I Need a Break and I’m Not Afraid to Admit It

 

just kidding

You may have noticed, that my blogging and social media updates have been sporadic and all over the place the last week or so. My life has been the same. 8 months ago, I would have predicted that at this point in my life I would be a super-organized stay-at-home Mom with a strict routine and an ability to get shit done. In reality, Luna is almost 8 months old and I have yet to get a grip on life and have not managed to stay on schedule for more than 2 consecutive days. I am a planner, always have been, and this new unpredictable life is a huge adjustment for me. I love my baby more than anything, truly I do. In fact, sometimes when I look at her I begin to cry because I am so overwhelmed with love for her, but sometimes (like right now) I need a break.

I stay home with Luna, although we don’t really stay home. We workout with friends at 6:30 every morning, we go to the park, the library, baby classes, shopping, Starbucks, her Grandparents, road trips, play dates, hiking, dinner out, downtown and a zillion other places. We are constantly on the go and we both love it. I love getting to see her every milestone, and I love that I’m her favorite person. It’s truly the greatest job and life decision I’ve ever made. BUT, maybe loving it doesn’t mean I never get tired, burnt out or frustrated. Maybe, I need a break from my “job” just like everyone else.  Maybe Luna needs a break from me. Maybe we would both grow and refresh after a few hours of being separated.

Don’t get me wrong, we do have some time apart. I’ve been to shows to review without her, gotten my hair done, volunteered and a few other things without her. However, those times are few and far between. We do everything together. I had a minor surgery yesterday and she was literally in the room with me. I nursed her ten minutes after I was off the table. The angel child hasn’t slept through the night in over a week, she broke my phone, ripped out the cat’s fur and has learned how to get into EVERYTHING. I haven’t been able to post a blog because every time I begin to type I fall asleep on my keyboard. I don’t even remember what it feels like to not be tired.

At home, Husband is really helpful and willing to do anything, but the truth is I do most everything for Luna. I always have and she’s gotten used to me, so when Husband  tries to lull her to sleep or feed her dinner it almost always ends in a major fit until I takeover. I kind of love that she is such a Mama’s girl and that I am always the one who can calm her, but sometimes it would be nice if Husband could put her back to sleep and I could get more than 3 straight hours of sleep.

As I type this, I can hear myself coming off whiney. “Woah is me, poor stay-at-home Mom, blah blah blah.” I don’t want to complain, I know I am fortunate. I have a healthy child that I get to spend every day with, which is more than many can say. It’s what I’ve always wanted and I am able to fulfill that dream and keep pursuing others. I am grateful for it everyday. I’m sharing my little daily Mom struggles because I have learned something over these last 8 months that is valuable to EVERYONE.

Not only is it okay to take a break, but it’s needed.

A mental health day. A stay-cation. A personal day. Time off. Mommy’s Day Out. Me time. Whatever you call it, whatever, you do, you need it at some point. I’m not talking about a weekend getaway or anything that involves a suitcase. I’m talking about a couple of hours to breathe, think, finish a to-do list, have coffee with a BFF, a date with your spouse, a chance to wash your hair, to write, read, but mostly to rejuvenate yourself.

For the past 8 months I have been terrified to ask someone to watch Luna, not because I’m afraid to leave her, but because I feel guilty. Every time I think about asking for help, I can’t help but think I’m being needy/bratty/whiney/useless/lazy. There are Moms out there who have to work full time and want to stay home. There are single Moms doing it all alone. There are Moms out there who cannot have children and would give everything to be in my shoes. Who am I to say I need a break?

I’ll to you who I am. I’m Hilarie. I’m human, and I need a break. I can no longer pretend like Mommyhood has not taken its toll on me.

I loved teaching, but every so often I needed a day off. You know what? I always came back to the classroom feeling refreshed and excited to work hard, be creative and see those kids who needed me. Luna deserves the best version of me, and I believe getting a little time to myself, or some time with my Husband, will help me to be the Mom I want to be. I may not have the strength to do it all, all the time, but I do have the strength to admit that I need help. Raising a child is hard work, and it’s supposed to take a village, right?

As I'm typing about needing a break, I look over to see my sweet girl just smiling away. I had to put the laptop down and play immediately. Who could resist that face?
As I’m typing about needing a break, I look over to see my sweet girl just smiling away. I put the laptop down, kissed those cheeks and played on the floor until breakfast. Who could resist that face?

Whatever you are, Mom, Dad, teacher, writer, runner, cook, lawyer, nurse, student…do yourself a favor and take a break. Get some sleep and come back rested and ready to give it your all. You won’t regret it.

Cheers!

She Works (kinda) Hard for the (not very much) Money

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

I am a very indecisive pregnant lady. When I found out I was expecting my decision-making process disappeared and I became incapable of deciding what I want for dinner, what to wear, when to sleep and any big life decision is just too much to handle. One of these big life decisions included my career.

In the last 6 years I have taught public elementary school, coached middle school dance and drama, tutored kids, taught overseas for an international elementary school, nannied, coached gymnastics, dance and yoga for fancy Manhattan preschoolers and managed social media for the same fancy pants preschool. Clearly, I like working with kids and being active, but cannot really decide what I “want to be when I grow up”. Six months ago, we decided to leave NYC for the country life in Tennessee AND discovered I was pregnant.

Being pregnant and not clear of what career path I want had me taking 400 different paths… I decided I definitely 100% wanted to be a stay home blogger… for exactly 4 minutes. Then, I applied for some public school teaching jobs…then, some private school jobs…preschool jobs…daycare…coaching…social media… Pretty much anything that sounded half-interesting was worth filling out an application. Two hours later, I made the final decision to work on the house, have a calm relaxing pregnancy, learn to cook and garden and prepare to be an awesome stay-at-home Mom. That lasted for a day. See the pattern?

My indecisive-self kept me from completing most applications or following through with interviews (“Mrs. Positively Panicked we’d like to interview you!” Ummm…yeah, I ‘ve changed my mind, thanks anyways.) All of the non-decision making and busy life stuff lead me to where I am now…blogging (read: making nothing), tutoring and substituting. So, basically I work randomly, have no schedule and I am kind of loving it.

I love schedules, being busy and especially adore deadlines (I need structure!), but I must say that choosing whether I not I want to go into work kind of rocks. For example, this morning it was raining/snowing, freezing outside and I slept for a total of 30 minutes last night. So, when the phone rang at 5am and I was asked nicely to come in and sub for 8 hours I said, “yeah, no thanks.” Coffee, pj’s, a big blanket, my laptop and Good Morning America just sound SO much better.

Then on days when I feel like I need some structure and motivation I get up at 4:45am, take a sub job, teach all day, tutor all night and come home feeling productive. So productive that after working 14 hours yesterday I came home, did the Asylum and made dinner! BAM. Badass.

AND, I’ve been keeping a secret from you guys, with all my time off the last few months I have actually began learning to cook (gasp!). Like, real meals not just frozen pizzas and grilled cheese, though we still eat our fair share of both. I want to transition to full-time stay-at-home Mom when Luna arrives. I want to cook healthy food for her, sew costumes, do Pinteresty crafty things and grow vegetables in the backyard, but who knows what I’ll actually do. I think that maybe all my life decisions and job changes have led  up to my biggest role yet (world’s most awesome Mom), but I can’t rule out the realistic possibility that I might want to re-enter the work force at some point.

Honestly, my indecisiveness stems from all the labels and judging I keep reading about. Every single person and their Mother seem to have very strong opinions about whether Moms should stay home or work, and I just don’t want to be labeled or a part of that argument AT ALL. Recently, I realized that I’m not judging the other women and Moms, no matter their career choice, so why am I being so hard on myself? I just need to do what’s right for us, my family, and right now, things feel good, really good.

What about all your Mom’s and Mom’s to be out there? Do you work? Stay home? Wish you were doing the opposite? Have a good combo of both? Are you even decided yet?

Either way, I just feel so very very lucky to have these options, a Husband that supports me either way and part-time job with VERY flexible hours.

Or am I? The wind may change tomorrow.

Cheers!