I love my children.
Ahem. More specifically…
I *LOVE* my children with every fiber of my being.
But sometimes, the unrelenting…relentlessness of being responsible for them 24/7/365 is just flat-out exhausting.
Because I don’t ever – EVER – get a break.**
Child care is hard enough to find without adding such specific, serious, potentially deadly food needs to the mix.
The only person willing to watch my kids regularly is my Mom…and she currently lives over 600 miles away. Not to mention, even SHE is nervous about being able to care for them properly.
My in-laws are willing to watch Mr. Charm on occasion, like for a quick trip into town, say, but not both kids, and not for long.
We can’t afford to pay for babysitting services. Even if we could find someone we trust, I am sure we’d probably pay a premium due to the food issues.
I have friends at church who would LOVE to take care of my kids to give me a break. But they’re too scared of the food issues to actually do it.
So, it’s me and the two kiddos, 24/7/365. Sometimes we get to have Daddy with us. A couple hours per day on M-F, and (usually) most or all of the day on the weekends. Plus holidays.
I read normal food Mama’s talking about how, once the baby is old enough (usually in the 3-6 month range) they start returning to book clubs, Girls Night Outs, mani/pedi appointments, spa days, all-alone shopping trips, not to mention actual Date Nights with their husbands or even – gasp! – an overnight trip with their husband.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
The closest I can get to anything resembling freedom is leaving Mr. Charm with the Geek and going to the grocery store with only Mr. Happy.
The Geek and I are stoically accepting of the fact that the next date we’ll ever have is after Mr. Happy weans…which, frankly, could be as long as two years from now. We’re thrilled beyond belief to be allowed to watch an entire episode of a TV show on Netflix uninterrupted, while cuddling on the couch.
I think it’s happened two or three times since Mr. Happy was born.
I adore my children and love spending time with them. Truly.
But you know what? I love my husband, too. I used to enjoy spending time doing things alone with him. After all, I married him with the intention of doing things with him for the rest of our lives, right? Going out to dinner, going to movies (we’re fond of action/adventure/comic book movies, actually!), going to little off-the-beaten-path cabins in the woods with private hot tubs. That was all really fun and enjoyable. It was the stuff that reminds you that your spouse is sexy, funny, warm, and, well, likable.
And I used to enjoy doing things alone. Spending hours in a bookstore, browsing. Hitting up the local yarn/craft stores, thinking about what new thing I could make. Even just wandering the Hallmark store, reading the cards and replenishing my ‘stock’.
I haven’t actually done any of those things, either with the Geek or all by my lonesome since…June of 2010.
A lot of Mama’s struggle with losing their sense of self after becoming a Mama. But for most of them, they COULD get a babysitter if they WOULD. They just WON’T.
I WOULD have gotten back in the habit of being a Woman, a Wife, a Person outside of being Mama if I COULD have.
But I CAN’T.
I can’t leave my children with anyone.
I love being Mama to my babies.
But sometimes, well, I miss being Me.
**except when I’m sick and the Geek takes over, but that’s hardly a break, right?
And in the interest of being fair, the Geek and I did take an overnight when Mr. Charm was 6 months old and my in-laws watched him for our 2nd Anniversary. It was hell trying to find dairy & egg-free food for me to eat (I wasn’t very adept at that yet) and I had to interrupt our “alone” time to pump every three hours. SO romantic! We haven’t done it since.
How do my fellow FAM/FPIES/Fructose Malabsorption Mama’s deal with the childcare issue? Do you get date nights? HOW?