Yesterday I left at 9 am and did not return home for 24 hours, leaving the children in my husband’s capable hands. It was the first full 24 hours I’ve ever had away from all children since the birth of E four years ago. Before this, I’d only spent one night away from them, leaving them in the evening and returning in the morning. I didn’t do anything really productive. There were no errands run or friends caught up with. I just did whatever caught my fancy and ate meals in silence. There was actually minimal talking all day. It was wonderful.
I love my children. They are amazing human beings. I greatly appreciate being able to stay home with them. But being with them 24/7 is draining. Some times I just want to run away for awhile. Especially after Casey has been at sea for a few months and I’ve been solo parenting for what feels like ages. There is no reprieve. Even when they’re asleep and I finally get “me time”, I am still responsible for them. If they wake I will need to be able to care for them. They still manage to wake up next to me even though they fell asleep in the other room. It is exhausting to care for tiny children. That is why I needed yesterday.
That is why every caregiver needs time away. Not just time with someone else also home and splitting care. Not just time to go get groceries alone. They need time to do absolutely nothing. Time to eat breakfast and enjoy a still hot coffee. Time not worrying about what the children are breaking in the other room. To take a shower alone and not wonder if they will surprise you with a new wall mural as a present when you get out. Time without whining or 100 questions about why turtles are the way that they are. Time in silence, time for self care, time to fully relax.
We all need to take the time.