Yes, I Need a Break
Moms Ok, real talk.
I am a stay at home mom. A work at home mom. A mom in general.
It all sounds so glamorous and fun and sometimes it can be. That doesn’t change the fact that sometimes I just need a break.
It doesn’t mean I love my baby any less. My days are filled with sweet smiles and giggles and hugs and watching her learn about the entire world from the bottom up. I love her with every fiber of my being. But sometimes, still, I need a break.
Those full days don’t end when I clock out or leave the office. My office is wherever there is a computer, free wifi or my phone. My “business” hours are whenever she’s asleep but not in my arms or on my chest. Spreadsheets and financials whenever my husband is home but not for too long lest we sacrifice crucial family time. In the wee hours of the night between short sleep cycles and dream nursing and pulling her away from the edge of the bed. And this is just my part time job.
There is no vacation accrued after so many hours of keeping your kid alive. There darn sure isn’t a 401K or sick leave pool. The day shift rolls immediately into the night shift and back again.
It may sound like I’m complaining, and maybe I am. I love my job and I honestly do what I do because I believe in it. My child is my greatest accomplishment and my life is amazing. I am abundantly blessed and grateful. It doesn’t change my need for a break.
Honestly I think there’s something wrong when people can complain about literally any and every job but when it comes to being a parent it isn’t acceptable. This is the hardest and worst paying job on earth. Probably because it still isn’t considered a job. Even after studies are published saying moms work the equivalent of 2.5 full time jobs. You’re constantly given un-constructive criticism. There’s only so much mental and emotional load a person can take before things boil over. Things are forgotten and wallets are lost. How many moms have broken down in the bathroom just because they need a solitary moment of peace? How many wives have snapped at their husbands for a small thing that really was an accumulation of many things big and small? And this is on the light end of the spectrum. Many women suffer from anxiety and depression from postpartum mood changes or otherwise.
Still we can’t help but smile and happy cry when we look at those babies who we know won’t be in this stage very long. We tell each other and ourselves to savor every moment and we try. We feel the mom guilt heavy on our shoulders as we exhale our frustration and put on our calming mommy voice. We apologize for being harsh. We resolve to find a way to squeeze in some self care. Then we see another task waiting to be done. Or we put down the baby and run back when they cry out.