Exhaustion First-time Mom Grief Parenting Rest

What is Enough Time Away from Your Child

Do you know that fretting you feel when you leave your child for the first time?  No?  Me neither.  The benefit of an over anxious mother is that she makes an awesome caretaker for your child.

Do you know that feeling of missing your child, because you have been gone?  Well, I just finally experienced that.  But, don’t worry if you haven’t.

I went to an incredible workshop this week and was gone for most of three day, two nights.  I left Zoya home with my mother and drove off determined to take advantage of every minute.  This was the first time I have left her over night and the first time it was for more than one night.  I’ve let my sister take her to Franklin over night, but this time I was the one traveling and it was two nights.

Ahhhh, it was so nice.  In thee past, one night alone has only barely gotten me to a position of feeling a little more sane.  Two nights, got me to the point of totally missing baby girl and wanting to race home to see her.

After my first night without her, about six months ago, I actually was hoping my sister would decide to keep her away another night.  When I asked a wise counselor if this was a problem, she said no, it was just a sign that I didn’t have enough time apart from her yet.

You know, some of us are great with leaving our kids.  Others would be great with it, but we let guilt keep us from being great with it.   Is it just me?  I celebrate when I hear about parents getting away for a week to refresh, but when I think about doing a night myself, I feel a guilt trip monster whispering in my ear that it is wrong.

There is an extra guilt trip monster for a single parent.  When a married couple is getting away, they are prioritizing their marriage, and that is supported.  When a single parent gets away, they don’t have such a noble reason.

But truthfully, they do.  The reason is, they are human, and are created for rest.  And probably, they need more rest the married parent.  So maybe that is the extra guilt trip monster for the parent with lots of other parent help.  Maybe they think they shouldn’t need as much rest.

We need to remember, JESUS GOT AWAY FROM HIS DISCIPLES REGULARLY, AND THEY WEREN’T EVEN TODDLERS.

Boy, am I grateful for those two days.  I’m far from 100%.  I need a break that doesn’t include intensive mental work.  But this is the start of a recognition.  It’s the start of recognition that I need rest.  It’s the start of admitting it to myself.

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5 comments on “What is Enough Time Away from Your Child

  1. This is something I’ve thought about a lot. It became painfully obvious to me last year that I needed time away from my children, but figuring out what that looks like, how long it should be, etc… is really difficult. I agree that one night isn’t enough because you barely have a chance to get away and get back. It’s also different if you are at home alone or away alone. My oldest is gone this week and I’ve felt guilt for not missing her more… I’m glad you realize that being a single parent doesn’t exempt you from needing time away. I agree that you need it more. Much love from the Lewis clan.

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    • Grace,
      I know God gives each of us unique grace to do what he has individually called us to, but staying home with THREE talkative girls takes more strength than I can imagine having, and I’d imagine you must need so much more time alone than you are getting. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have enough time away that you were able to be bored without them?! These years go fast they say. And sometimes we should respond, thank heavens.

      Sent from my iPhone

      Like

  2. Yes! Mom’s need to take care of themselves. I was a single mother with my first. You give give give and then want to pass out! I’m glad you took some much needed me time.

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