I feel like a bad parent when I’m happy my kids are gone.

When parents get time to themselves, they are usually elated. No screaming, crying or obnoxious kids running around – you get a break! Raising kids can be tough and you absolutely need time away to recharge. But it’s also an amazing experience and a blessing.

Being a single parent who has my children every day out of the month except one week at Christmas break and every other weekend, I find it draining and somewhat difficult at times. I’m not talking about not being able to go out and have drinks with my co-workers when they send out a WhatsApp message to get together on a Tuesday night, but in general, as they get older, they start to fight, they get into activities, the need more of me yet are more independant, more emotional and want to stay up hours on end all the while I am tried as hell from a 7 AM – 6 PM work life.

I feel like sometimes I don’t get to spend enough time with them doing the little things yet I’m like “I NEED A BREAK!” as soon as I get home.

Anxiety

I feel like being their mother is a privilege and I don’t like to take that for granted. I am the one that gets to see all of the firsts, gets to go to all of the plays, hears the stories, helps the bumps and bruises and am in the know about everything in their lives while their father doesn’t. It’s not like he doesn’t care, he just isn’t around like I am for obvious reasons.

I love teaching them things and listening to them talk about the new things they’ve learned. My son is a brilliant boy that has an astronauts heart – he loved (and still does) everything about space before he turned 3 and can name off all the planets and everything else that’s in the solar system. My daughter is a polite, kind hearted girl that loves to teach others and lead them into positivity. I am lucky – I am blessed.

But I still sometimes want to cry because of those times I need a break – for one night here and there when I come home from work and am exhausted, I would like someone to be there to stay with them while I catch up on my sleep.

But then the weekend comes that they go with their dad, and I start to feel bad. I feel bad that I was whining to myself two night ago about wanting to go to bed at 9 but had to stay up until midnight because my son wouldn’t go to bed. I start to miss them. I clean and feel better that i have a clean house but it’s dead quiet. I feel even worse yet I am glad to have some quiet time – but I feel bad that I am enjoying the quiet time.

It’s like a never ending feeling of feeling like a shit mom. I only really get a few hours with them during the weeks and I complain at times that I need a break then when I get a break I feel bad because I am enjoying the break. I can never feel good about just being their mom and doing the best I can. I take them to their outings, their birthday parties and events, I feed them, I house them, I teach them, I love them and give them everything they need. I should feel good about that and I should realize that I indeed need these breaks.

It’s taken a while, after some self reflection, to feel a bit different about this issue but now, as I sit here and write this post, I am in my favourite restaurant, finished a Steak and Lobster dinner, having some wine (all thanks to OpenTable) and realizing that it’s OK for me to enjoy the time I have without them. It allows me to recoup, recover and receive the energy that was depleted of me from the weeks prior – not just from them but everything. These breaks are needed for us and if I didn’t have them, I would have massive blow ups on the kids, anxiety attacks like crazy and 500 more grey than I already have.

I live with knowing that I give my kids the absolute best and I deserve to enjoy the quiet time that I have while I have it.

We all deserve it!

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