#whatmomsgoogle - momma needs a break

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hi there!!! It's #whatmomsgoogle time! Where your two resident hot-mess-moms discuss what real moms are googling. We don't promise to be right but we do promise to be real.

This post is going to be full of "let's be real" because, well, that's how I roll these days.

This week's google search:

Am I a bad mom for needing a break?

Not even close
Are you kidding me?
So not
Heck no
Just NO

Ya feeling where this is going? You are NOT a bad mom for needing a break. You are NOT a bad mom for wanting a break and you are NOT a bad mom for TAKING a break. 

Let's say it together: "I am not a bad mom for needing time away from my child(ren)"

Exhausted and in serious need of a break. Oliver too, apparently.

Life is not perfect 100% of the time. Yes, we are healthy (as far as I know) and yes, my kids are the cutest things that have ever existed and I am grateful for this life every.single.day. That doesn't mean it's easy and that doesn't mean I don't need a break.

Yup, I'll take a break... or help... you can keep the quotes though, unless quotes babysit.

Let me further address the above Google search. Am I bad mom for needing a break is number 2? Of ALL the things you could potentially Google being a bad mom for, needing a break is number 2? Not even taking  said break, just needing it.


I call bullshit.

There, I said it.

Moms, we not only need breaks, we freaking DESERVE them!! We earn it every single day.

Sure, there will be those moms who delight in being around their children 24/7 but don't let them fool you, they are NOT the norm. It is okay, no, it is NORMAL to want, need and take breaks from parenting.

Taking a break does NOT make you a bad mom. In fact, if you're anything like me, I am a worse mom when I don't get breaks so technically, taking breaks make me a good mom. Take that Google.

As far as I'm concerned, as soon as the children are born there should be a plan for "mom breaks". I'm not saying mom should take off to Las Vegas or anything (cause, like, really, who would do that?! Oh wait, that would be me) but maybe leave the house without children. You can start small, go for walk, do groceries or something but then set your sights high friends, you could find yourself weaning your 8 month old onto formula just so you can take off for a girl's weekend (yup, I did that).

child-free in Vegas!

Parenting is a lot of work. Whether you're a stay at home mom or a working mom, you're still a mom and you still need breaks. You still DESERVE breaks.

Let me tell you something personal (cause you know, I'm all about keeping secrets HA): prior to my Vegas trip I was kind of a mess. I was dealing with tons of anxiety and overwhelmed by even the slightest of things. I was grumpy and irritable and not a whole lot of fun to be around. I stressed over everything. I worried constantly. I had knots in my stomach and crappy sleep (and not just because my wee one is still getting up once a night). I fretted about everything both trip-related and not.

And then I left. I pushed my mom-guilt aside and I left.

On Thursday morning at 4:50am, after my last breastfeeding session with my wee man, I left.

I left and as I drove away, anxiety started to mount again and I took a breath. It will be OKAY. I will be OKAY. They will be OKAY. And... I need this.

I made a decision to let go.

I BREATHED (and made a beeline for the nearest Tim Hortons for an egg sandwich WITH cheese).

I didn't forget my kids, I missed them like all get out but you know what? They survived (although I wonder how at times especially since I got a text from Mr. B saying Oliver had climbed the entire set of stairs while he was doing dishes. How many dishes could there be? Um close the flipping gate. UGH). Okay, so ALL the anxiety might not have been gone, but pretty close.

Where was I? Oh right, I had to make a conscientious decision to stop feeling guilty not just for taking a break but for needing it. I had to decide to enjoy this time, embrace it even.

me and some super cool ladies (notice the lack of children)

Sometimes, I want to punch mom-guilt right in the face. Seriously. I recently wrote about how to eliminate mom-guilt for good (where I also talk about feeling guilty about taking breaks) and I made sure to practice this the entire time I was away. It helped. It also helped to be surrounded by some other amazing and encouraging mommas who recognized the value in time away.

It got easier as the days past (all 5 of them) and you know what? My kids not only survived, they had a great time. I'll admit, I was a little sad they did so well because it felt like they didn't need me but I am also so proud to have a partner who is truly a partner in parenting and that I trust so much.

I was secretly worried he wouldn't remember me but he was ALL smiles when he laid eyes on me and has been ever since. 

My sweet girl was such an angel while I was gone. She had her first sleepover at a friend's house AND attended her first birthday party without mom and dad. Pretty exciting stuff! 
Excuse my face here, I haven't slept in like 30 hours and am close to passing out (that happened about 30 min later)

What else happened? I came home a better mom.

I got to adult and feel like I'm still something and someone outside of my mom role. Sure, I talked about my kids ad nauseam, but I also adult-ed (and I'll pretend that I wasn't talking baby-talk to the 8 month old across from me or that I didn't ask all the moms at the airport about their kids... yup, I'm that person).

I came home and jumped back into the daily grind of parenting but I did it with less stress, with less worry and less anxiety.

I took a break and I am a better mom.

palm trees would make anyone happy, I'm sure of it.

After nearly 9 months I took a solid break, one that was overdue, and we are all better for it.

So guess what? Regular scheduled breaks will be coming at this momma. Screw the mom guilt because in all honesty, I will feel more guilty knowing I tried to parent while feeling stressed out all of the time.

It's better to ask for and take the time you need so that you can be there for your kids at your best. They deserve that and so you do.

When is your next break scheduled? What's your favorite 'child-free' activity?

Now rush over to see what Abbie Answered. You won't regret it.

AND don't forget to come back next week to see how we answer your burning mom questions... or questions about burning something. Whatever.