Breaks: The door to a blank slate

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Give me a B, give me a R, give me a E, give me a A, give me a K.  What does that spell? Break. That’s right, BREAK!

I am a stay at home mom of two young children whom I love beyond measure and like every other mom, I stay busy from sun up to sun down.  I start out by waking up, getting my kids dressed, preparing breakfast, having story time, washing dishes, washing and drying clothes, feeding the dogs, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, etc.  By the time my husband comes home I am in tears from being physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. I honestly hate for him to see me like this–this sort of unstable state of being, but this is the reality.

As a mom, I naturally put my kids before myself and I am always working hard to ensure that they have everything that they need.  Their are many days where I become so invested in making sure that my kids are happy and taken care of that I tend to forget to try and take care of myself such as eating meals, brushing my teeth, taking restroom breaks, and brushing my hair.  Now when I became pregnant with my children, I made a promise that I would put my whole self into caring for kids and ensuring that they had everything they needed plus more–no matter what it took.  How am I suppose to continue to fulfill this promise if I am constantly exhausted, overwhelmed, and frustrated?

I love my kids dearly, but their comes a time where the car is going to run out of gas and we are going to need to stop and refuel.  In other words, no matter how good of a mom you may be, sooner or later you are going to need a break. The first thing that comes to mind for many moms is attempting to take a break during nap time, however not this momma–my son tries to nap but his older sister likes to wake him up.  So I am forced to seek out other sources for a break opportunity.

Now when I say Break, I don’t mean an all inclusive trip to Hawaii, although that would be a dream come true.  What I mean by Break is going into your bedroom (alone) and taking a moment, taking a jog around the block, reading a book, watching a funny movie, listening to music, crafting–whatever you need to do in order to collect your thoughts, regain some energy, and to find yourself.  Breaks are not an excuse for moms to get out of taking care of  the kids, rather an opportunity for us to hold onto our sanity.
Whenever I get the opportunity to take breaks I am beyond grateful for them even if they are just 5 minutes–you can do alot in 5 minutes.

Having time to myself allows for me to calm down from whatever frustration I may have been feeling, to rest from the busy non-stop day, to have time of no crying children, to feed my empty rumbling tummy, to brush my tangled hair, to clean my plaque filled teeth, to use the restroom after holding it for several hours, to realize that just because I chose to take a break doesn’t make me a bad mom.

I cant imagine my life without my kids but, some days things seem impossible to achieve with the constant needs and wants that kids require. I realize that I took things for granted on how easily I could get things done before I became a mom, I didn’t know how easy I had it ! There is no such thing as running into a store “real quick” hahaha. I haven’t been in the store for one thing or without a near melt break down since kids came into the picture. I told myself I would never be the mom whom bribed kids with food to hush or the mom of the kid throwing the huge tantrum. If we could just get in and out of the store without a toy purchased, open food containers, or a tantrum it would be a miracle that I have yet to see happen. There has been times I’ve debated if i want my house run out of food before I’ve decided to make the dreadful trip to the supermarket.

Private time in the restroom has completely gone out the window. Honestly, I don’t even know what privacy is anymore. I cant’t make it in and out of the restroom without a herd of children barreling through the door to watch me do my business. They must believe it is a fascinating place where mom make the magic happen with the way they stare at me. If they aren’t in the restroom then it is the sound of knock,knock, knock, “mom,mom,mom” over and over. “Moms, not here kids !”

I used to watch my own shows on television and loved my hours of juicy episodes of shows like Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars. Now, I couldn’t even tell you who is who on my once loved shows. I spend hours listening to “Hot dog, Hot dog, Hot Diggity Dog” If I could tell you how many times I wanna shove that hot dog where the sun doesn’t shine! People tell me ” oh just record and watch later”. There is never a “later” and if I did stumble upon a chance to watch a show, after the kids were in bed, I would be snoring within the first 5 minutes and it would be a lost cause.

I’m sure I took the simple things for granted that are now small victories but, its a daily battle that I’m willing to fight. Life is much more difficult with children but, its also more full of joy and I’m willing to take that any day. Some days may be good to where you may not need a break, some may be bad to where you would give anything for a break.  It takes a strong person to admit these struggles and at the end of every single day I know that I used every ounce of energy in my body to provide for my children so that they can continue to grow in a safe, loving, nurturing environment.

The beauty in all of this is that it is best to forget about all the bad things that happen today and focus on how you are going to make tomorrow a better day.  Everyday is a new day, it is a break, it is a fresh start, it is an opportunity for me to start with a blank slate.

This post is dedicated to all of you moms out there–You are not alone.