When my son was born (well, even before my son was born) my inner Mama Bear came out in full force. I didn't spend a night away from my son until he was almost a year old. Probably because I had let that Mama Bear obliterate my Amanda Bear, and my anxiety was a bit much. Once I found out I was pregnant - with a freshly minted one-year-old son on the outside no less - I realized that I could no longer keep up the same pace. Shep had just developed a bit of independence and I had gotten my hands free again. But with the pregnancy, and then a new baby to take up my hands...
I needed someone to step in. To wrestle the reins from my grip, against my own protestations. To say those three little words that every mom longs to hear, even if she doesn't know it (yet) or doesn't want to admit it. Anyone can say it: Grandma, Uncle Bob, the X-ray tech at your local urgent care. The sweetest music to any overwhelmed mom's ears: "I'll take them."
Well, I guess it's four words. But, technically, a contraction makes two words into one word, right? So. Yeah. Three words.
I'll take them.
Look, I love the crap out of my kids. I snuggle them and sniff them and laugh together with them literally every day. Not every day is exclusively full of cuddles, but parenting is overwhelmingly a positive experience. Or is it a positive overwhelming experience? It's both.
Yes, please! Someone take my kids! For a few hours, or a day. If we're blood-related, I might even figure out a weekend! They're remarkably well-behaved for being born to a wild child Mama Bear, I swear. (At least that's what their sitters/grandparents/aunts tell us...) Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. From experience, I can say that seeing my kids again after being away from them - even for a few hours - is one of the sweetest joys.
Every parent - mom or dad - needs a break from time to time. A time to recharge, refresh, and renew. Parenting is a marathon. It never ceases and the pace is plodding and mind-numbing at times. No one can run indefinitely without a rest. At the very least, it would be inadvisable to attempt that.
The first time around, it took an entire year to work up to a full night away from my son. With two under two, I realize that I have limitations. I am imperfect. And it is not a personal failing to ask for or need help. After Rory was born, I shipped the kids off the my in-laws when Rory was just a few months old. No apologies, no excuses. I needed a pinch hitter and there's no shame in that. Luckily, my in-laws were more than glad to oblige. I hope you might have someone like that in your life, too. Someone who will walk right up to you (even if you haven't showered in a week), put their hand on your shoulder, look you in the eye, and whisper those three little words every parent longs to hear, "I'll take them."
How old were your kids when they spent the night away? Was it hard for you to ask for help when you needed it? It was for me! Tweet me @pi3sugarpi3.