Dear nameless woman,
So the other day I said I was hiding from my son because I didn’t feel like reading to him that night. And you said I should read to my son now because pretty soon he won’t want me to anymore. And here’s the thing, you’re right. That day is coming soon, and I will absolutely miss reading to him. A lot.
But.. you knew a big ole but was coming, didn’t you?
BUT you need to stop saying stuff like that to other mothers.
I know you didn’t mean any harm by your comment. I know it came from the heart. And usually I love hearing awesome words of advice from moms who have older kids, but not this time. I read to my kid every damn night. I used to keep books in the car just so I could read to him before preschool. I read to him when he’s on the toilet, in the bath, after school, in waiting rooms, on vacation, etc etc etc. But that night, I just needed a break.
A much-deserved break.
I know I should take advantage of these years because one day I’ll miss reading to him. The same way I already miss cuddling with him every morning, and singing him songs at bedtime, and pushing him in the stroller. But giving myself a break one night isn’t going to make me miss it any more or less.
I breastfed him for ten months, and I still miss it. But I don’t regret the few nights I took off and let someone bottle feed him.
I used to give him baths every night because he wanted Mommy. But I don’t regret letting his dad take over sometimes.
Heck, I miss changing his diapers! But that doesn’t mean I wish I did it every single time. In fact, I can think of a few times I wish I passed it off to someone else.
I would never tell another mother, “Don’t go away this weekend because your kids are getting older by the minute, and you don’t want to miss a second of it.” Nope, I’d say, “Go go go! Enjoy your brief moment freedom! Have a margarita! Come back well-rested! I’ll live vicariously through you!” I’d make her feel BETTER about taking a moment to herself. Not worse.
Moms feel guilty ALL THE TIME. I remember feeling guilty when I needed to leave my baby to go take a shower. I remember feeling guilty when I had to travel for work. I remember feeling guilty for forgetting the tooth fairy, for leaving the house before bedtime, for missing a soccer game to get a haircut. Moms feel guilty constantly. So please please pleeeease don’t make feel them feel guiltier for wanting a break.
We all need breaks. If I didn’t give myself a break every once in a while, I think I might grow to hate those amazing moments. Giving myself time off makes me love and appreciate them even more.
Taking a break makes me a BETTER mom.
A mom who will absolutely miss it all one day no matter what I do now
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