My 2.5-year-old son wakes up at 6 am, sometimes 5 am.
I run a home daycare and work as a freelance writer from home. So I am with him all. day. long.
I love the bones of that boy, but sometimes Mama needs a break.
Especially now that he has become a completely irrational toddler. Yesterday he and his little friend argued furiously for 10 mins about who was going to call the rescue squad on the phone. Argued, about who was going to call the fictional rescue squad, on the toy phone.
Anyone with a toddler knows how draining they can be, so after 13 hours of his nonstop energy and defiance, by 7pm when he is finally in bed after being frog marched back there after another lame excuse to get up, I am pretty much exhausted.
The list of lame excuses includes:
I need one more cuddle
I have to ask you a question (then doesn’t ask a question)
I want the covers on/ I want the covers off
I need a new diaper (he doesn’t)
So after a particularly stressful day, I signed him up for Friday morning preschool class, it’s just two hours but I think it will make the word of difference to me. (However this has been a challenging experience in itself- see my next post, coming Wednesday).
And this weekend I decided to take a much needed day off.
First up was a trip to the salon. I go to Bossarts on Laurier. They have these neat horizontal beds to wash your hair so you don’t get that awful neck ache commonly felt at the hairdressers. My hairdresser, Leah, is awesome. She is the only hairdresser I have ever enjoyed talking to, normally I am there feeling terribly English, making small talk over the noise of the hairdresser, but Leah is genuinely an interesting person and makes you feel at ease.
I got a colour and cut and caught up on my magazine reading.
My texts to my husband asking if everything was ok went unanswered, meaning one of two things- everything was fine and he just wasn’t checking his phone, or everything had gone Pete Tong.
Either way, I couldn’t do much about it, so I decided to just r-e-l-a-x!
After my appointment, I checked the time and seeing that my little man would be having a nap anyway, I decided to go out for lunch, stopping at Freshii, also on Laurier and enjoyed a Buddha bowl, I checked out the shops and then headed home just in time for my little one to wake up. The city seemed quite deserted downtown, lots of construction at parliament and for the light railway, and maybe some leftover bother from the sinkhole, but I felt a sense of freedom and relief, to be unencumbered by the responsibility of holding a little hand and carrying an assortment of supplies. I only had myself to worry about and it was glorious!
I was only gone about 4 hours but it really felt monumental in how I reacted to my son on my return. I was more relaxed, had more patience with him and found him delightful and charming rather than annoying and destructive!
I think all I needed was to get away and feel like me again. I am in a bit of a strange position as I am sort of a stay-at-home mom, sort of a working mom, yet I very rarely get any time away from my child. The more I speak to different moms the more I see that we all feel overwhelmed sometimes and we’re all doing the best we can for our kids.
So whether you are burnt out from work demands, childcare or both, follow my lead and take a break. You will feel so much better for it and your children will benefit too, stressed out mama is no fun at all.
I am going to keep the momentum going and already have a little indulgence planned for next weekend.
So go on, share, what’s your self-care activity for the week ahead?