The End of an (Accidental) Experiment

25 Mar

So, a few months ago I decided I really needed a vacation from work. I had taken a day off here or there, or a half day when I had a doctor’s appointment, but I hadn’t taken a week or more off since maternity leave 2 1/2 years ago. I couldn’t wait, I got giddy at the idea.
But then, it sunk in. It would be a week of just me and my two-year-old daughter. Now, before you get all mad thinking I don’t like to spend time with my kid, let me explain. I work 40+ hours a week. I love spending time with my daughter, wish I could spend more time. I am amazingly envious of women (and men) who get to spend all day every day with their kids. But the fact of the matter is, for the time being, I work. I wasn’t upset at the prospect of spending all day every day with her…I was terrified. I know her, I love her, I just didn’t know how to spend all of my time with her.
But here I was, getting ready to spend my week’s vacation with my daughter. The first day was amazing. We had so much fun together and we didn’t really do much. We just spent the day in each other’s company.
My husband and I kick around the idea of me becoming a stay at home mom once our son is born. And after the first day, hell, even after the second day, I was like “I can do this!” I was spending time with my daughter, having the house cleaned for when my husband got home, and we were spending our evenings as a family, not running around trying to get stuff done.
Then Thursday hit. I hadn’t showered, my daughter had decided she was sick of happy mommy and wanted to do the exact opposite of whatever I was telling her to do, and I swear I was constantly straightening my house…either that or I was hallucinating every time I did. I was getting cranky and desperate for adult interaction.
I started to believe that I was going to suck at this. And this was just one kid? What would happen when I had two?
I was saved by some adult time, away from my house and child, spent in the company of my mom, who herself had raised two kids while staying at home. She reminded me that while it was very important to take care of my children and home, it was equally important to take care of myself. And to not be afraid of asking my husband to take over for an hour or so while I had some me time.
Common sense you say? It should be, but I think I got so wrapped up in being the perfect wife and mother, I forgot there is no such thing.
So, sitting here, about to get ready for my first day back to work, I’m a little sad. Sad that I won’t get to spend all day every day with my daughter. But I’m also a little more confident in myself. I know now, that should we decide it, I can be a stay at home mom…provided I can remember to spend a little time with myself too.


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