I type this as I sit in my office (my office actually being Zachy’s play room with a desk plonked in the corner). I am doing client work, while also quite obviously procrastinating by writing a blog post (the whole blog is basically one big fun procrastination now that I think about it, he!)
But I am doing more than work. I know it might sound crazy, but I am having a break too. A break from my parenting duties. Yes, I am still in the house and present – in fact I can hear Zachy squealing from the other room as he plays with his minder. But at the same time I am still away. I have my work hat on, and it feels good.
It’s something that used to a) horrify, and b) scare me, the fact that I felt I regularly needed a break from my son. But since becoming a mother, I have come to learn a lot about myself, my needs and my personality type. I’ve come to understand that it is a) completely natural, and b) completely normal to need a break from your kid. In fact, I would say it is essential for you both.
This is something which was hilariously highlighted to me by my husband at the weekend (ok, it wasn’t hilarious at the time as he was actually really upset, but I did have a good chuckle). I had been feeling a little under the weather, so Zachy and hubbie had two consecutive Daddy-son date-days while I sat and lazed on the sofa watching Mama Mia (win!) I managed to join them for a couple of hours the second day, but soon came to realize that they were annoying each other. Really really annoying each other!
Zachy was being a complete tantrum tot and seriously giving it to his Dad. It’s something I am pretty sure he does because he knows he can somewhat get away with because Daddy is the “fun one” and also the one he spends the least time with. Little finger, anyone? But he wasn’t getting away with it. Daddy was completely standing his ground in the name of discipline, and was totally done with the epic toddler demands which had started at the crack of dawn.
So, the trip out wasn’t particularly successful and we probably won’t ever EVER be returning to Level Kids at Citywalk. Or Aubaine. We left, but as we neared home, I decided to jump to the shops to collect us some ice creams to sit and “enjoy” together at home. I bought an ice lolly for me, an M&M cone for Zachy, and Haagen Daaz double chocolate pop for Daddy. Zachy was happy. Daddy was happy. I was happy. That was until Zachy locked eyes on Daddy’s chocolate pop and DEMANDED he have that, in addition to his own. Daddy handed it to him to have a lick. Rookie error Daddy! A rather large fall-out followed as Daddy (and I) insisted to Zachy that he could have one or the other, not both! But no, toddlers, logic, chocolate and all. Just nope.
So Daddy, who is usually the calm one, just totally lost his rag. He grabbed his chocolate pop and said to me “you know what, I really really just need a couple of hours alone” to which I nodded as he stalked to the fridge, grabbed a beer, and then went to hide in the office (okay, the playroom) with the cat. A totally calm Zachy and I then sat and ate our ice creams while happily watching Tom & Jerry (my ice pop was left untouched by him…apparently not as appealing!)
I couldn’t help but laugh at my husband, simply because it’s a feeling I know all too well. That feeling of “GAH, I CAN’T DO THIS. I NEED TO ESCAPE!” That feeling where your batteries and your patience levels and your sanity are all completely depleted, but your toddler knows the EXACT buttons to push to make you go into overdrive. Thank god it’s not only me!
So Daddy went off and enjoyed his beer and his chocolate pop, and came out around two hours later much calmer, more relaxed, with a smile on his face laughing about his little tantrum. Zachy was calmer too, and it completely reaffirmed my belief that sometimes, we all just need a break from each other. And that’s completely ok!
Zachy had been rubbing his Daddy up the wrong way, but his Daddy clearly had been rubbing him up the wrong way too. All weekend. Space was needed and down time was required. And that, in short, is why I am no longer horrified at my need to get space. When you’re on the verge of bursting, it’s vital for everyone’s sanity. You tot’s included.
My husband said to me later “I have absolutely huge respect for you doing this all the time.” And It’s true, being a mother is probably the most testing thing I have ever done. But it’s also the most rewarding. But Dads have it hard too, and so do our tots. Families as a whole really. I guess it’s all about riding the wave together, and picking each other up and giving each other a break when we need it. We can’t all be on top form all the time, especially when you add work pressures and money worries. But its fine, you get through it together.
So that’s it, my procrastination post finished. I’ll go finish up my actual work, and then we’re heading to the mall for an “ice cream treat” – oh god!
P.s. AMAZING NEWS! I am nominated in the ‘Parenting Blog Of 2016’ category of the Time Out Dubai Kids Awards. The ceremony is on September 26 – watch this space and wish me luck! Full list of nominees here.