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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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