November 18, 2010

Make like a tree

nuggle bunny

I leave tomorrow for a dreamy getaway to Grand Rapids, Michigan. By myself. Well, with a small handful of other bloggers but still. In a room with a bed by myself.

I am so torn as I keep internally judging my decisions. Ivy is quite attached to me. Like, literally. She still nurses but will be just fine with me two nights away.

She doesn't prefer to be apart from me. But, I am really strongly feeling that I need to be apart from her and off on my own for just a couple nights.

Then I wonder if this is fair or if it's just plain selfish.

I rationalize.

She loves spending time with Daddy and the fact that this is a weekend puts my mind at ease. Life will be as usual, just with me gone for most of the time. I keep telling the boys- just like when I stay out late with my friends or go shopping and run errands all day on a Saturday.

Kinda like that.

But I can't help but think what if... what if something bad happens and, how could anyone forgive me, a Mother, for going away for "alone" time to nice restaurants and a spa?

My children are my limbs my branches

What if she gets heart-sick for me? Like, what if she's inconsolable?

I will drive right home- it's not that far away- but then I think about it and I want to be selfish. I want to not think that this will even be an issue. I don't want to live life by what ifs. I don't want to make being a mother an obsessive heart-prison.

I don't want to always feel like it's all in my control or my hands because I know




I think these things and I am so torn.

I love her so much but I really want a break.


And so I feel these things and yet can't imagine being permanently separated from her. As I type she is sleeping here half on my lap, half on the couch. She is always touching me.

And I Love her touch but sometimes

I am

all touched out.

So I want to go away for these two nights and hear that she did awesome. And I want to not even have to think about it- that it just happens and I have a great time and am re-charged! and we are re-united and both will be even better than before.


  1. praying that you have a great time :)

  2. oh honey. You need this and because you are such a good mom you are rationalizing it all out and worrying. (Not that if you didn't have these doubts you wouldn't be a good mother) You deserve this and the time will literally fly by and before you know it you will be back together again. And with it being the weekend and all of her brothers will be home with Daddy as well....well, I am sure it will fly by for her too.


  3. I look forward to seeing what this get together does for recharging your heart, words, heart-words.

    I understand your heart tugging and pulling and back and forthing.

    I do wonder why everyone else in this world is allowed to put self first and not be called selfish (unless they do it all of the time) and yet we Mom's see self as selfish?

    I think all Mom's struggle with this at least some of the time.

    Have fun, Momma!

    Bet she'll surprise you, too.


  4. Taking care of yourself, however you do that, is not selfish. I know how easy it is to say and how hard it is to do though. Have an amazing time.

  5. I think I understand. It's so much easier to say, "She'll be fine, don't worry!" when I am standing outside of the situation.

    But... "don't worry, she'll be fine!" Kids are so resilient, as you know. Even if she's not fine for a short time, she will be.

    I went away from Halia for three nights for a work-related course last month. I came home on the next flight after class ended. We carried right on breastfeeding when I got home. :)

  6. Yes, it's selfish. BUT NOT IN A BAD WAY!!!

    This will give you a breather. To realize who you are as a person again, without a little body to have to watch out for.

    IF something happens (and it won't), but if something did, NO ONE would blame you for being away. It's not as if you left your children alone without anyone to watch them while you went out to party.

    As parents (of any gender) we need to take the time to recharge ourselves, otherwise we get to a point where we lose ourselves. Time to get some you time and breath again.

    Also, giving the boobs a break doesn't hurt either.

  7. Oh, I so know how you feel. Being a mom is such a tug of war sometimes. You NEED to be with your babies, but you, also, NEED some mama time. I hate that sometimes it seems like a lose-lose. Although, I'm glad you're going and know everyone will survive and you'll be refreshed.

  8. You can't give what you don't have. You need a time of refreshing, refueling, rejuvenation. It will make you a better mom. That benefits everyone!

    On Sunday, my very attached, emotional 27 month old son cried like his heart was breaking when I left him at his Sunday school class. It's the only time we're really separated. {except when he's sleeping}.

    I felt awful. Was he sick, not feeling well, just needing love? But I need my time in church. Selfish or not, I need it alone.
    When I came back, he was happily playing with everyone else. He settled right down.

    She's with daddy, she'll be heartbroken that you're leaving, then she'll be fine. ENJOY YOURSELF!

  9. you are going to feel so refreshed when you return and be an even better mom (not that that is possible, you are already so awesome). i remember feeling this exact way with audrey when i left her for the first time overnight (at 15 months). i wrote a post about it to and thought about everything that could happen. and everything was fine and it was so good for me. and it is going to be good for you! enjoy your spa, girl!

  10. You will be recharged! She will be great!

    So bummed I had to say no. Not quite the right time for me (and little mister) quite yet. Can't wait to hear all about it.

  11. You know I understand. I left Clara when she was 13 months old-which was way earlier than I'd left any of other other kids for more than a day; like a YEAR earlier. I think the earliest I left any of them was 2 1/2. And I struggled with it and struggled and struggled and...

    in the end I really had to get over myself a little. Because I pour so much of myself into these kids that I think I am their everything, and the reality is that I am more like their "most things." But they can get by without me for a night or two. Clara did fine--more than fine; and I've left her a few times since and it's gotten easier every time and I come home feeling great and renewed and refreshed and wondering what I waited so long for with all the other kids.

    But I understand. Even when I need a break, and want a break, I still want to be their everything. But I just can't be. Probably we are all better off for it.

  12. you need a break. you deserve a break. it will be the best thing for you, but not just you - your whole family, ultimately, in the big picture kind of way, if not in the immediate "but I miss mommy" kind of way.
    I promise you, you are not being selfish to do this. You cannot be there to fully serve others if you don't also first take care of yourself to make sure you've got something left to give. So go! Have fun! Do not let your mind be too clouded with worry if you can.
    Good luck.

  13. you are being truthful and that's awesome! Loving your daughter and actually not wanting to be touched by her all. the. time. can actually co-exist!

  14. I love this post and relate to your honest conflicting emotions. But I just have to say...make sure you eat at Sanchez and pop in at Founder's Brewery while you're in GR!! And check out Billy's (bar in Eastown) to see if there's any good live music. My college town, such good memories. I lived in Eastown and Cherry Hill while I was a drive by and whisper hi from me, will you? Maybe I'm still in there somewhere, microwaving a frozen bean burrito or knotting a new hemp necklace. :)


  15. Oh mama. Tonight I was feeling all touched out. And then, as soon as she FINALLY fell asleep (after two hours, and this has been the norm). I felt so much like I wanted to hug her again and touch her cheek, but mama needs time to herself. <3

  16. Oh.. and you totally won my Agoo giveaway ;)

  17. I always identify with your posts. This one especially echoes what my heart is feeling but is so much more eloquent than my words would be. My son is 2 1/2 and still nursing. I love him to pieces but sometimes I'm all touched out too!! Thank you.

  18. You'll be in my town this weekend! Have a GREAT time and recharge so you'll be able to give more of yourself to your kiddos.

    The baby hands get me every time.

    P.S. I highly recommend The Green Well as a restaurant choice!

  19. It will be better than before. Let it go! Give the weekend to God. So excited for you!

  20. i have not read all the comments but i am sure they are filled with love and wisdom. you have such great readers! (and it is clear why.)

    anyway, a wise person once told me that when i was stressed/worried i tended to break things down into black and white. this will be perfect or horrible. a disaster or amazing. stuff like that. my guess, your weekend will be lovely with little bits of tough. her weekend will be tough surrounded by love and perfectly goodness. that just seems to be more how life goes to me - once i can break out of the black and white - there are a lot of shades to these big experiences.

  21. i love the way you said it 'I don't want to make being a mother an obsessive heart-prison.' its so honest. enjoy urself and have a great time!

  22. Steph, go forth and enjoy yourself! You give 150% of yourself when you are at home (even when you think you aren't) and the respite will be good for you. Indeed, recharging.

    When I travel I will admit that I don't feel guilty at all. I give so much to Laurel and Jon on a daily basis -- in general, I strive to be mindful wherever I am in life. So when I'm parenting, I'm totally focused on that. When I'm working, I'm totally focused on that. And when I'm away, I focus on myself and whatever the purpose is of the trip. (And back at the beginning, when I struggled with guilt and travel, I would call home and it turned out Laurel would be too busy playing with whatever/whomever was there to talk to me -- very reinforcing that love can come from alternate sources!)

    We all need that! Have a great time! xoxoxo

  23. you are going to have the best time. Don't feel guilty for one single second. I can't wait to hear all about it when you get back.

  24. Every mommy needs a little break now and then, and come back to your little one refreshed! Enjoy yourself and don't fret. I just wanted to say hi and that you have a lovely blog :)

    - the runaway

  25. Go, and have a great time. You DO deserve it. :-)

  26. She will be having fun with her daddy! Don't worry. Go have fun!

  27. Have a great weekend away. The fact that you are torn and contemplating these things is evidence that you are an AMAZING, LOVING, ADORING, NON-SELFISH mother! You will be missed-and your homecoming will be Oh.So.Sweet. Have a great time!

  28. I a sure she will do fine without you for two nights.
    i have never been away from my girls either so i know the feeling you must be having.
    BTW... so cool you are coming to GR.
    i live HERE!!! going downtown? Meijer Gardens?
    i tried to find your info but i couldn't find it.
    Good luck on your stay here and have lots of fun...ohh... i recommend going to Sanchez to eat if you like Tapas style dishes or Louis Bentons Steakhouse for lunch though. it gets quite pricey for dinner and Hop Cat for burgers. all downtown. :)

  29. Don't feel quilty Stephanie! Mamas need time alone too!! In fact, I'm heading out of town this weekend by myself too (the first time I've done that since kids). And YOU are a much better mother than I, because when I scheduled this trip I decided to wean my 14-month old son, not just go a couple days without nursing. We're going on day #8 with no breastfeeding. :( The good news that I'm engorged I'm heading on vacation with a much fuller bustline. ;)ha I hope you have a wonderful time! You'll be a better mom for it! (Me too!)

  30. You know, the best thing about going away from the little ones is coming home. You walk in, and they drop everything they were doing to run up and hug you and kiss you and tell you how much they missed you, and in those few moments just inside the door, all is right with the world. I love my job, and I really do enjoy having a job that allows me to get away from the kiddos for a few hours a day, but I have to say, those first few moments when I come home are the best part of my day - and something I wouldn't get if I didn't go away every once in a while.

  31. It will all be okay.
    It will all be okay.
    It will all be okay.


    <3, S.S.

  32. I know this questioning, too. It's one of the reasons I've backed out of a few "selfish" me-time opportunities.

    And I've regretted every time I've stayed home.

    Go. Have a good time.

  33. It'll be fine, and GOOD for you...all of you!
    Sometimes I feel like a failure as a mom, because my kids are super-independent and not at all attached. And neither am I. But then I remember they are THRIVING and doing so well in life, that I figure just because we do things differently, doesn't mean they're wrong.
    Enjoy your weekend away! You are not at all selfish in this. It's necessary.

  34. Exactly. Hope you're enjoying your little break. :)

  35. I'm so desperate for me time that I was skipping into my annual this morning. Sad.
    Everytime I've been away from home and come running back, the kids are happy to see me and then go right back to what they were doing with Daddy. Makes me happy to see how happy they are, and that they can do wonderfully even if I'm not around.
    I think it's also a special time for my hubby as well. He always comments on how much he enjoys being Mr. Mom. Sometimes I think he does a better job of managing the house than I do! :)
    Go away and have a great time. I'd give anything to be doing the same this weekend. I'm drained.

  36. I feel your pain. I am touched out too. And nursed out. I know it's temporary, it comes and goes, but I look forward to the day I can have a getaway. Brief, and recharging, and away, so I can be a better mother again when I come back.

    Go. Enjoy!

  37. I know this feeling, too. It sits in your gut -- that fear. The what ifs. But when that fears comes, squash it. That's not from God.
    I have to squash it, so please know I'm reminding myself, too.

  38. This may sound odd, but it is very refreshing to read about a parent who cares so much for their child that they agonize about spending time away. I am in a particularly difficult line of work where I regularly deal with parents who don't have any idea what goes through the mind and hearts of parents who really care. To them, children are like pets, but to those parents like you, children are so much more.

    Of course you need time away for yourself, and yes, it is difficult, but the fact that you worry so much about being away shows just how great you are as a parent. Thank you for being so honest with your feelings. It helps those of us who feel the same way to know we aren't the only ones.

  39. I hope you had a lovely time!

    I have a few questions about breastfeeding (even though I've nursed two babies, I still feel like I'm learning). How does it "work" when you're away? Did you pump? If not, did it hurt? How long does it take for your milk to "dry up"?


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