I thought good Mom's didn't need breaks away from their kids. Good Mom's certainly didn't need help from someone else; if you were good, you could do it all. I missed many chances to be alone, or alone with him... because I felt I was a 'bad' Mom, for leaving my kid behind. I quickly realized while I was trying SO hard to be perfect, I was really turning into something I wasn't proud of. Someone I didn't want to be as a wife or a mother.
Last month was the breaking point for me. It looked so bleak and dreary. The prior weeks left me hanging onto a breaking piece of thread. But life doesn't stop. I would fake a smile, swallow those big lumps in my throat and carry on. A good Mom doesn't show weakness, or admit defeat. If you read this previous post, you'll know what happens next.
For almost a week it was just me and him. It wasn't the 'romantic' setting like our honeymoon, since his work took up much of the daylight hours. But we were alone. And at times I was alone too. And you know what? It felt so good. And that guilty feeling about leaving the kids behind... it was gone by the time we crossed over the WI state line. We had time to talk about the big things. We had time to talk about the little things. We had time to just sit and not talk at all. Just enjoying the moment. And in those moments I realized so much. About being a wife. And about being a good Mom.
Most importantly, I came back a 'new' Mom. Refreshed, refueled, recharged. It doesn't mean all our days since have been perfect. My kids are just as human as I am. I've already snuck off for more alone time (at the grocery store, but I was alone). But I know that a good Mom is NOT necessarily a perfect Mom.
A good Mom can and does lose her cool, her patience's, her sanity, her head.. but she is willing to admit when she does. A good Mom knows she needs to re-fuel her tank more often than she realizes. Time alone is not a want. It's a need for a good Mom. A good Mom may get knocked down. But a good Mom will always get back up, stand tall, brush the dirt off and start over. Many, many times until the job is done.
I've learned that just like kids, every Mom is different. What works for one might not work for another. And just because one doesn't do 'this', or someone does 'that'.. doesn't mean anything. I don't feel I'm a 'bad' Mom to my 4 kids, not even close. But I realized I can be a better Mom if I take care of me. Doing what ever it takes to recharge my batteries. Because if you have kids.. you know you go thru lots of batteries!