I have to tell you, I love being a mom. I love seeing my boys grow and develop, watching them refine their social skills and practice empathy. It feels good to be able to take them to activities like preschool, swimming, music class, and other activities outside the home. But sometimes, it can feel a little overwhelming. Sometimes all the hustle and bustle can make you feel worn thin.
It’s on mornings like today that I know I need a break. An unplanned departure from our routine. Some days it is better to skip everything and just stay home.
Today was that day. We had a morning Moms and Tots group to be at, but the boys slept late, and I was feeling frazzled. The house was a mess, nothing felt calm, and the past week it seemed like we have been at home only long enough to eat, mess up the kitchen getting food prepped, and sleep. I needed a break. Not from the kids — because we’d been fortunate enough to have date night this week — but from the grind of our routine. While I love going to our Moms and Tots group, and I know it’s great for both boys, I could tell we all needed a break.
The clincher was when Toby, during breakfast, asked: “Mommy, can we miss part of Moms and Tots so that I can have energy?” The poor kid has been crashing around lunchtime the past few days. Although he gave up naps about a year ago, this week Toby consistently asked to be done with lunch so he could go rest — resulting in a four hour nap each time.
I know when to cut my losses. The schedule, the routine, isn’t more important than our sanity and well-being. It’s not worth “making it” to all our activities if my kids are going to have meltdowns from being so exhausted they can’t sit at the table for lunch. And I’ve needed those naps too.
It’s not like I’ve gotten nothing done this morning. On the contrary. I tidied the kitchen, put away the straggling Christmas gifts that were piled by the piano, emptied laundry baskets (yes, plural) of clean clothes, and started a load of laundry.
But it feels peaceful. Relaxed. Calm. The stress is melting off my shoulders as I sit here and type. Toby is playing happily with his matchbox cars and Zack is diligently watching. We are a contented bunch, our morning obligations thrown to the wind.
We are happy. We are having fun. This break was much needed…. essential for our sanity.
Instead of the activity being our priority this morning… my kids are my priority. Isn’t it crazy how the things we do for our kids can sometimes take our attention away from our kids? That’s not right. So this morning we are getting things straightened out. I’m listening to myself and my subconscious desire to stay home. I’m listening to my boys, interacting with them, taking time for them — instead of shuttling and directing them. Toby is now playing peacefully with his toys, bringing me tea and pizza from “his” kitchen. Zack is cooing while he rolls on the floor, trying to get places.
We’re not doing much, but sometimes nothing means everything.
Some mornings, you just need to stay home.
What about you? Have you felt worn thin by the many pressures of parenting? The schedules that seem to become ever busier? How do you decompress and help yourself find peace in the middle of a tumultuous week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.