I try to be a good mom. A great mom even. But sometimes it’s exhausting. I wake up at 4am (after waking up at 10, 12:30, and 2:30) and get to work early to pull some extra hours. When my workday ends, I spend every second with Avery before he goes to bed. We go for a walk, or go to the park, have dinner as a family, bath time and playtime. After he’s down, I clean up the tornado of a mess we’ve left from our activities and then I’m in bed for a quick read to wind down and do it all over again tomorrow.
After almost a year of this, I’m a little tired. Heck, I’m exhausted! And although weekends are job-free, they are not ‘work’-free. I’m still up at 6. We have to catch up on laundry, grocery shopping, house and lawn maintenance, and we get to enjoy a lot of family time. But in the mix of all that, I still don’t get a breather. If we’re lucky we can squeeze in a movie after Avery goes to bed and have a mini date night. But catching up on sleep, taking a shower and actually having time to blow dry my hair, having time to eat a meal before it gets cold, all luxuries that are rare and almost non-existent.
So, for my sanity, I called in a big favor. I asked my parents to take Avery for the weekend. Now, this was a big arrangement because we don’t have any family (and very few friends) that live nearby that can help us out and give us a break – both our families are 4+ hours away, so I can’t just ask my Mom to take Avery for a night so I can get some sleep. I can’t ask my MIL to come by and watch Avery so I can run out for some errands. And when we go visit them we do get help and it’s relaxing because my Mom will get up with Avery in the middle of night for me so I can get some sleep, but when they are visiting, all I want to do is spend time with them. So I thought of a possible solution and pitched the idea to my Mom, and she jumped at the idea – I sent Avery to Vermont for a weekend with Grammy and Grampy. We stayed home to get some much needed rest and do some uninterrupted focused work around the house.
So, last Friday I went to work early so I could leave early, grabbed Avery from daycare and fought the traffic north to meet my Mom halfway and hand off Avery. We met and had some dinner before I turned around and headed back home. Avery and Grammy were thrilled to see each other…
At home I got 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep two nights in a row! We cleaned the bathroom and the floors in the house. We even went on a date – an architectural boat cruise of Boston. And while we were making a productive weekend sans-baby… we were updated with photos on what Avery was up to…
We picked Avery up on Sunday afternoon – he barely glanced at us he was so occupied pretending to drive Grampy’s big truck. We packed him up (along with a big bag of apples!) and said our goodbyes and headed home – ready to start our week refreshed and Avery was worn out because that night – he slept thru the night!
Did I feel guilty for sending him away? Yes. I love Avery and cherish every second I get with him. But to be a better Mom for him, I need time to myself to regroup and recharge my batteries. I try to remind myself of that so the guilt goes away a little bit. Plus, they say it takes a village to raise a child, right…?
How do you ‘do it all’? (withouth losing your mind!?) Do you enlist the help of family and friends? Do you sneak naps at work during lunch in your car? (a friend of mine does!) Do you have amazing friends like ours that won’t let us pay them when we need a sitter for a few hours every couple of weeks.
Pssst… someone claimed Avery’s Secret Gift from Friday… who was it? They asked to stay a mystery