a lifestyle blog

I Need Time Away, But I Miss My Kid

Getting in "me time" as a mom is necessary. I'm trying to fit it in more, but the hours I have while Jax naps aren't exactly time to unwind. They're usually spent working on my businesses, prepping meals, or cleaning the house. Just when I finish everything and plop down on the couch, he cries out. It's like his internal alarm clock sounds off - "WAKE UP! MOM HAS NOTHING TO DO!"

This past month I've been enjoying more time out of the house, whether running errands or visiting my favorite spots. Do you know how glorious it feels to buy lunch meat for my husband at the grocery store or stock up on toilet paper at Costco on my own?

Besides shopping for our household, I have been doing things for myself - like escaping to the bookstore or my favorite tea shop. I'm currently writing this blog post in Teaspressa - the most aesthetically pleasing spot on the planet. I feel like my old self again, even if I'm ironically writing about motherhood. You never really do escape it, do ya?

My mom has been a savior in watching Jax while I get out of the house or simply take a nap (pregnancy with a toddler is tiring). Bonus, she loves to clean. No, really. She loves it. It's in her blood. I get that from her - most days. I get home to freshly mopped floors, a sparkling kitchen, and an alive and well toddler. She's a unicorn - an OCD unicorn.

Despite the magic that takes place while I'm away, I struggle to get out that garage door. A sadness washes over me. I kiss my son as if he's going off to college. I say "thank you" to my mom 17 times - mostly because I mean it, but also because I'm stalling. It's freaking hard to leave my son. It's a mix of FOMO and guilt. Isn't that a fun cocktail? You'd think I'd be like, "Hell yeah!," riding an imaginary pony as I close the door behind me. You'd think spending all day, every day with my son would be more than enough to hold me over for a few hours. But no.

I totally trust my mom. It's not that. The only thing she does is love him too much - and gives into his every snack request. The truth is, I miss the hell out of my crazy, cute, tiring toddler - the one I desperately wish to escape some days. It's conflicting and confusing as hell.

I scared the shit out of my husband the other day when I went into full on meltdown mode. In between sobs, I said "I need time to myself!" He understandingly said, "Take it! Do what you need." And then I yelled at him, "I don't want to leave Jax! YOU DON'T GET IT!" I could blame the pregnancy hormones, but I'm 90% sure I was like this before he knocked me up. Poor guy.

My "me time" is typically spent asking for photo and video updates. Most of the time I'm rushing to get home, which totally defeats the purpose. I'm getting better at this. At this moment, I have officially been out of the house for 1.5 hours. Yes, I'm timing it. Yes, I do this on date nights too. But you know what? My husband is the same way. We went on a dinner date a few weeks ago, laughed at videos of Jax over an egg roll appetizer, and were home in an hour.

I know that I need to work on a few things - and that's putting it nicely.
I need to understand that the bond I have with my son won't be broken if I spend a few hours alone or on a date.
My need for freedom and meeting my needs doesn't 't make me a bad mom.
These feelings caused by separation are normal (right?) and I need to be kind to myself as I work through them.
I should focus on being present in my "me time" or date nights. AKA, put the phone down and stop looking at Jax dancing in his diaper - no matter how cute his pot belly is when he does the body roll. I can't even do the body roll, by the way. He didn't get his dancing from me and it's definitely not from his dad.

As crippling as it is to leave the house sometimes, I know it's necessary for me. It resets me. It reminds me I'm a person outside of being a mom. It makes me better. Plus, my son can escape me and my constant requests for kisses. There are benefits for us both. Bonus being his face lighting up when I come home.

Oh, and to the working moms. You are freaking strong mamajamas. And yes, I feel somewhat crazy/irrational/insensitive for writing this post when you have to leave your kiddos almost every day. I can totally feel a few of you rolling your eyes as you read this. That said, I think everyone's feelings are valid no matter what the situation is. It's important to talk through them - or write through them.

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