21 April 2011

Just One Thing

Leave to Come Back

I'm back from my little vacation.

And this little vacation was everything it promised and more.  I'm refreshed, happy, content, and ready to Be Here for my family.

I spent a week with my best of best friends.  I left my children in the care of my husband, who loves me enough to use vacation days to give me this gift.

We did next to nothing.  Unless we wanted to.

Sometimes we wanted to take walks.  Sometimes we wanted to get good exercise.  Nothing like running along the Mediterranean Sea with a warm breeze in your face.  Sometimes we wanted to chat.  Sometimes we wanted to stop chatting and read.  Sometimes we just wanted to sit and watch the world go by.  

We did all of that and more.  

I used to get so frustrated as a new mother.  I wanted to be home with my son all the time.  I wanted to play with him all day long.  You know, be perfect.  But I wasn't.  I got angry easily.  I was tired.  I used to sit down to play with him, get bored, check the clock, and realize only 10 minutes had gone by.  Eventually, for the health of both of us, I got a job.  A very part time job.  It started just when my husband was able to watch my son, but gradually expanded to a few hours a week with a babysitter, once he was a little older.  

I had to get over enormous amounts of guilt.  Until I discovered I was a much better mother with this little bit of time away.  I've continued that in some form with all of my children, once they got old enough to handle me being gone.  And it's still working.  I'm more patient, loving, and empathetic.  But most of all, I enjoy my kids more.  I don't take them for granted.  I look forward to school breaks, or the fact that they have one half day per week.  Still not perfect, but a huge improvement over how things were.

This isn't the answer for everyone.  But it is for me.  

I am realizing that needing time to take care of myself (yes, even for an occasional holiday) isn't selfish or ungodly.  It gives me the tools I need to Parent My Children.  It gives me greater capacity to love and nurture.  

And so, now, I am happy for the 2 week break the boys have starting tomorrow.  I'm ready to spend time together, getting dirty and making memories.  

Bring It On.

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