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I’m Leaving My Son Overnight for the First Time … and I’m Excited About It

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Having three kids has been far more challenging than I ever thought that it could be. While I expected the lack of sleep and complete chaos, what I didn’t expect was how little time I’d have to myself. To be honest, the only time that I have alone is late at night once the kids are asleep, but that’s usually the time when I can get work done — and it is almost always interrupted because my son Macks will wake up to be fed. So in actuality, my “me time” is really just a matter of minutes. And to be honest, the lack of time to just be able to hear myself think is starting to wear on me.

This weekend marks a big milestone for both Macks and me. I’m leaving him for the first time overnight. While I would have thought that this would bring on emotions of heartache and sadness, the reality is that I could not be more excited.

With my oldest, I cried every single night the week before I had to leave her for the first time. I wrote down a novel of instructions to leave for my mom, who was watching her, so that she had every single detail of her schedule during the day. I couldn’t enjoy my weekend away because I was calling, texting, or worrying about how she was doing and if she was okay without me.

Now five years and three kids later, my mindset is a little bit different. With Macks, I have one page of his schedule written that consists of what time he eats and takes a nap. There are no details, just simple instructions.

My life revolves around my kids and I make sure that everything that they need is done and in the best possible way, but in doing so, it’s caused me to lose a little bit of myself. The lack of alone time has made me so blatantly aware of how desperately I need it. So this weekend I’m going to think less about my kids and more about me — and that has me giddy with excitement.

While I’ll miss my kids terribly, I won’t cry for leaving them. My heart will ache as I have to leave Macks for the very first time, but it will quickly be overcome with joy because I know that he is in good hands. The separation will be good for him, it will be good for us.

It’s taken me three kids to know that life can go on when I’m not there. The schedule can remain intact and they will be happy without me having to get involved. Knowing that means I won’t be up at night worrying about them.

As moms, we are forced to feel guilty about enough (too much television for the kids, work/life balance,  etc.) and we should not feel guilty about taking time for ourselves, be it a day, weekend, or even a week.

This weekend I’ll be sleeping in a big bed all by myself without hearing the cries from another room of a baby that begs to be nursed, or a little girl that wakes me up in the wee hours of the morning because she wants to cuddle, or with a toddler that climbs in my bed and then proceeds to put her foot in my face as she sleeps. No, this weekend I’ll say “hello” to me again. The me that’s been begging for attention, but has been well overlooked for far too long. And then I’ll come back happy and recharged and ready to welcome all of the chaos again.

 

Image courtesy of Lauren Jimeson

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