I had the afternoon off on Sunday and it was awesome! At first my plan was to work at home but that never works – even though Ian is on point it’s still “Mommy, can we have snack?” “Ask daddy!” “Mommy, can you fix this?” “Ask daddy!!” “Mommy…” “ASK DADDY!!!”
The other problem of course is that if I’m at home with the rest of my work I feel like I should be doing that. A change of scenery was in order, so I packed up my computer and walked downtown to spend the afternoon at our local coffee shop.
Ian had plans for the afternoon with the kids and my instructions were to do whatever I wanted and come home whenever I wanted, so I did – and for once I didn’t feel guilty about it!
Because that’s the problem with us moms, isn’t it? We have so much expected of us, and expect so much more of ourselves, that even if we ask or if people offer to take some of it off us, we can’t enjoy that freedom because we’re too busy either feeling guilty that we’re not doing it or worrying that they won’t do it right.
When I do have a “break” I spend the time counting down to when I have to go back to “reality”, worrying about how Ian and the kids are doing, feeling that I’m shirking my “duties”, and imagining the disaster I’ll find when I get home. And in the back of my mind there is always the nagging thought that it would have been easier not to go at all.
This time I let go – of guilt, of responsibility, of worry – and I sat and enjoyed my time. I didn’t even order a coffee for an hour because I didn’t want to waste my time off standing in line. I kept thinking, “No worries; I’ll just go up when the crowd dies down.” I sat and worked on my blog – something that is just for me, and I did it because it was what I wanted to do.
I’ve been feeling a bit off lately. I had been assuring myself and Ian and everyone else I talked to about it that I was pretty sure it was not the depression, just physical symptoms – like a tight, sore jaw, difficulty sleeping, and headaches – that were making me tired and irritable. I went to the doctor to ask if it could be side-effects from my medication and if I should decrease my dose. He said no, it sounded like the symptoms were caused by my stress, not the other way around, and that maybe increasing the dose would help. “Huh,” said I, thinking about some wise words written recently by Honest Mom, and I did it and I’ll be damned if it didn’t work.
Between the dose increase, the awesome day off, and some other cool stuff going on that maybe I’ll get into in a later post, things is looking up and I’m feeling more like me old self again. And I’m sleeping better, even with Miss Molly waking up at 3:00 AM crying for crackers.
Karen…I have been suffering with depression for the past 15 years, so if you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to about depression I am here for you. People who do not suffer from this lovely disease do not understand what we go through~sooo I am here if you need someone to talk to or go for coffee
Thanks so much Sharon – It’s great to know that I have such wonderful supportive friends! The same goes for you too – if you need someone to talk to or go for coffee I’m here.
Is there anything I can do?
Thanks Kate – You’re already doing it! You’re a big part of the cool stuff that’s going on right now!
Why in the world is it so hard for us moms to take time for ourselves? I used to have the same problem and am *finally* getting better at it. So glad you are happier! Hopefully you’ll start taking more time off, too!
(Btw, I’m writing this from Panera where I go every Saturday morning for alone time. Alone time just can not happen in my own home.)
I love the Saturday morning alone time idea – I’m going to try to make my coffee date with myself a weekly tradition too!
I have a hard time enjoying being by myself too. I get the guilt and I have a real unhealthy love affair with anxiety. Usually when I’m leaving my kids in the care of someone else they end up yelling at me to leave already, dammit. I get it. I totally get it.
I’m so there with the not leaving – I make lists and schedules, go over instructions – is it really the end of the world if the babysitter doesn’t get bedtime “right?” It’s not like I get it “right” every time!!
I’m so glad you are feeling better! I totally get what you are talking about, obviously. Thank you for the shout-out too. 🙂
Thanks JD! I feel like you’re my blogging Obi-Wan – I often read your posts where you bravely say something that I’ve only been able to whisper in my head and it gives me the nerve to say, “You know what? ME TOO!”