I’m sorry but you’re wrong, taking breaks makes me a BETTER mom

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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There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Karen at 6:34 pm

    The mom guilt is real and never goes away! My youngest is the same age as your son and I would’ve hidden from her, too. LOL. Sometimes we need to take a break for ourselves so we don’t start feeling resentful.

  2. Liz at 9:34 am

    You can be a good mom and still have your own feelings and needs. You can be tired and want some me-time. Yes, you probably put your child’s NEEDS ahead of your own but reading to your child isn’t a need and it’s okay to say no to their wants sometimes. It’s actually healthy for them to learn that although you love them and want them to happy, you are also a person whose feelings count and they don’t always get what they want.

  3. Kimberly at 6:10 pm

    Mom guilt is real. But I was a different kind of Mom wishing I was like you when I grew up. The fun, comedic, seemingly perfect LOL Mary poppins like mom. anyway I just want to let you know maybe Holden will be like my Daniel. We started reading Harry Potter books together every night together when he was in grade school and actually finished the last book together reading when he was actually in high school. Mind it was only the Harry Potter books, not every night in high school, but still it was a VERY special time together. He came back home recently from 3 provinces away so we could get matching tattoos of all things. I am 64 and preached to them never get tattoos they are permanent. You will probably regret it. Of course they did their own thing. He also totally surprised me with tickets to the live production of Harry Potter and the cursed child. The whole point of this is a break is fine.