It’s All About Tradeoffs

Yesterday, we had another snow day and so in addition to my two peeps, one of my daughter’s friend’s was hanging with us all day. That in itself wasn’t so bad. I dragged all three girls to the post office to send out Christmas presents, gingerbread cookies, and random stuff, and that was an adventure I hope to not repeat. The wind was gusty and the roads were sort of icy and the girls were bored and loud. From the post office back home we went.

I’m a pretty crappy cruise director and I know that for a mom who is at home, I should be better at this stuff. But – that’s not the kind of mom I am. I have strengths and there are things about me that make me a fantabulous mom but a love for making macaroni art or finger painting? Uh, not so much.

To make matters worse, Pumpkin seems to be coming down with something. Between the cold yucky weather, the abundance of kids and her mopey-ness, I decided we’d kick back and take it easy. There were MULTIPLE showings of “Horton Hears a Who” (because to be perfectly honest, I really love that movie), and basically a day of downtime.

And for those who know me, you wouldn’t be surprised that I was relieved to see that there were no school closures today, especially knowing that it was Pumpkin’s day for daycare/preschool. Yeah – this mom needs her downtime.

I got The Princess on her bus, got Pumpkin in the car and not two seconds after I buckled her in she had a meltdown because she was missing one of her gloves. Yes, a full on meltdown about a pair of gloves that I picked up at Target for $.99 (FOR TWO PAIR!). Unfortunately, The Princess had snagged the second pair for some unknown reason (they are toddler sized gloves – but The Princess wears them anyway despite having three pair of her own sized gloves). I drove to her school, went to get her out of her seat.


She cried all the way into school. She cried all the way up to the big room where her friends were already in Circle Time. She cried when her teacher tried to talk to her. She cried when I said I was leaving. “No! I want to be with you!” she wailed and wrapped her arms around my neck.

And I felt like the meanest mom ever.

When I finally left, Pumpkin was sitting on the floor with eyes filled with tears and a sad look on her face and I was trying to not lose it as I walked back out to the car. I probably should have kept her home, I know she’s not feeling 100% (she wasn’t puking, no fever – just the stupid cough – and all her friends seem to have that stupid cough because three year olds are germ weasels). And I’m sure that’s all her deal was – just not feeling good and wanting to be with mom. I hope that she perked up once I was out of sight. I hope that when I go pick her up, she’s in the classroom painting or playing with dinosaurs or something equally fantastic (for her).

I need the time to myself. I need it or I can’t be a good enough mom. I need it because as much as I love my kids and am so grateful for them in my life and their sloppy kissed and tight hugs and silliness and love, I also crave solitude sometimes to recharge myself, to remember who I am, and to get things accomplished so that when they’re with me again, we’re all at our best.

There are direct benefits to them for being away from me as well.

But sometimes it still doesn’t feel very good.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. I think the mommy-guilt can be overwhelming at times. Do you work to provide for your family or do you stay home & make a haven for them? Are you an artsy mom who always has finger paints, gallons of glitter & homemade playdough on hand, or are you an activities mom who never misses a recital, game, practice, or event? When do we just get to be mom? And when do we get to be women?

    It's never easy & the choices always leave us second guessing ourselves. But I agree that down time makes us all better moms! I hope you enjoyed yours & I hope Pumpkin came home happy as a lark.
    If it helps, you can tell her #1 Son lost his glove today & nearly had a melt down! 🙂

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