Tonight, I left my daughter calling to me from the front window as I left for my “night out”. Not only was she crying heart-brokenly, she’d jumped out of her bath to chase me down – she was also naked. I pulled her little octopus-like arms and legs off me trying to convince her I wouldn’t be gone long, I loved her, to please not cry. My husband shooed me out of the house and I walked away wondering, “Am I a terrible mom for leaving her like that?”
The truth is, I haven’t been getting time away lately and I’m beginning to feel it. My humor, mental acuity and patience (not to mention romantic inclinations) all suffer without time away. We women have an incredible capacity to care for our families but we need to remember that if we don’t nurture ourselves first, we will have nothing left to nurture those around us. I find the more time I take for myself, the more I recognize the need to carve out multiple little spaces in my day to remind me that I’m more than just a mom.
The bonus for my efforts? I ran into a sister (easy to do when you have so many!), another friend - and met someone new. I returned after only two hours - feeling refreshed and ready to face motherhood again. Pretty good for a night that started with such sad drama!
So, to answer my earlier question…I’ll be a better mom to that crying girl in the window if I take the time to find the human, woman, friend, reader, lover etc. hiding somewhere inside me…