M. is traveling this week and I have a confession to make. I can’t wait—not in the I-can’t-stand-to-be-around-him way because I will miss him terribly, but in the this-only-child-really-needs-some-time-to-herself way.
One of the things that I’ve had the most difficulty with since becoming a mom is striking the balance between the needs and wants of my family and the needs and wants of me. (What woman hasn’t?) As Baby A gets older, he seems to need more from me (a mommy who makes the pain go away, a playmate, a teacher) and M, like everyone, needs love and attention. Two things I haven’t been good about providing lately.
It’s because I don’t juggle well. I don’t juggle working, parenting, being a wife and being me well. I have a hard time asking for time alone because I feel guilty asking someone, anyone, to watch A. This includes M. Even though he is the one telling me that I need to speak up, I still feel bad since he works hard all day, all week. Why should I ask him to take his down time to watch A? He’s exhausting. But because I don’t, I won’t, do this; everyone ends up suffering. I know this and I still have a difficult time. So instead, I stress out and allow anxiety to get the best of me until I can re-boot.
There are only a few times that I am able to do that— when there are no major deadlines looming and I can concentrate on being a wife and mom (this doesn’t happen often anymore) and when M. goes away. This may seem strange since all the care-taking then falls on me, but here’s why M.’s traveling schedule gives me a break. Currently, I feel as someone always needs something from me every time I turn around. This may not be the case, but this is how I feel. The times that M. is gone that is one less being who needs me and my choices become less in the do-I-do-this-or-do-that game that I tend to live my life by.
I’ll miss seeing him in the morning and at night. I’ll miss spending the weekend with him. I’ll miss the way he seems to make everything more fun. But for the days that he is away, I hope to choose me.