My eldest daughter FZ recently came to us and declared she “figured” out why we make her and her siblings go to bed.
FZ: I know you guys have fun. One time you thought I was sleeping but I heard you open the fridge and eat something.
Me: Yeah so?
FZ: I know you guys have a party without us.
Me: (without a bit of remorse) Yup. It’s true. We have a lot of fun.
After serving as a maid, cook, homework assistant, referee, guidance counselor, knower of all answers, and on-call book reader all day long, I think I do deserve a party after bedtime.
My party consists of doing homework or eating ice cream. Or both. Sometimes if I’m feeling adventurous I’ll do the laundry.
But yes, I’ll admit – I’m as giddy as a schoolgirl come 8 o’clock. Sure you might think my party is pretty lame. But that’s my time. My space. My peace.
I think it’s unfair for parents to feel like they have to want to be with their kids all the time. I mean I’m there when my kids need me, and I hope I never let them down. But I also need a chance to do my own things. I wouldn’t be a human otherwise.
Of course it’s not on their time. So I make my time. And that means I’m a stickler for bedtime.
One day my kids will understand what my “parties” really consisted of, and they’ll probably just feel sorry for me. Until then, I’m going to live it up.
Needed a break from my kids so I took out the trash.
Then I went to the corner shop to get ice cream but they only had saffron-flavored ice cream bars.
Positive note: I got some fresh air.
What un-exciting things do you do for your Mama breaks?
1. You can hand them off – it’s nice to know that right when that little whistle is about to blow in your mind, you can say “I need a break!” and run away!! I’ve often added this part: “Just letting you know I might not come back. Dinner’s on the stove.” Don’t worry – I always go back.
2. They help ease parenting stress – You love your kids and you know them best, but there are plenty of times when you feel like you’re at a roadblock. Your kid is lying. Or biting. Or talking back. What’s next? How do I go from here? A good parenting partner really knows when to ease your worries and give useful advice.
3. They know how to play good parent/bad parent – When you have to always be the bad parent, it stinks. A good parenting partner is essential in keeping the balance between fun parenting and party-pooper parenting. Lord knows I’ve been on both ends and because of this balance, it’s nice to know my kids don’t consider me the “always no” parent. Not yet, anyway.
4. They know how to work around kids – A hands-off parent is a real killjoy. When you’re cooking dinner and breaking up a fight simultaneously, you need a good parenting partner to notice your kid is doing the potty dance and guide him/her to the bathroom. Not one who says, “Uh, I don’t do number 2.”
Or during those days (you know those days) when you’re tired, haven’t had dinner, and now it’s bedtime, it’s a relief to have a good parenting partner swoop down and take over bedtime so you can grab a bite.
5. They know how to enjoy those beautiful moments – When the tantrums subside and the food fights stop, and you’re left with those cute smiles, warm hugs and funny sayings – who better to share those moments with?? A good parenting partner will relish in those wonderful times with you, and make your heart feel very full.