Motherhood is beautiful, but it’s exhausting. Really, life is exhausting.
I mean all the responsibility. The doing and the being and the adulting. It’s a lot sometimes.
My babysitter owes me a few days of watching the boys for “free” from many days of me paying her even though the boys weren’t there. Today, my ex was supposed to have them for an over night visit but of course, something else came up. So I had some options.
1. Keep on living life as usual and soak in extra time with my boys.
2. Cash in on my available child care and do something for myself.
I’ve been tired and ornery and sick of adulthood this week, so I chose the latter.
I did good mom things first though. 7:30 til about 3:30 we did all the stuff… Played, laughed, talked, took a walk, played outside and just enjoyed the work free day. But by 3:30, my hormones were a buzz and I was over it. Time for the babysitter to step in and give this mama a break.
So we loaded up and headed over. They hadn’t napped yet so of course, everyone fell fast asleep in the van on the way. A 12 minute nap never goes well as you might imagine, so waking them up to leave them at the babysitter’s house was…let’s just say, unpleasant.
The boys were all 3 clinging and crying, and one even tried to run out into the road in protest of me dodging motherhood for a few hours. He collapsed into a pile, kicked, screamed, the whole nine. I hate to admit it, but that scene almost made it a little easier to leave.
Then as I drove away, they all popped their little crying faces into the window to wave and blow me kisses.
Cue the mom guilt!
After I shook that off, I thought about what I wanted to do with the 4ish hours I’d have to myself, and I really had big plans. The possibilities were endless.
Shop? Clean? Bathe? Write a book!? Or at least a few blog posts!
What IS a mom to do with 4 hours of solitude!?
So I decided first things first.
Walk around Target aimlessly without the kids. Everyone knows the mecca of mom vacations is Target sans children. I was pumped! No circus of children to load and unload. No one fighting over the cart, no one running through the aisles, no juggling of anything, no trips to the bathroom. Just me. On vacation. In Target.
As I drove I realized how very tired I was. So, I pulled into the parking lot, found a perfect spot in the back, put the mom wagon in park, leaned back, and TOOK A NAP!
That’s right folks! I went to Target by myself, and I took a nap in the parking lot! I dropped my kids off with a babysitter, drove to Target, and Took. A. Nap.
I spent a good 40 minutes of my 4 hours taking a horizontal pause in the parking lot of momland. And it was fantastic!
I woke up, still feeling quite droopy but not willing to sacrifice any more minutes of my me time, and I sleep walked into Tarjay.
I perused the dollar section and picked up several unnecessary items. But who can resist that section, really!? Then I swooped through the bathing suits, and quickly kept rolling because who wants to ruin their precious moments of alone time torturing themselves in mirror hell? Not me! I sauntered past the clothes and the adorable, but not cheap, shoes; grabbed a pair of $3.99 flops and kept it moving. Then I meandered over to the food, grabbed a few things I needed, and several others I didn’t, and slid on over to the makeup section as I headed to the check out.
I was only there for about half an hour because although this was vacation, it’s short people. Gotta use your time wisely.
After my refreshing Target nap and kid free shopping experience, I headed home to start writing my book. Because every writer knows the best writing happens when you’re tired, cranky, and rushing to squeeze too many things into a few hour period of time as you fight the mom war of guilt in your mind.
But on the way, there was a frozen yogurt shop. And the weather was beautiful. So I stopped. I took myself on a FroYo date and I sat outside, eating my frozen yogurt in peace. I didn’t share it with anyone. I didn’t clean any off of anyone’s clothes, face or hands. I didn’t break up any fights about who had more or who got to hold how many spoons. I just sat there, enjoying my very own tasty treat.
Mom guilt would have me feel like a terrible mother for dumping my babies off on someone else and then accomplishing absolutely nothing. My inner critic would make me feel bad that I didn’t spend every waking moment with my boys. And perfectionism would want to make me feel like a messy failure for not only not cleaning or writing my book or doing anything useful, but for also taking a nap in a parking lot and then FroYoing it up.
But I refuse!
Moms need breaks in order to be good moms. Moms have to take care of themselves in order to be able to best take care of their babies. Good moms know when they need some time to regroup, and they take it. And then they return to their children, able to give them their best.
Good moms take opportunities to go to Target alone, and sometimes, they even take naps in the damn parking lot. Because they’re freaking tired.
Adulting is hard. Momming is extra hard. But it’s all worth every single second. Every now and then though, we have to take a few moments to ourselves, however they come.
Next time you get the chance to go somewhere alone, live it up for the few minutes it lasts. And by live it up I mean shower for God sakes. Or sit for an uninterrupted 5 minutes. Watch something with real people on the TV. Do, or eat, something you love. If you’re tired, take a nap! Fight off the guilt and remind yourself you deserve a break! It’s how we stay on Target! (See what I did there?)
And then go hug your babies. They missed you. 🙂