Mommy Breaks

Sharon writes:

I have a confession. Yesterday, I was so tired that I lied to my child and said that I needed to go potty and then, I locked myself in the bathroom to take a nap on the bathroom floor. Keep in mind that my bathroom is not just small but extremely small. So small that while lying on a folded up beach towel (for comfort), I needed to bend my knees and lean my legs against the door. There wasn’t even enough room to fold my arms under my head because my elbows would hit the closet door on one side and the toilet on the other. So, therefore, I had to keep my arms above my head but slightly curved so that they wouldn’t hit the wall at the opposite end of the bathroom. After a quite refreshing 20 minute cat nap, I couldn’t feel my arms or legs because the “pins and needle” feeling was so bad.
You may ask why I didn’t just nap like a normal person on the couch or in my bed. It is because I have a four-year old with a mommy-tracking / sleep detecting system so strong that the military would be jealous. I could clean the entire house, wrap a million presents, or bake a wedding cake and I could probably get away with it with minimal interruption if I put on a Scooby- Doo video. But the minute I lie down and close my eyes my son is hovering over me. I can ask him to let me rest for a minute and he will agree that it’s a good idea. So good, in fact, that he will decide to join me. He’ll want to “cuddle”. And by “cuddle”, I mean lay next to me or on top of me. Inevitably, some part of his bony little four-year old body will be poking me, usually an elbow in the ribs or his chin in my back. I should also mention that he is not very still. Or quiet. He’ll talk continuously, saying things like, “Are you sleeping yet Mommy?” or “It’s always good to take a rest when you’re tired, isn’t it Mommy?”. This was not working so I went to the one place where I still have peace and privacy, but this place is usually where I make important phone calls, the bathroom. I know that I am lucky because some mothers don’t even catch a break in the bathroom.
The whole incident made me realize that I don’t make enough of an effort to take “Mommy Breaks”. I usually feel so guilty that I plan my “alone time” for after the children are in bed. But, honestly, after the kids are in bed I usually have to straighten up the house or finish the laundry and then I am just too tired to do anything. I need to make plans during normal, daylight hours to do something for me, whether it’s going to get a manicure, going out for a run, or just to take a nap. I think taking a “Mommy Break” once in a while will actually help me to be a better mother. After all, how can I take care of other people if I don’t take care of myself? Sadly, I know I am not the only mother out there neglecting myself so I hope my “napping on the bathroom floor” story helps other women recognize the need for a “Mommy Break” as well. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and in this case, a desperate mommy calls for the babysitter!

Rachel says:

Sharon, what a funny (and strangely familiar) story! My kids are now old enough so that I can lie down for a nap more or less uninterrupted but there were certainly times when I would hire a babysitter, put in some ear plugs and shut my bedroom door.

I can’t wait to see what the comments are on this one!

Audrey adds:

Ah, those days when I would have cheerfully boarded the next jet to India, leaving a little note,
“Sorry my dear children, you are wonderful, but I now realize it would be less stressful to be a street musician in New Delhi, than to spend one more day not being able to pee without someone watching me.”
Now I call my kids, not too often, and ask for a few news items about their exciting independent lives. No, I don't want company in the bathroom, but.....

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