Its Ok To Enjoy Time Away From Your Child!

 

Parenting over the last month has been a bit rough for me. I’ve had many a moment where I’ve lost my temper. As you know I have a three and a five-year-old and I have been home with both of my beautiful crazy rambunctious strong-willed children since their births. I live eat breath whatever they are doing. They, for five years, have been my soul purpose for waking up. 

Over the last five years I have seen many changes in myself, mostly in my appearance. I look in the mirror and see lines, dark spots and I swear gray hairs are popping up everywhere and I’m 33. My skin has more freckles and age spots than I’ve ever seen before. I have been with my children 24/7 and we all know when you have little ones you can’t even use the restroom or shower alone, so when I find those moments to myself, I try to enjoy it or accomplish as much as I can within those time frames.

When I dropped my son off for his first day of kindergarten back in August I couldn’t even get out the front doors before the tears started to flow. For five years my whole entire life has been taking care of this child day in day out, through vomit, blow-outs, sleepless nights, you name it.

Parenthood is so many things….but when I think of the months past, I don’t think of all those crazy frustrating days. I think of the fun we had at Disneyland or the time we just had a blast having a tickle fight on the living room floor, I think of all the good times…not the bad ones…but let me tell you the frustrations of everyday tantrums, fighting with each other, and the bickering between two children etc… can add up and that’s exactly what I was dealing with on Monday when I said on my facebook fan page “Who’s glad the kids are back at school today?” 

I had no idea that comment would get the greeting it did. It just goes to prove that we live in a very sensitive world where things can be taken the wrong way. This woman apparently thought I was so disgusted with my kids I just wanted to send them away. Her comment was ” I enjoy having my children around. What’s the point in having them if you look forward to them being under someone else’s care?”

Moments prior to that post I had just pulled into the driveway after a quiet ride back home. It started out with the kids fighting while they were getting their coats and shoes on. JJ wanted to wear his snowsuit. I told him no, (This argument continues for four more days until I blow up at him Thursday morning right before school) πŸ˜‰ I tell him that since he needs help getting in and out of his snowsuit that he shouldn’t wear it to school because if he wears it he will have to wear it all day even during P.E. He continues to argue with me and says but “Abby wears her’s to school…blah blah blah blah”…the clock is ticking we need to get in the car.” He wines and is in full meltdown mode and I can’t get the kid in the car… he complains about it all the way to school and decides to pick a fight with his little brother about something I couldn’t understand but it resulted in blood-curdling screams from Braidy all the way to school, while Jaydon kept snickering and egging on the screamfest. So when we pulled up, I apparently am the only parent who still has their five-year-old in a five-point harness system and I have to get him out of the car in the drop off lane. Since the kid is small for his age according to his weight and height he needs to be in this five-point harness system til he’s 40 pounds. So I get the I”m trying to be polite but hurry the hell up” honks from parents all the time while I’m trying to unbuckle the kid, make sure he has all his things, backpack lunch box, hat and mittens and get him safely on the sidewalk before someone runs him over. 

So when I said “Who’s happy the kids are back at school today”, I didn’t say it because I don’t love my child and I certainly didn’t want to send him away forever. I said it because for the next five minutes home I didn’t have to do anything but focus on driving. I could breathe a sigh of relief. It apparently was taken that I hate my children and this woman found it “disturbing” and “wished my children luck”. 

Its moments like this, where I feel like “my God am I not allowed to have any time what so ever to myself? Can I not enjoy the quiet of one less child pulling on my pants or shirt or whining about something they want?

After the comment was made that she found me “disturbing”…I really started to unravel. 

 This woman doesn’t know anything at all about me. She took one comment I said and made such a profound judgment over me and she’s never even seen me face to face. She doesn’t know the hours I pour into my kids’ video collages to capture all the special moments each and every month. How these videos have now grown to over an hour long each year because I just can’t stand to not use every photo that turns out halfway decent. 

In a mere second my worthiness shriveled to nothingness. “I didn’t want to be around my children.” What kind of a parent am I to enjoy dropping my child off at school? I tried to let it go….to tell myself she just doesn’t know me. And that’s the truth, something can always be taken out of context and people will judge you before they even know who you are. 

Well, this is what I say to all you tired mothers out there that just want to pee alone!

 After you’ve packed the lunchboxes, helped with the homework, snuggled your children when they hurt them selves for the umpteeth time, or stay up monitoring their fevers all night, after you endure being thrown up on, and then have to clean up that vomit before you get to touch your head to a pillow again just to hear cries again from the next room…. after you’ve listened to whining and crying because a child doesn’t get their way and you have no idea how to resolve the issue, after you’ve lost your temper with them that day and you tuck them into bed and kiss their sleeping foreheads feeling guilty for the moments that fatigue and irritation get to you, I say its ok to want some time to yourself!!

It’s ok!

You are a mother and your job never ends, you are on duty 24/7. Motherhood never takes a break, so if you get those moments during a nap time, at bedtime and when you drop your child off at school to have a little bit of a sanity break and maybe spend an hour or two doing something you love doing before you hit the endless loads of dishes, laundry and cooking….its ok!! Do not feel bad! Everyone needs a break from one another every now and then and let me tell you when 3:15 rolls around, I’m refreshed because Baby B just had his nap and I’m excited to pick my son up from school and find out how his day was.

September 2014 195

When JJ and Braidy lock eyes after school, it’s all “I missed you’s and I love you’s” and hugs and kisses. For about five minutes there’s no fighting. The love between us all has been renewed! And I enjoy hearing about how much JJ loves school and the friends he’s making or the art project he’s working on and how he can’t wait to go back tomorrow. I’m the parent that stands in the hallway and observes her child out of site in the classroom just to catch a glimpse of him when he thinks I’m not looking. It makes me so proud to see him raise his hand and answer a question and a tear bubbles up in my eye even thinking about this.  I love my kids!

 

Parents…moms, dads! Don’t beat yourself up if you happen to be doing a happy dance in the car after your kids wave bye! It’s perfectly normal and fine to feel that way! Don’t let anyone belittle you in that way! You can love your children but also enjoy your time away from them equally! 

There is nothing wrong with that! I find that I am renewed, I have more patience, I can think a little more clearly and I make better decisions in the parenting department with a little bit of time away. There is nothing wrong with wanting a little time to yourself, and no parent should feel bad for that.

End rant!

About Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

Heartfully Heather

 

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Heather Jones

I'm just a wife and mom of two boys trying to find her place in this world. I enjoy walks around the lake, bible journaling, and RV camping with my family.

52 thoughts on “Its Ok To Enjoy Time Away From Your Child!

  1. Aah, yes the lovely mommy martyrs / keyboard tough guy. Their comments say more about themselves, perhaps about their own feelings of guilt that they do about you. I used to think that way a bit more, but I’m getting over it. And, I’m REALLY looking forward to sending Phoenix off to his first day of kindergarten tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  2. There are so many internet trolls waiting to cast judgement through the shield of a computer screen. I certainly understood what you meant. It is hard not to let it hurt. You are a great mom, and a great blogger, and know you are loved by those adorable kids!

  3. I don’t have kids yet, but I think it’s perfectly reasonable (and normal) to enjoy some time to yourself! I don’t spend every second with my husband! And as a kid, I know that it was nice to get away from my parents sometimes hahaha

  4. People can be so mean! You can’t tell me that person has never thought, “man I need a break, even if it’s for 15 seconds”. As a mom we wear so many different hats and a break every once in a while is crucial!

  5. I can’t believe the things some people say when they’re hiding behind a computer screen. Enjoy your alone time when you get it – I’m pretty sure that’s every mother’s motto, whether or not they want to admit it πŸ˜‰

  6. After 11 years of mommyhood this is still a hard one for me. It’s great to have time away, I just find it hard (there’s always 1 or 2 who Have to go places with me) but I try to once a week run to the store or library alone!

    1. Its hard, but I find the mental release of just focusing on a certain task instead of multi-tasking all time, because face it parenthood is a big lesson in multitasking, even more so if you have multiple children. Being able to think or do one thing in a period of time while you are completely alone has to in some way help the mind and help with stress levels. It just has to!

  7. People are quick to judge. And (some) people who know only good things about you will judge you too, if you do one thing out of sorts. Even if you haven’t done anything out of sorts for years. I think it’s human nature for some. I say phooey to ’em. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Rosey! πŸ™‚ I guess it just hit a sensitive point with me because it indicated I didn’t love my children in some way and God knows I’d cut off an arm for them.

  8. Ugh, armchair commentators are the worst, she obviously was looking for someone to put down – your comment was the most normal every-day comment ever. I’m not even a mother and I know for a fact that parenting is super hard.

    1. I know! Its not like I put an ad in the paper advertising two children for sale…I was just glad to have some piece and quiet for 5 and half hours. πŸ˜‰

  9. I can not believe that someone would seriously say that to you!!M I mean she has no idea how your day is going or who you are! I look forward to Sydney going to school because I know that she loves it, and enjoys every single moment of it! That doesn’t make me a bad mom! So neither are you!

  10. Are you kidding me?? I LIVE for those breaks, lol! I love my children, of course, but I know that I NEED breaks and I need them often. Sometimes when we’ve gone away I feel so guilty for not desperately ‘missing’ them but then I get back into the moment and realize that it’s my time and I need to think about myself too in order for me to be happy πŸ˜‰

  11. I am not a mom but I am a former Special Education Teacher, so I dealt with a ton of kids per day (for less hours than a mom, but in more than triple the quantity!), and yes it is super important to take breaks and develop the hobbies that make you happy. We all need to center ourselves throughout the day! Great share!

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

    1. Thanks Tracy! I’m glad you understand, and being a teacher is very hard. I know you don’t take those pee breaks for granted! I have a few teacher friends and they told me those breaks were so so needed.

  12. I totally agree, you should not feel bad one bit for enjoying some time away from the kids. My youngest just started PK3 last week and it has been wonderful…for her and for me. Having some time apart helps our children to grow and helps us to be better parents. πŸ™‚

  13. I love this post. I don’t have a human baby, but I have three fur babies. Whenever I leave the house – and it’s rare – they sob and bark, and I feel terrible. =(

  14. I know it’s ok but when can you actually pull yourself away when they need you. So hard for me having 4 children and their needs are all different. My alone time is when they are in school.. Sad but true!

  15. I think its healthy for a mother to need time away from the kids and its healthy for the kids as well. Enjoy your alone time it will make you a better mom in the long run and your kids will enjoy themselves at school too:)

  16. Don’t feel bad. I know and I can feel that you’re a great mom. It’s not easy to be a mom, but you rocked it. You deserve to spend some time to for yourself.

    1. Thanks Rashell! I was just trying to relate to my audience in the fact that 90 percent of us are busy overworked moms who give everything we have ever day to our kids and it totally back fired. LOL

  17. Omg I’m sorry someone was mean…. Unfortunately I feel like it happens to every mom…. I’m literally with my daughter 24/7…. And being around ANYONE for a long period of time gets crazy… We all need a minute to ourselves to regroup & just breath πŸ˜‰

  18. There is no shame in any parent doing a happy dance when the kids wave good bye. We all need some time a lone to our self. You are totally right indeed and it do revive us. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I am not a parent but I think everyone needs a break or two now and again and its not to say you do not love your kids. Ignore that woman better yet delete her comment if not already done so as she really doesnt know you so has no right to pass judgement

    1. That’s all you can do. I mean we should all find ways to help manage our stress even “in the moment”, but enjoying the time apart is ok and needed to regenerate. You love em, and nothing changes that.

  20. I agree with your point ‘motherhood never takes a break.’ I have two girls, elder one is seven year old and the younger is 5 years old. Some times I feel very tired, as I am a working woman as well. But, I love to play with them and I like to spend at least an hour a day for this. That really helps to boost my self and stay active.

  21. I almost can’t believe that person had the audacity to shame you for needing and enjoying a little break. Then I remember how horrible people can be, and the superiority complexes some parents seem to be handed as soon as they leave the hospital. Bringing you down a peg doesn’t make that person a better person or parent than you,, no matter how high and mighty their words made them feel for a little while. Good for you for taking to your blog to assure other parents out there that enjoying a few minutes of peace I’d nothing to be ashamed of.

    1. Thank you Holly! I know that parents often feel guilty for getting their “me” time or anytime they are away from their kids and I felt the need to let other parents know that the guilt is unnecessary. Regardless of being a working parent or a stay at home parent everyone needs space and time to themselves often. It does not mean you love your kids any less, it just means you recognize the healthy separation that is essential for a happy life and happy children. Happy moms and dads usually mean happy kids.

  22. I certainly think a mother is right to savor a few moments or even hours, maybe even days, away from their children because a mentally fit mother is a better mother! No apologies required! Thanks for sharing!

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