, even once, and, perhaps, when that day finally arrives, I will miss those interruptions." But for now, Oh, how wonderful an hour without children would feel. And how much more I would enjoy them when I see them again.
Just know, Rebekah, that you are not alone.

Judit said...

I've done it all... SAHM and part-time working mom and full-time working mom... and I've had all the feelings you describe, including the guilt for having all the other feelings! Now I work full-time, I'm up at 5:30 am and get home from my job at 5:30 pm and then straight to dinner and bedtime routines... but I STILL feel like a negligent mom if I just want to sit on the couch for a few minutes before I finally tuck them in for the night at 8--not ignore them altogether, only interact with them while sitting down--and now that I'm writing this down, that is one crazy tiring schedule!! Wow! I do that? Where's my badge? but I remember clearly how draining it was to always be with my kids as well! It is no less tiring than holding down that 9 to 5 where you at least get to be a grownup and take all the bathroom breaks you need when you need them etc LOL