Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Last Monday I went to my doctor for a med check.  When I upped my dose, she'd told me she wanted me to come back in a month to make sure I was doing better.

"But," she'd said. "I think what you really need is a break.  I want you to go out by yourself, even just to get a cup of coffee or read a book in the park, twice before you come back next month.  Or at least once.  Okay?"

I totally didn't do my homework.

I walked into the office, sheepishly, trying not to hang my head or avoid eye contact because I didn't want to look suspicious.  Bro nurse asked me about the local hockey team.  I smiled and nodded.

She asked how I was.  I said I was better.  She told me to come back in 3 months.

She didn't ask about the breaks.

Whew.  Kinda.


On Saturday night, I went to Mom's Night Out for the first time.  I'd RSVP'd yes, but right up until 10 minutes before I was supposed to be there, I was totally planning to back out.  I mean, dinner and drinks with other adults?  Scary stuff.  And even though these are the moms I have playgroups with every week, I wouldn't have my extroverted daughter to hide behind.

"I better text them and say  I'm not coming."

"What?" asked my ever compassionate husband. "No.  You were crazy today.  Stop being ridiculous and go."

"Hey.  I wasn't crazy.  I ... WHY ARE YOU ALL TOUCHING ME? ... I should go."

I went.  I got a Cosmo.  We had Hibachi.  We talked about our kids and our husbands, about our former lives, about Downton Abbey (HUH, so THAT'S what grown ups talk about).  We laughed.  Apparently, I'm funny sometimes.

When I realized they were cleaning up the restaurant around us, I glanced at my phone to check the time.  11:40.  My breath caught in my throat a little.  I'd been away from home that long?  Was everything okay?  I didn't have any messages.  Had BG gone to bed okay?  What had my husband done all night without me?

After we paid the bill and said goodnight, I walked to my car.  It wasn't a pumpkin.

I was grateful I had gone. Or so I kept reminding myself as the vulnerability crept up into my brain.


Lately, I've been hearing it a lot.  "You need to get a break, girl."  "You deserve a break."

And I guess I'm just wondering, Why do I deserve it?

People are saying this to me as I'm sitting on my couch, typing on my laptop while my baby climbs my leg and my three year old bangs on her cat piano, making up a song about how mad she is that Baby Sister broke her styrofoam plane.

And the people who are saying this to me are often at work.

It's not that I don't think that being with my kids is worthy work.  Not really.  And yes, I get peopled out.  I get overwhelmed.  I get crazy.

But deep down inside, it really doesn't feel like I deserve a break.


My girls napped this afternoon. Both of them, at the same time.  And even though I wanted to clean my kitchen, get a jump start on dinner, fold the laundry, exercise, I couldn't keep my eyes open, so I lay down too.  I slept for an hour.  And it was okay.  Everything that needed to be done got done.  And I felt less crazy.

It still feels a little bit like a failure or a weakness, though. NaBloPoMo November 2013


  1. Good for you for having a nap . . . that was obviously what you needed. I think the idea of "taking a break" is more focusing on yourself, of just being you, not mom or wife etc. I know that I need to do that more than I have been lately because I can feel it with my ability to cope . . . or inability to cope.

    It sounds like you had a wonderful evening out and I am proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone. I admit to whimping out this weekend but hopefully next time I will follow in your footsteps and step out.

  2. Yea for naps! Very glad you went to Mom's Night Out too. I find that sometimes when I am talking myself out of going to something social going out is what I need the most at that time.

  3. This is one of the hardest things for me to do. I never give myself time for a break and the thought of going out with other adults terrifies me. What if all I know how to talk about are my kids? So big KUDOS to you for doing it! Glad you had a good time.

  4. I am glad you went. We do need breaks. If we worked outside of the home, well, I fantasize about those breaks. No one bats an eye when you leave your cube to visit the water cooler or bathroom. Trips to the bathroom don't involve someone sobbing don't leave me until you cave and let that person follow you, and sometimes I even would walk to an adjacent cube and hold a totally not work related conversation because my focus needed adjusted. The best breaks, my office paid me to go pick up water ice and deliver it to our construction sites during heat waves.

    I am a better mom when I get breaks. Right now that means that once big girl is at school, if baby gets a nap, I get to do whatever I want for an hour, sometimes longer. I am more patient and gentler with everyone in my life when I make it to knitting on Friday nights. Do I feel selfish? Absolutely. Organizing a moms night out to hibachi once a month, where I dress up and worry only about me is positively decadent. But sushi and girl talk. Worth it.