Here I am. Without my kid.

It used to be easier. When I was working one full day out of the house, and I had my writing work to do from home, Ian had one full day away from me, and then 1/2 day later in the week so I could catch up on writing. I’m between cheffing clients right now, and the writing work is still there but depending on the day I can get done what I must without Ian having a sitter.

I still have a sitter come on Friday afternoons, and it feels weird, especially if I don’t have work to do the entire time she’s here. I get to do things like workout, or get a pedicure. And it feels weird. It feels weird because I’m not earning more, I’m not THAT busy, parenting full time isn’t THAT hard (sometimes), I mean, he naps everyday and will watch Curious George ’til his eyeballs fall out…what do I need a break for?

I kind of want more breaks. I kind of want someone to come run around with him for two hours every afternoon so I can, you know, not run around with him for two hours. This kid does a lot of running.

I’ve been trying to find this magic afternoon sitter to no avail, so I joined Cardio Barre instead, which has lovely FREE child care, so Ian gets to play, I get a break, AND a tight ass. But it’s a drive which means he has more time in the car and fuck, the longer this post gets the more I see I am steeped in mother guilt and no matter what I do I’m going to judge and criticize it.

Do you take breaks? Do you feel the need to justify them?

And a PS on the Cardio Barre child care experience. The kiddos have there own space right next door to the exercise studio, full of toys and books and art supplies. The studio is family run, and the son and daughters of the owner often play with the little ones (they also hire outside help), which makes it feel cozier. Ian likes the space and is mostly fine when I leave (sometimes I hear the signature “Waaaaaahmama!” as I leave but it stops after that), and the caregivers always tell me he did great and didn’t cry at all.

When class is over, the caregivers open the kids room as well, so the kids sort of “greet” their parents, and every time I’m pretty sure Ian is the first kid out, and the look on his face as he’s trying to find me haunts me all day long and I’m not kidding. It’s like he’s wondering if he’s going to spend eternity all alone looking for his mother. Not quite panic, and not quite despair, but close. Then he sees me and all the clouds part and it’s pure joy. It’s the most heartbreaking thing ever. It makes me laugh and cry every time. Again, I know I’m putting my own child care trauma on him (HATED it and still remember it vividly), but hot damn these breaks are bittersweet. As a mother, a part of me wants to never let him go, and another part wants to run screaming as fast as I can.

7 comments on “Breaks

  1. Oh Mandy, I sometimes feel the same way. If it’s not work in the office then I spend most of the day chasing down my boy too. But I have lots of help with the family. Even when I am home, I have Free time “mama breaks” ’cause my mother- in- law watches him like everyday or my sister- in- law will. I feel so guilty when I leave him to do stuff for me, like a mani pedi, and then I come home to see that he is just fine with them. Sometimes I get bored at home when they are here and I just go back to the office ’cause I have nothing else to do.

    I guess it’s okay to feel a bit guilty sometimes but we cannot be with them all the time. We do deserve a bit of a break, and for some of us is just going to take time getting use to.
    I think you did great by finding a place where they watch your baby while you work out. It’s a great way to dedicate time off each other without being too far from one another.

    Hope my story helps šŸ™‚

    • It helps a lot, Liz! Thank you for that! I love that you have family support, that’s the way it should be. I wish I had that. I kick myself almost every day for moving so far away from my family…honestly it’s one of the biggest reasons I won’t have another baby.

  2. That sounds wonderful! I try to work an hour for every hour I have a sitter because we just can’t afford it. I often wish my mom lived closer so I could get a pedicure or a haircut. Even when Hugo’s watching DInosaur Train or Chuggington I always seem to be doing chores.

  3. Hi Mandy, it’s Jamie. We met first at lakeshore and then again at cardio barre and now i’m reading your lovely post and let me tell you…you’re not alone about the guild of wanting a break from the kiddos. I have 2 and I hear ya!
    Would love to get together one day with Ian and my little ones. my email is
    hope to hear from you šŸ™‚

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