I Need A Break

My friend just sent me this great article about what mums mean when they say they need a break: It speaks nicely to the unimaginable constancy of mothering. And also how taking a break is not a luxury but a necessity. 

"I want a break, not because I'm bored or restless or craving some fun, (although I am probably feeling those things a lot of the time.) I want a break because I put absolutely everything I have into staying at home with my kids. From the moment I open my eyes in the morning, there isn't a single second of my day where I'm not engaged and on call. There isn't a single moment where I am alone with my thoughts, where I'm not being touched and needed and where demands aren't being made of me. Not a single moment. Not when I'm brushing my teeth or showering or trying to find something clean to wear. Not even in the bathroom."

"There's not a single second of the day where I'm not engaged or on call." Nailed it.

"When I have a break I do whatever I need to do, in that moment, to feel like I deserve to exist. I do what I need to do to feel sane and stable and capable of keeping up with the never-ending needs of my beautiful children."

And they are 'never-ending needs.' The clothing, the cleaning, the feeding, the disciplining. The sound of your own nagging voice all day some days. Especially with a 'threenager' whose job it is to push your buttons by poking your glasses, bopping babies' heads in the park, scooping the goldfish with his digger, and always taking a minute longer to get in or out of his carseat than I have patience for.

The talking, playing, cuddling and having fun is what we imagine when we sign up for kids but no-one can prepare you for the other stuff. And how much of the other stuff there is. 

Often I feel that the essence of being a "good parent" is getting up every day and often doing the opposite of what you'd really like to be doing and doing it with grace. Which sometimes we achieve, and sometimes we don't. But to even try we need a break. Two hours is good. Time to tidy the house a bit, sit at my desk, have a cup of tea, go through photos, write a bit here. Have another cup of tea. Wonder what the guys are up to..

Tea is good, pinot gris at the bar in the art gallery overlooking Woolloomoolloo is better


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