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When I first became a mom, I was exhausted. I remember sitting on the couch all day just trying to survive to when my husband would come home. Sometimes I would even call him while he was still driving home and beg him to take me out to dinner.
We would pack up the baby and out the door we would go. I still remember sitting in Applebee’s, down the street from my home, nursing a baby while trying to eat a steak dinner that my husband had to cut up for me and drinking a glass of red win.
Inevitably, I would always end up next to a whole bunch of old ladies glaring at me and whispering around what a terrible mother I was drinking and nursing. Back then, I didn’t care, I was just so happy to see a different place that wasn’t the same four walls.
Storytime saved me
By the time my son was three months old I started going to storytimes at the library. And I discovered that I could go to a different library every day and have a storytime for my son at 10 AM.
Now some new mothers would look at me and think ‘Wow, she is a great mom’ but the veteran mom, she knew I wasn’t doing it for my son. I was doing it for me. I needed the time to talk to other adults, I needed the place to go, the purpose. As a new mom, I was struggling to find my way and keeping busy helped me feel like I was getting there.
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Wait, we moved?
Some time during our first year with our son, we packed up our lives and we moved. Since we were building a new home we had to move in with my parents and every single day at 10:30 my mom would help me get ready and out the door we would go for lunch. We went out for great lunches, Olive garden, Panera, chipotle. I loved it. I loved having something to look forward too. I loved leaving the house. It gave purpose to my day.
After moving out of my parents house we had a schedule down library in the morning, then lunch, then nap, then afternoon play. Then my husband came home and I was off duty.
I have to get out of here!
Over the years, that schedule has basically stayed the same. I joke with my friends that if I don’t have a place to go by 9:30 in the morning I start to panic. While it’s funny to say, it’s also true. Staying home with one or two kids is hard.
Going and doing something that occupies them, keeps them moving easier for me. But one of the things that I’ve learned is that being busy it’s not always good.
I use “busyness” as an escape
I have told myself lies that when I’m out with my kids I am more focused on them, less on my phone. But the truth is when I’m out with my kids I’m just talking to other moms while my son is playing alone. So I am not a better mom. I am a busy mom who sometimes uses busyness so she can avoid sitting on the floor and playing tracks for three hours. That’s the hard truth.
Over the summer I have tried to slow down and embrace sitting on the floor playing trucks, taking long walks and enjoying my son being a child. I still feel the restlessness creep in. I still find myself looking at the clock or wondering what the other moms are doing. But I have noticed that my son enjoys home days, playing in the driveway, creating imaginary worlds.
I also enjoy our child led walks where he introduces me to nature in his own words. And the more I learn to leave my phone at home, the faster my day begins to go. Summer has brought me the joy of seeing the world through his eyes and not my purpose driven goals life.
So slow down, Mamma.