After I had my LASIK consultation and made the appointment, I had a rather unexpected side effect. My kids freaked out (especially my youngest) and my feelings about it surprised me. This is rather personal and that’s always a bit scary, but I chose to share it in case any other Moms are feeling the same way. If you are, you aren’t alone. I don’t think my situation or my feelings are that unusual for a Mom.
I understand why my kids would be upset about me not wearing glasses anymore. After all, I’ve worn glasses as long as any of them can remember, and mom just isn’t mom without them. On the rare occasion they’ve seen me without them (immediately after getting out of the shower), they’ve said I look “weird.” (Thanks, kid.)
I’ve tried to explain what it’s been like for me to have to wear glasses for 27 years, never being able to see clearly more than 4 inches in front of me, and how amazing this is going to be for me. They weren’t having it.
What really surprised me is that I felt angry (The reason wasn’t really there, just the feeling) and I realized how resentful I am sometimes that I am the mother/default parent and that my life is so, so different than my husband’s. Not resentful towards my kids, but toward my husband, which is weird, but bear with me.
I give more than enough of myself to my kids. It is incredibly rare that I get any time to myself. I don’t often shower or use the bathroom by myself. I’m up at 6:15 at the latest every day (including Saturdays since my daughter has gymnastics practice early) making lunches, breakfast, emptying the dishwasher, starting or finishing laundry, wiping counters, making sure everyone is ready for school with homework done, the right things packed, dressed and teeth brushed. I usually try to check emails and get some work done before everyone is up. Throughout the day I’m paying bills and budgeting, grocery shopping, taking care of the dog, chickens and guinea pig, getting kids to and from school and practices, getting dinner ready and cleaning it up, more laundry and dishes, getting homework done, gathering up trash/recycling and taking the cans to the curb/bringing them back up, trying to do some work and attempting to put some food in my face at some point.
I’ll be honest that I’m really looking forward to the ABC show this month. Even though it’s work, and it causes me a lot of anxiety to travel and deal with crowds and lots of chit chat, I’ll get to sleep, shower alone, eat, think and talk to adults, woo-hoo!
If I get to take just 1 or 2 kids somewhere, it’s like a vacation. Rarely, I’ll get to go to the grocery store my myself and that’s a “break.” I was going by myself to pick my daughter up from gymnastics (not much of a break, but at least a few minutes to hear myself think), but when I got home, the boys were still awake and overtired, so I then had to put them to bed, dealing with cranky kids up 1/2 hour+ past their bedtime. So I’m hoping my husband will go get her from now on so I can get the boys to bed on time.
In contrast, my husband can roll out of bed when he feels like it, usually letting his alarm go off for at least an hour. He takes a leisurely shower, makes himself some breakfast and heads to work whenever. He can go out to nice restaurants at lunch and comes home whenever as well, stopping somewhere on the way home if he feels like it. He’ll usually eat dinner, then tinker around in the yard, basement or garage, go for a bike ride, run or walk by himself. (I can’t even put sneakers on without one or more children freaking out that they want to come with me.) I get the kids to bed and then we will watch usually some Netflix before we head up to bed. Naturally, I lie there thinking about the kids, work and what I need to do the next day while my husband snoozes. On the weekends he is very rarely up before 9:30-10 AM and if he wants to go somewhere or go out with a friend (usually an overnight, gone for 24+ hours thing), it’s just assumed that I will be here and watch the kids.
If I want to do something with my sister (every few months at most, very rare and recent, usually also bringing my daughter), I have to plan ahead, ask him if he’s going to be here, and change my plans or find other arrangements if he’s not. Yes, I’ve tried to talk about all this and yes, I know it’s my own problem. It is what it is.
In any case, this has made me realize that I really, really need to find a babysitter and carve out some time for myself where I’m doing something, anything by myself (But what? I have no idea other than exercising), with no children talking at me. My only adult interaction is about once a week and is usually a grocery store or gas station cashier.
It’s not healthy. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. My parents do live nearby but it’s very rare that they are able to help. They have a lot going on themselves, especially with helping my grandmother, and they have a hard time handling all 3 kids by themselves.
I know I not only need a babysitter, but I should probably get some counseling to deal with my resentment and feelings that I have to do it all myself. I wish I could just let things go, or skip doing laundry, leave the dishes, not worry about the mess, but I can’t. That just not me.
How do you get time for yourself? Where did you find your babysitter? What do you do when you have time to yourself?