Monday, March 23, 2009

How To Be A Better Mom In One Easy Step

There are people out there who might think that leaving my kids "behind" with my parents while I go cavorting about town makes me a bad parent.
Actually, it makes me a better parent.

It's true...those of you who do it, know I'm right. Those of you who never have, give it a test run. Being away from my kids makes me a better mom.

We finally made it to our Orlando getaway this weekend. We left the boys with my mom on Friday night so we could leave at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning. We spent the day doing a whole lotta nothing (for those of you who read my previous's okay, I scheduled it in). We rode rollercoasters, we drank beer, we walked around, we ate ice cream. And...we held hands. We had grown up conversations. We went to the restroom instead of the potty. We spent quality time together.

And when we came home, we were both not only ready to see the boys, we were excited to see them. The tediousness of the feeding, the bathing, the constant negotiating every little's all made easier by the fact that we had a break from it. Babysitting is like Red Bull for parenting.

Something as simple as coming home from work on Friday and not having the boys with me is a Lovely Break From Life. That, alone, is a 15 minute adventure that can leave me needing a drink: Park the car, get the baby, put him in the house, come back for Ben, play that game where he runs around inside the car from door to door so I can't get him out, usher him into the house while he points out lizards/ants/dust particles, check on Aidan, go back to the car, get my purse/lunch/gym bag/random crap, lock the car.... And this is all BEFORE I even get in the house and begin the next process of Ben wanting to: go potty/play/watch TV/chase me around the house/run from the dinosaurs/take the toy Aidan is playing with/eat a snack...all while Aidan is wailing for a bottle and sitting in a dirty diaper. Really, coming home with no kids...that, alone, is comparable to a spa visit.Now factor in a little getaway and a full night's sleep...I am a new woman.

People ask: "But don't you miss them?" Um, sometimes. But am I supposed to be permanently affixed to every single person I love for every second of my life lest I miss them? "Hi, boss...yeah, this is my best friend and my husband and my granny and my son and my puppy. I couldn't bear to come to work without them because I'd miss them." And I they ask this of the fathers? If a man goes away for a fishing trip (I know, so stereotypical...why fishing? I don't even know any man who fishes...!), do people ask him if he missed his children? If he had trouble t-e-a-r-ing himself away? I just don't get it. I can love my kids and be away from them for a bit. It's really good for my marriage and really good for my sanity. And really, really, really good for my kids.


  1. My wise brother says that as each of his three children were born, he was moved down a rung on the ladder of importance in his family. I believe each of us needs a chance to be at the top of the ladder occasionally. Otherwise we lose the sense of who we are. When we have kids they often become the number one priority in life. Taking a break from life occasionally helps maintain the sanity needed to cope with life. A weekend away from the kids epitomizes the idiom “absence makes the heart grow stronger.” Most of us allow ourselves “mental health” days from work. We need to give ourselves this gift on occasion. Congratulations on giving yourselves the gift.

  2. Amen to that! John and I plan those trips away from the boys like people who are looking forward to returning to civilization after being stranded on a deserted island. It helps you clear your mind for what is next on the agenda and you GET TO HOLD HANDS, which you most certainly can't do when you are steering a stroller and chasing after two other kids...No guilt here; just a mom who is more than happy to teach her kids that your marriage comes first, or else you guys wouldn't exist!

  3. The monotony of just the everyday is killing me!!


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