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“It’s not you, it’s me”- accepting your need for space.

Dear Children,

Please don’t take this personally, this isn’t about you, you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s me.

You see I’ve changed, as a women in her late 30’s I  have had all those years of discovery and independence. A job, a car, my own space, my own time.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t want that again, what we have is amazing, beautiful.  It’s just when you came along life changed so dramatically.  So much better but so very very different.

I don’t want to come across as one of those ungrateful kinds. I’ve been there, desperate to have a child in my life, heartbroken whenever someone new fell pregnant and I still wasn’t. But here on the other-side, as a Mother, I now get that need for some space.

This was my decision, was my choice. I stand by that, being with you everyday, watching you grow is still the best thing I have ever done. BUT I need some space, some time away. Not to recharge but to reboot, update my software to a better version of myself. Without the ‘Me’ moments I see glitches appear, I get tired, ratty, moany and I don’t want to be that type of Mum.

I’m not talking days, an hour or two. To walk to the shops to pick up milk without pushing a buggy there and back. To get my nails done and not feel rushed, to sit and eat a meal and a glass of wine without interruption.

Why am I telling you this? Because although I’ve had days off, weekends off, even a dream trip to Dubai, I feel overwhelming guilty for leaving you. It is one of the hardest things to admit that I sometimes need time away from you. I fear it seems like I don’t love you, that I don’t care, that to others I am being selfish and I am letting you down.

Because I wanted you, and therefore that should mean I am there for you every moment. Understand, I have in the past taken this time begrudgingly but I know now, I am beginning to understand, that this is for you. Because a better me is the best for you. So although when I’m not with you I feel vulnerable and a little lost, I know that this space is good, it is right.

 

About me.

I’m not very good at taking time out for myself. I often have plenty of things on the calendar, nights out, yoga classes but I rarely consciously say, I need some space.

As the girls sleep, I don’t chill, I busy myself with mundane tasks around the house, I work but its irregular, so there’s not the routine of leaving them behind.

The offer is always there, I am incredibly lucky to have a supportive husband and exceptional family who happily give me the opportunities to have “me” time, I know they will be cared for, they will always be safe. It is me who makes the barrier, who creates the problem and generates the guilt.  I find it hard to ask, feel it is like admitting defeat, means I’m not doing the best I can.

In reality no-one else views me in this way, it is something I conjure up in my mind. A punishment maybe for wanting to be away from my children. So day by day I am trying to teach myself that having a bit of space is okay and to park the guilt and try to enjoy those precious moments as they help make me a better mum to my girls.

This weekend as I get a lovely pedicure paid for my birthday back in April ( case in point), I will take that little bit longer to wander home, will buy a coffee, window shop and try not to rush back. It’s a small step but it is a start!

 

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