I don’t think it’s any secret that I was pretty much coming apart at the seams before we left for my Nana’s. I mean, I broke my voice screaming in frustration one night. That’s gotta tell you something.
What’s been the trouble?
In some ways I typically answer people that I don’t know. It’s not any one thing. After we were last at Nana’s, I slipped into a bit of a funk. Everything seemed overwhelming. Then at Easter Cameron got sick, and I had to miss out on my planned day off. I realized then how much I’d been counting on getting that. But Mr.C just kept puking. Then pooping. I took three days off work. Then I got sick, same bug, just a little faster for me. I took no time off, and just suffered through. Then Cameron got sick again with a cold. Then I caught it.
Basically, I needed a break.
I’d chatted with my neighbours about Cameron staying with them for a weekend. Phil offered, a while ago out of the blue, and then confirmed later that yes, he was serious. I swear, just the thought of it made me want to burst into tears with longing. Nights off? Evenings off? Time to just be me, to not have to get someone up in the morning, fed, dressed, out to play, fed, enough to drink, nap, more play, supper made and cleaned up, bath, story, bed … all to the tune of “Whyyyy? Why Mommy? Mommy, mommy, mommy, mooooommmmyyy?” (put on your best mental whining note when reading that).
But wait. I love being Cameron’s mommy. Then the guilt started. What if I never heard that again? What if something awful happened? Or, does this mean I don’t live him right/enough? What’s wrong with me?
Mental brakes on. Whoa.
Everyone needs a break. Being a parent, whatever the situation, is stressful and exhausting. But in my case I’m everything to Cameron – I’m the only one here to do things. Which I love. And it exhausts me.
I’ve had little breaks before. Evenings out. Cameron has, when he was very little, spent the night with Joanne and Paul. In fact, his first sleep-through-the-night was at their house. When I stay with Dad and Janice they take over night time wakeups and mornings … but I still listen for him. I can still hear him. I’m still ‘on duty’, because I’m there.
So when Dad offered to come out and help me for a week I was torn. Honestly. I so wanted to jump at this. But it would delay my half-planned weekend off … the idea of which turned me into a messy little puddle of tears. But then, to have my dad here, easing the pressure, helping me cope … who can say no? I needed that too. Because of the timing of his visit, I didn’t see how I could leave Cameron with him and take off, as the only possible night (unless on a work night) would have me leaving after Cameron had only spent a few hours with him.
It took a whole lot, and I don’t know why, for me to open my mouth and say what I needed. I needed a break, a night away. It turned out that he and Janice had discussed that he should offer this after a few days … and I pushed for that night. So I could sleep in, as Monday was a holiday. He agreed! Wooooooo!
I expected Cameron would dissolve into tears and wails when I told him I was going. No such thing! He looked a little concerned at first, but the gist of his reaction was, “Oh, okay. Can I go play with Samuel now?” Apparently he only got a little teary after his bath. He ate a huge supper, slept all night no problem, even slept in much later than usual.
I went to a hotel in downtown Vancouver, one that was fancy enough that I could feel spoiled and in the lap of luxury … without actually having to pay what that lap of luxury would cost.
There was a three-course-dinner special at their uppity restaurant with a good selection – I had roasted tomato and avocado soup, steak with potatoes au gratin and roasted vegetables, and a chocolate terrine, with a wonderful shiraz. All as locally sourced as possible.
After super I went up to my room, and did all the pampering-goodness things I rarely take the time to do for myself. I shaved. Yes, that’s now a luxury. I scrubbed. I lotioned. I watched a movie on the LCD screen, then slept. I’d left my curtains open so I could wake up naturally, no child crawling into bed with me, no alarm going off. I read. Watched the news. More pampering.
Then I went home for lots of hugs and kisses.
I’m feeling much better. Still overwhelmed, but I’ve had a little break. I talked with Phil tonight – they’re still happy to do a weekend for me in the near future.
Hooray! I have a break to look forward to.