I had to have a time out yesterday. I didn’t see it coming. Nothing extreme happened. Ron was away on Saturday night in Asheville with some friends, but Mimi and Peepop took Riley on an adventure, and I only had my little guy for almost the whole day.They showed up with pizza when they brought Riley home, and it was the best kind of surprise. Dinner made and no clean up? THE BEST. You would think after a day with one kid instead of two, a day where I did essentially no cooking and little cleaning, that I would be well-rested and energized and excited to spend time with my kiddos. No, no, and ehh a little. Just kidding, I was super happy to spend time with them, but I’ve had a headache I can’t kick all week and my loving husband took THE WHOLE BOTTLE of Tylenol with him so there was no getting of it that night. Once the dogs were fed and put away and the kids were bathed and in jammies, I was done.
The next morning I had plans to make my healthy pancakes for the kids, but I woke up with the same headache. Plus I’d let Riley sleep in my bed with me (terrible idea…kid must have hit and kicked me a million times) so I didn’t sleep much. I threw them each a Poptart and a yogurt and ate some crap myself. Again the morning wasn’t bad, but it just felt super long. I was attempting to potty train Sawyer this weekend, and while he did great on Saturday, he had two accidents Sunday morning and is very specific about how and when he wants to go “hey pee-pee.” (How = watching Bubble Guppies with me sitting right next to him, when = every 10 minutes) After Ron got home, Riley went to play with her friend down the street for a few hours and I took the kids and Riley’s friend to the park when I picked her up.
Yesterday I woke up to Riley coming in our room at 5am. Does this make any other parents freak out? I always bolt awake (or I feel like I do) and it scares the crap out of me. So again Riley in the bed and me not sleeping. I managed to drift in and out of sleep whenever she wasn’t kicking me or I wasn’t almost falling out of the bed, and woke up to another headache. I was folding laundry in Riley’s room later that morning when Ron came in from outside, and I started feeling overwhelmingly anxious. Not anxious like I feel once in a while, but more like a sense that I just needed to get out of the house and be by myself for a little while. I asked Ron about his plans for the day, and said I needed some time away from mom life by myself and explained how I felt a little, and do you know what he said to me?
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”
That stumped me a bit. I mean he was away and then Riley wasn’t home for a while either day so I guess it didn’t seem to me as if I should NEED some time away. Maybe it was the potty-training that put me over the edge or maybe it was the non-stop headache, but I definitely needed to be alone. Somehow I also knew I didn’t need to go for a quick run or take a bath (where I would inevitable hear the kids or Riley would wander into the bathroom and effect ruined), but just needed to get OUT. I didn’t go anywhere crazy. I run an errand to Lowe’s and then wandered around Kohl’s for a little bit before making my way to buy Halo Top ice cream (OMG this subject needs its own post) and lunch for me and Ron. I was gone about 2.5 hours, but it was great. I got a Shamrock shake (which I had way to many of in the last week) and drove with the windows down and the music up. I got out of the car BY MYSELF and didn’t have to walk around the car three times taking children out and putting them in carts while worrying about them getting hit by cars. I didn’t have to keep them entertained or quiet while waiting for the paint I picked up or while searching for poison ivy weed killer. I walked around Kohl’s BY MYSELF and tried on clothed BY MYSELF without one of the kids trying to open the dressing room door or feeling nervous like I was late for somewhere even though I wasn’t. I went to Whole Foods BY MYSELF without little hands trying to grab over-priced organic food off the shelves or asking for the amazing looking desserts in the bakery. And unlike my NJ roots, I talked to all the sales people and smiled at people and totally realized I spend too much time in my house.
When I got home, we all ate lunch outside on the deck while throwing scraps of cheese to the dogs. We came inside and I cleaned bathrooms and folded laundry and changed sheets and vacuumed and instead of huffing and puffing about it all or getting annoyed when Saywer said “hey pee pee” for every fart or whenever he wanted to put toilet paper in the potty, I was in a great mood. I got the kids to help clean up their rooms and sit nicely on the couch in the bonus room while Ron helped me fold laundry. Then we all went downstairs for dinner and meal prep for the week.
It was like I left feeling like a Hot Mess and returned feeling like a Cool Day (ohemgee corniest thing I’ve ever written, but I had to). Seriously though, why is it so hard to ask for help? To say this is what I need, and take steps to figure out how to make it happen. Would I really have thought Ron would be opposed to me leaving for a couple hours? Of course not. Honestly, I felt a little guilty leaving when I knew I still had cleaning to do. When I knew I had meal prep to do. When I wasn’t entirely positive what we were having for dinner.
But you know what? Sometimes taking the time to do what you need to do for yourself is more important than cleaning your toilet or folding your towels. And somehow I got everything done even with a mid-day break. I’ve read a lot about self-care recently and even saw a neurologist a few years ago when I had dizzy spells who diagnosed stress reduction techniques to help, but somehow I still find it hard to ask for help and prioritize my own self-care over scrubbing Riley’s hot pink toothpaste off the sink.
Perhaps in the future I’ll need to get my point across with less words. Somehow this post seems to have gotten away from me, but all-in-all, I can’t believe how much blaring music in the car on a nice day can improve your mindset. I’ll have to bookmark this post on my phone so I can remind myself to GET OUT the next time I feel like singing along to Shaggy.