Being a parent is all consuming. The levels of exhaustion are unparalleled and so much more than just not sleeping.
The mental load of keeping someone else alive, happy and thriving. Multiplying daily, challenges changing as they grow.
Sometimes you just need a break.
An absolute break from everything and everyone.
My husband reminds me of this daily, that it could, it may, break me this level of exhaustion. The need for time to myself.
He encourages me to run, to exercise, to take time away.
He’s been on at me about taking a weekend away while he has all the boys. A chance to wine and dine and SLEEP.
Yet I am umming and ahhing
And I don’t know why. It’s not like I would be leaving them alone, or with a babysitter. I would be leaving them with my husband.
The other half of my parenting team. The one person who I trust with my life.
So why am I umming and ahhing about taking this break that I so desperately need?
Then I watched Charli from Candidly Rhubarb on Instagram and it all clicked into place.
I have FOMO
Fear of missing out.
From my kids. I know. Who would have thought it?
I KNOW that you can’t pour from an empty cup. That it’s important to take time to yourself. To be you. To give your best to them. And I do do that.
I date my husband (when they’re asleep). I go out for dinner (when they’re asleep). I exercise regularly (!!!!). I read books, I even go to book club (when they’re asleep).
When they’re asleep I have no issues.
Leaving them awake? FOMO.
From soft play, cinema trips, chasing them through the mall trips.
Things that make me groan inwardly on the lead up to doing them, but when I’m there and I can see the actual excitement on their faces, I melt.
When my husband takes them away for “Daddy-Boys Day” I stare eagerly at my phone waiting for photos of them to ping through. Sporadically.
Yet when I’m trying to lie in bed and catch up on sleep and they keep bursting in and out of my room? Then I dream longingly of time on my own.
Yet when it happens.
I WANT to be there to see their little faces light up with excitement. I WANT to take the memorable trips with them. I LIKE spending time together as a family doing special trips.
Yet, I do know I am exhausted and I would benefit from an uninterrupted nights sleep. A chance to sleep until I woke up naturally. A little potter around, making what I want to eat when I want to eat it without a thousand demands for a snack to be made, a drink to be had.
But I just can’t seem to take the plunge and say yes, send me away. Go and do fun things.
Because, you know, this FOMO.
Now if I could just stay in my bed, have someone bring me food, and have them contained but doing nothing too exciting downstairs while I rest. Then, and MAYBE then, I could get a break.
Without the FOMO.
Then again…. maybe not.