Give Me A Break

Sometimes you just need a good cry.

Picking up the kids from school on Tuesday was a traumatic experience for all. H was distraught when she learned there was no play date planned with her best friends after school (I don’t know where she got this idea), so she proceeded to throw a tantrum on the rug in the middle of the entrance to the school, literally crying and yelling at the top of her lungs, lying on her back without shoes. Other parents were walking in to get their kids, other teachers and kids were walking past and I was trying not to lose it, while calmly trying to get her up off of the floor. E walks in ready to go home, muddy from head to toe (it was another warm, wet day). Fifteen minutes later, after H was calmed, E was changed out of the muddy garb, we all climbed into the car for the 1.5 mile drive home where now E has taken off her shoes as well. Once the muddy gear, teary-eyed, shoeless children are in the house, I discover the dog peed on the princess castle, again, look around living room (which I can only describe to you as post-tornado) for H’s “blankie”, start making lunch and discover there is no cheese in the fridge and that is the one and only thing the 3-year old wants to eat and she is now crying on the kitchen floor. <sigh>.

I finally get lunch prepared, dog pee cleaned up, ibuprofen swallowed to combat the headache that has begun behind my right eye and ask the children to help me clean up the living room, which is their mess. Like a Broadway musical, they both begin speaking and arguing about why they can’t help me and they are just so tired and H took this from me, E just hit me, can I watch a show, where did blankie go, I’m still hungry, did you get cheese yet, where is the princess castle…it continues as I walk out of the room, sit on my bed and just cry.

I bawl my eyes out for a good 10 minutes and it feels so good just to get it all out. The stresses of everyday and the last hour bubbled and boiled over in the form of the salt water from my eyes and I couldn’t stop it. Sometimes you just need a good cry and you can move on with your day. Sometimes you need a quick yoga session, a cookie, a run or walk, a strong cup of tea, a glass of wine, a good book, telling yourself that “you’re fuckin awesome”, or just a hug from your babies. That’s what I got after my good cry and all was peaceful and right with our world once again. The living room got cleaned up (with just a few grumblings), muddy clothes put in the washer, and we took a quick trip to the store for more cheese (and a couple Starbucks chocolate milks to fulfill my bribe just to get them in the damn car).

It’s days like this when I remember that I need a break sometimes. My frustrations are easily visible, I yell a little more (and maybe a little louder), I respond in less than loving tones, with immature remarks, and my children can sense that mommy just isn’t herself. Life is up and down, clean and messy. Throw in 2 kids, 2 dogs, a business (with a stressed-out hubby) and mix it all together in a gray, dreary, wet winter in the middle of February, and you’ve got yourself a bona fide crazy mommy who cries in her bedroom in the middle of the afternoon.

Being at home has its own kind of pain and stress and sometimes we need to take a step back and take a break. So, in two weeks, I am taking a trip to Dallas to visit my sister for a much needed 36 hours of kid-less me time to read, to write, to have grown-up conversation without interruption. Moms need to de-stress and feel like humans again. We need time to do things we like to do, to do the things that make us feel whole, that bring us passion (look for a post on this in the near future!) and make us feel fulfilled. Yes, my children fill me with love and joy, but I need to remember me and do the things that make me feel like me – things that make me feel like Katie and not mommy because when I do that, I am a better mom. I am a better wife, daughter, sister, friend. I am not saying that every time I need to decompress that I’m going to leave for a weekend. I am saying that we all need time for ourselves. We need time away from our kids to give them a chance to miss us, to give us a chance to miss them. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” is how the saying goes.

In college, one of the ways I paid the bills was taking a nanny job for a family with one year old twins and a newborn. I was at their house every morning at 7am and it was pure chaos getting everyone up, dressed and in there chairs for breakfast before their parents left for the day. The mom was never frazzled or exhausted, she never complained. She had lunches ready each day, all I had to do was take it out of the fridge. She had a list of places to go or things to do for that day. She made my job way too easy. I will never forget what she said to me when I complimented on her extreme organization and cheer every morning, “Eric (her husband) and I are very good at still taking time for ourselves and doing the things that we love. He loves soccer and still plays every week on a team that he’s been on for years. And I still go to my sewing and scrapbooking club twice a month. It’s who we are and without those things, I think I would lose my mind.” At the time, that didn’t make as much sense to me as it does now. She was so right. There are days that I feel like I’ve lost my mind and it’s those days that remind me that it’s time to take a break. It’s time to get back to me and to take the time to do the things that I love to do most, to make it a habit instead of just an every once in a while occurrence.

I hope everyone of you takes some time for yourselves this weekend. Take a walk, a drive, a quiet moment, to find yourself among the life happening around you and be a better you because of it. Your loved ones will thank you for it. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Give Me A Break

  1. You did great that day at pick-up. I know how it feels sista! We went at Target last Sunday and as Michael was checking out, the girls and I waited. We heard a small child having a meltdown. The mother tried to keep calm and she did a great job. The little girl, around 3 threw herself on the ground by the registers. My heart went out to her. I asked if she needed a hand because I’ve been there. She said “no” so I at least offered her a tissue for the tears and dripping snot. We’ve all been there. Times like those I just want to take a vacation too, by myself, literally just to sleep and don absolutely nothing. Luckily my parents/in-laws take the girls for a weekend every here and there while Michael and I just decompress. I always miss them when they’re gone and when they return I am all refreshed and ready for life again. Everyone needs “me” time to stay sane!

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