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I need a break from being a mom

Don't get me wrong, I love my children more than anything but I'm tired and desperately need time away. My husband can take care of both of them for an hour or two, but I think I need a week, maybe a year. Can you tell I'm burnt out? I'm writing this so I can get suggestions for even mini-time outs for me. What do you do?

Wed. Mar 19, 9:28am

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Are their grandparents around? How about aunts and uncles? Other family members that may want to take them for a weekend? If not, how about a babysitter? Or you could do a child-swap with other mothers-ex. you take their children for a Saturday, she takes your children the next Saturday.

How old are your children? I may have more ideas depending on their ages.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 9:33 AM

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You have to schedule time away just like you would for the gym or any other event you rank as a priority. Get some girlfriends together and plan a long weekend somewhere. Guaranteed they could all use the break too! My friends and I plan a winter and summer trip...usually no more than 4 days...but just enough. We absolutely commit to it so no one can flake out, and if the dates are no good for one of us, then someone else is always willing to step in. I recently surprised my husband with a trip for his birthday, there's no way we would have done it if I hadn't just pulled the trigger without telling him. Everyone who has kids can appreciate your feelings! What I wouldn't give for a silent drive in the morning instead of the constant bickering, question asking, or innane conversation. But I promise you that if you do get some time away, you'll appreciate all of that stuff more....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 10:30 AM

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Get your husband to watch the kids for one weekend while you go to a Bed&Breakfast by yourself. Leave on Friday and back on Sunday night. That is doable right? While you are there really take advantage, rest, relax, have a nice glass of wine read a book, take a bath, meditate, sleep in, don't watch TV, take it easy. I guarantee you will feel quite a bit better. Then you should incorporate some more space into your regular life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 10:48 AM

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I am not a mom, but I was once a kid.

We used to go to camp for a month and a half every summer. And we loved it!!! My mom got a break, us kids had a blast, and I learned so many things that I could have never learned at home. It was awesome. I even ended up working at the camp once I was in college.

We started going at age 9. I think the camp was a bit pricey- well i know it was. But if you can afford it- I think it is a great idea.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 12:02 PM

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Ahh, this is why when my daughter, who is now 4.5, was 3 months old I decided since I could afford it I was going to take one day a week for myself. So ever since then I have taken a day off, from 10:30 in the morning to 6:30 I get to do my own thing and be myself. Its good for me and its good for her. Its not about being a failure or a bad mom, its just the simple fact that everyone needs a bit of time to themselves, EVERYONE. Even if you think you don't, you do, it does a world of good, it refreshes you. I love my children to death and would never not want them but for my sanity and theirs I know I can't be everything 24/7 and for me to be the great mom I am I need that break. So if you can afford it find someone you trust and start taking a day to yourself, you'll never regret it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 12:19 PM

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Of course you need a break, and congratulations to you for admitting it! It will make you a better mother (and a better person, which is just as important) to not be burned out. Like the last poster, I generally take off one day a week. I have organized a "play day" for my children with two other families in the neighborhood, so that each week one mother watches all the kids for most of the day. I like to use my day to run errands sometimes, but just as often, I sit on my butt and watch bad TV. The kids love it, too. They think we're doing it for them so they can have more friends. Maybe the key to the arrangement is that there are only four kids total between the three families, so it isn't too overwhelming for me when I'm the mom-on-duty?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 12:43 PM

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You will definitely be a better mom by taking care of yourself first!

To maintain my sanity and my individual identity (aside from mom) I:
-make an effort to connect with friends on a regular basis - without the kids
-Remember what I used to like to do before kids - and do it!
-Establish a 'date night' with the hubby
-Take the time to do things by myself, for myself (or with friends)

BTW - ever notice how men maintain their friendships and hobbies with ease once they become parents? Take their lead! Taking care of yourself first doesn't make you selfish or a bad mother - it makes you a GREAT mother!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 2:46 PM

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When I was younger (i.e. lived at home), for as long as I can remember, my parents went on two adults-only vacations a year, for a week at a time. When I was little, my grandparents would come stay with us, and they loved it. When I got older (and so did my grandparents), my mom would hire one of the single female teachers to watch us (they had the same schedule, school-wise, and were always happy for the extra money), or, when I was in high school, my cheerleading coach.

My sister and I also always went away to camp in the summers. Only for 2 weeks, to a YMCA camp about 40 minutes away. This was the 80's/early 90's, but I think it cost somewhere around $400 for 2 weeks away. My parents didn't have a ton of money, but that wasn't so much more than having us kids around the house everyday anyway, since it included food, etc.

When I was very young (from when I was 6 weeks old until I was 4 or 5), I stayed over at my grandparents' house every Saturday night. I thought it was fun and my grandparents loved the extra time we got to spend together, but now as an adult, I realize it must've been GREAT for my parents to know they had a free Saturday night babysitter every week!

Finally, my mom was a stay-at-home mom, but she has told me that her belief is, for every kid you have, you need a babysitter one day a week, even if only for a couple hours. So, when it was me, she had a babysitter come once a week. After she had my sister, then it was 2 days a week. Sometimes she wouldn't even go out, but she got a few hours where she wasn't responsible for everything. I hope I can afford that when I have kids!

Look at the resources you have; your kids will think it's fun to go do something different, and you'll get a break. You don't need to be with them all day, every day, to be a good mom. Just make sure that they're put into good situations.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 3:18 PM

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My parents didn't have a camp to send me to, but we would often go stay with aunts and uncles who had kids near our age for weeks at a time (and vice versa) and 1 time a year my parents would pay a semi-retired neighbor to stay with us kids for a week while they took a little vacation by themselves. She was awesome and us kids loved her! We all looked forward to it. Sometimes they need a break from you too to become more independant and learn to get along with other adults and ways of doing things. :-) The first time or two may be a little traumatic, but don't give up.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 3:34 PM

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Hey! I totally know where you are coming from. I don't have kids...but....I get stressed easily, just being at home! Time off, or away is def. what you need. I'd say a year, is a little out of hand. But, a week is a def. thing! Take a week off somewhere....Gatlinburg is ideal. But, if your too far from there, go somewhere, maybe just an hour away at a random hotel! Just time for yourself. Shooping sprees, help too :)

Friday, March 21, 2008, 7:52 PM

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brave thread

thanks for this post. We have all been there. I think the 1 day a week to yourself is a great idea (assuming you can afford it). I went on a one week trip completely alone to San Francisco and explored many interests without having to be held back by anyone else. The night before I was scared to death, but got over it upon arrival. I came back refreshed and committed to making time for interests of my own on a consistent basis. It was like there was no way I could turn back.
It is a great gift to your children to display you own independence!!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008, 8:07 PM

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this is a great thread - i have 3 kids (7 year old twin boys and a 9 year old daughter). It is getting alot easier now but the first few years were ROUGH (having 3 kids 2 and under) so i do know how you feel OP - and even now that they are older and not as physically demanding, you still need to take time. my husband and i are just now really starting to get a bit of a social life back, and want to try to take some time just the two of us.

Friday, March 21, 2008, 10:16 PM

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AMEN! If I hear "Mama" or "Mommm--eeeee" one more time today, my head is going to explode! Everyone needs a break from the "she's looking at me, cut it out, I didn't do anything, yes you did, I went poop wipe my hynie, I want more m&ms, waaaaaahhhhhh, she wiped a booger on me, I don't want to go to bed, waaaaaaahhhh" cycle!!! If you have a hobby, even that can be a great getaway. I do family trees and nothing is more rewarding than a day of silence pouring over records at the state museum. Sounds dorky, but whatever it is that gives you some peace...go for it and pen it on the calendar so everyone knows it's absolutely happening. You don't get to cancel it because hubby wants to get the car washed, or the kids are bickering. Just take your purse and walk out. It will all be there when you come back!! :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008, 1:54 PM

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This topic caught my eye...I had a melt down this morning due to exhaustion. My dh works quite a bit..he's a coach and it seems that I am either at work or at home with our 1 year old. My husband thinks I'm being selfish by wanting to take a break...I plan on seeing what everyone else posts in here. We don't have any family closer than 3 hours!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008, 2:50 PM

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Find a reliable teenager or another mom in the neighborhood pronto!!! My ex husband (and we won't even go there) used to respond to my cabin fever with this lovely response, "We all make choices. You chose to stay home so you really can't complain that you need a break". Yeah, he was an a$$, hence the "ex" part. Here's the bottom line and this bears repeating to your husband: when Mommy's happy, everyone's happy. If it's so easy, then why do so many husbands gripe that they can't manage without you for more than a few hours?? If he's unavailable because of work, then find a playgroup that you can join. Even the YMCA has daycare while you work out, and you have to sign up for it in advance and they penalize you if you cancel too often, so you have instant motivation to go. Hey, even if you sit in the sauna for the whole time, it's peace and quiet!

Saturday, March 22, 2008, 8:22 PM

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2:50 - I hope your husband was seriously delirious when he says you're being selfish!!! A SAHM wanting a full-time nanny so they can shop and visit spas and not actually take care of the kid is more the 'you're being selfish' scenario. Working and being exhausted from your other full-time job as mom and wanting a break - necessity!! As 8:22 said - happy you, happy house.

Saturday, March 22, 2008, 8:45 PM

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Dr. Phil

I was setting up my DVR for American Idol tonight and saw that Dr. Phil's show is on "Tired of being a Mom". This may be helpful, I don't know. But if you have a chance to watch it....
I am a SAHM, too. It's tough. I belong to Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) which meets once a month and during the summer I pay my neighbor girl $6 an hour (I have 3 kids) to watch the kids once a week for an hour. I usually vacuum or pickup the house during that time, but it's a huge lifesaver for me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 2:15 PM

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2:15 - where do you live??? I would kill for a sitter that I could pay $6/hr! I have one kid and the going rate is $8-10/hr. Makes it harder to get out as much as I'd like.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 2:29 PM

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You are so not alone in these feelings. And they are normal!

I am a sahm to a 5 yr old and 18 month old, and love that I can do it. But the days can get very long, and loud sometimes. I find that I miss hearing my own thoughts sometimes.

The YMCA has been a saving grace for me. We don't have family in the area, and the babysitting option isn't real feasible very often. But the Y has childcare for you when you are in the building. I go and workout, take a swim, a sauna, or sometimes, sit in the lobby and drink a cup of coffee before I hit the treadmill. It gives me ME time. It's not a lot, but boy do I appreciate those little breaks I get in my week. And I'm doing a healthy thing too!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 3:26 PM

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Do it

I thought I was the only one who feels this way. Go some where for a week. Let your husband take care of the kids.

Saturday, August 06, 2011, 2:08 PM

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You can get all the support you can from other people, but it really doesn't solve the problem.. My children are now both adults, and they always tell the story of something that I did that made them realize I only had so much to give, It sound awful now, but is guessed it worked,, Very vocally, I told them I was running away, I walked slowly down the street, and came home quickly, behind the house. It sounds bad even to write today--- but hearing them remember the day as adults, it made them understand I had feelings and needed my time, and support also.....

Saturday, August 06, 2011, 9:09 PM

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mini breaks

check out ... I have found my nanny, horse trainer and housecleaner there... you can find a great sitter to take your kids on excursions or watch them while you go off and have fun... they have background checks

Monday, August 08, 2011, 9:15 AM

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This is a new article that we wrote that will help moms or anyone feel less tired and have more energy:

How To Stop Feeling Tired


Friday, September 02, 2011, 1:08 PM

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I get this. I feel this way all the time! The best thing you can do is focus on making one friend who has children your age. When you have one friend, a real friend who you can tell honestly how you're really feeling and your kids can play together, the relief sets in! It did for me. I'm thankful I put in the effort.

Friday, September 09, 2011, 11:13 AM

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