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Break Me: I've been feeling quite trapped as a mom lately. I've had snatches of this before, mostly moments where I'm hiding with my nursing baby while everyone else has fun. In every day life, a person can decide "I need a break" and then go take one. A coffee break. A walk. A lunch to themselves. One can do errands on any timetable, make plans, exercise, sleep.

I wrote before about Wednesdays and how I get 1:05 to myself, minus driving time. And by "to myself" I mean, with Arthur.

I can name three people who would watch Arthur, whether he cried or not. And recently a friend told me she felt she should offer to take him on a regular basis, so we're trying that out right now. Of course, shortly thereafter I realized I have two other kids that need taking care of at that time. So, I arranged for someone to watch them as well, giving me about an hour and 20 minutes to myself, after driving time, and return for drop off requirements. Do you know what I did with it? Sat in the car writing this post. Seems like for all the effort it is to arrange time to myself, I should do something momentous, but I don't even feel like it after all that. Don't even know what I would do with time to myself. I wish I were cleaning, or exercising, but part of the reason errands seemed appealing during this time was that I had to drive across town to drop Arthur off. Seems silly to do that twice just so I can go home and clean something. Of course I have no errands to run, except for one at a place that apparently doesn't open until 10.

As you can see, arranging a break is basically more work than it's worth. I can never just go do anything because being a mom is a full-time job, not 40 hours a week, or 70 like John works sometimes. 24 hours a day Every Single Day and it never ends and even if I get a break, I had to work extra hard to plan it, arrange it, time it, pack bags for all my kids, prepare snacks, pump milk, drive them places, pick them up, clean it all up and put it away afterwards, and then watch someone's kids to pay them back for watching mine. . Bleh.

So, by the time I get an unexpected five minute break from parenting - say Sienna and Arthur actually slept at the same time - I usually end up wasting it because I'm worn out and exhausted and surely I can clean or fold laundry while they're awake, and someone's going to wake up any minute anyway.

Lest you think I sat here moping for an hour and twenty minutes, I'll have you know I also went to Target and spent $90 on stuff we didn't really need.


© 1999-2021 Susanna Chadwick.