*This story was shared with us by a third party.
My life plunged into disaster when I had my second child.
Does that sound harsh? Well, it’s true. That’s not to say I don’t love my children with every fibre of my being, because I do. That’s also not to say that I wouldn’t absolutely do what’s best for my children all the time, because, again, I do.
But sometimes, the best thing for your children is that their mother is happy, healthy, and sane. And after my second kid was born, it looked like that was cancelled.
I’ve always had a problem managing my stress, and when I get too stressed out, my mind just goes numb and I jump into survival mode.
With my first child, it wasn’t so bad. I was mentally present for everything, and I made sure they got all the love and attention they needed.
My second child came around almost a full year later, and by that time, I was drained. My batteries were at 0. I needed a break.
But I couldn’t – and didn’t want to – take a break from my kids, so I did what every “good mother” does and powered through it. I’m not going to lie, there were definitely some days when the stress and lack of sleep was so overwhelming I would burst into tears.
It didn’t help that I was breaking up with my long-term boyfriend, and the father of my children, at the time. It didn’t help that I was far away from my hometown, and all my family and friends. It didn’t help that I didn’t ask for any help… but I was strong and thought I could do it all. Except I was an emotional wreck, and trying to hide it for my kids, which made things a tad worse in the long-run.
It was four months until I took a break from my kids, and only because my mother came to visit me and forced me out of the house. If she hadn’t come, I’d probably still be crying at night.
But she did; and the second she saw me, she kicked me out. Not going to lie, I was heartbroken at having to leave my kids behind. But also kind of thrilled.
I don’t even remember what I did that day. All I know is that it was the start to something beautiful. My mom ended staying with me for a few more months after that, which really helped me out, and helped me discover that the only way for me to function was if I took “personal days” off from my kids.
Which means that once or twice a week, I put my phone on silent, go do something I actually want to do, and forget about everything. I don’t think about work, bills, or what I’m cooking for breakfast tomorrow.
I just go and enjoy some nice, quiet down time. And when I get home at night, I’m not just totally refreshed, but I can appreciate the noise that much more.