“Mom? What’s for lunch? Mom? MOM! Hey! MOMMMMMMMMMMM! What. Are. WE. Doing. FOR. Lunch?!”
Before she could ask – or say my name – One. More. Time, I said, carefully and through gritted teeth, “I can’t talk to you right now. I do not have anything nice to say.”
We were driving home after church, after a week full of fighting and talking back and directly disobeying every big and little thing. We were headed home (by way of Taco Bell), after a morning full of arguing and interrupting the grown-up talk and smarting off in front of the pastor.
Though my newborn has started sleeping for a few more hours in a row overnight, I still feel like a stiff wind could knock me over – or at least lull me into a nap – most days. So fighting against a strong-willed six-year-old had worn me down.
This mama needed a time out!
Wouldn’t it be nice if, every time we feel overwhelmed, we could escape to a place like that beach up there? (You know, like maybe the week after spring break? Or on snow day #472? Or in the middle of a global pandemic when you’ve been quarantined with your kids for what feels like 8,793 days).
Unfortunately, a beach vacay isn’t really in the cards every time I feel like pulling out my hair.
Last summer I wrote about wanting to run away. Just for a bit, just long enough to refill my emotional tank so I could face whatever chaos or challenge waited for me at home. On that particular day, I had dropped off my daughter at the babysitter’s house and driven straight to a diner, where I sat – alone – eating pancakes and avoiding a small-but-maddening kitchen renovation at home.
But even that feels luxurious – and impossible – some days. Sometimes you can get away, but sometimes you’re stuck in the house or without extra money or a babysitter or a couple hours to spend on yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a break.