I have a daydream that occasionally pops up. It is usually after a particularly challenging parenting moment, or when I walk though my home overwhelmed by the mess and clutter and feel nobody is helping, or after a disagreement with my husband, or most likely, during a combination of some or all of that.
My daydream consists of me escaping reality by leaving my home, husband and kids and going to a remote location for a month or two. I would run away from reality for a period of time. I would do what I want when I want (read, write, nap, craft, go for walks, watch movies, sit on the beach with a fruity drink in hand or by a babbling brook in the mountains, and dream). I would not clean up anyone else’s mess or fix anyone a meal or be anyone’s chauffeur or homework enforcer.
Yes, this is selfish. I am aware. No judging. It is only a daydream. Nobody has the time or money for this.
This daydream has three different potential endings. I arrive home from this runaway feeling relaxed and energized and
- I return to my house being clean, my family is happy to see me, and they didn’t even realize I was gone (unrealistic).
- I come home to a messy house, disgruntled family members asking how the heck I could do this to them. They tell me that I really need to get back to cooking, cleaning, and keeping everything on schedule (I would really hope that this wouldn’t happen)
- I return home to find the house messy but my kids and hubby are happy to see me, hugging me, expressing how much they love and missed me. They also say how they realize how much I do for them and from now on, they will be sure to express their gratitude toward me and help with cleaning up around the house (Ding! Ding! Ding! Yes! This is my preferred outcome of running away even if my house was needing some love and attention.) It would be the ultimate daydream for all of this to happen and for my house to be immaculate, but I don’t let my dreams get too crazy.
What is the interpretation of my daydream? One, I want to feel appreciated. Two, I want some rest and reprieve from the daily cleaning and caregiving. Being a mom can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Even on a family vacation, moms are still doing and still caregiving. We are not resting and getting the respite we need.
Come on, mamas, do you feel like this from time to time? Am I a bad mom for wanting a brief hiatus from this mothering thing?
Why do I feel the need to be the recipient of gratitude and words of appreciation? Maybe because this is an unpaid job? Maybe because I love to hear things verbally expressed to me? Maybe I just want to feel loved and appreciated and when this doesn’t happen, I feel sad or angry or hurt and I don’t want to carry on doing whatever is not appreciated? So how do I get outcome #3 without running away and hiding out for a month in the middle of nowhere?
I keep coming back to this Bible verse. Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” But it is hard. Being a mom makes me weary at times.
Truth be told, if I did decide to run away and hide for a while (no current plans), I would miss my family terribly! I love being a mom and a wife! I might say I’d be gone for a month or two but maybe just a brief time away would be the refresher I need to keep trudging through the daily grind. I am blessed to have my scrapbooking friends, the Naked Joes, who get together for a long weekend once a year to scrapbook, eat, drink, laugh and remove ourselves from reality. I am also blessed to have a husband who understands my need for this vacation with friends. This long weekend really is the break I need and I look forward to it immensely every year.
One other possibility to achieve #3, is to express my need of hearing gratitude to my husband and teenage children (even though I wish they just knew this without having been told). My kids would benefit from me teaching them about gratitude and cleaning rather than me being cranky and emotional about what went unsaid or undone.
My takeaway is that moms do consider the option of running away from time to time. Being a mom is a wonderful job but it is a job with endless hours and we have the potential to feel drained. Completely drained. To combat this, what are you going to do to recharge your battery to have the energy you need for being a good wife, mother and household master? If running away isn’t the best idea or most realistic, what are you going to do for yourself so that you can be your best you for your family? Do not grow weary in doing good, my friends. Lean on each other for support. Leave the running away to your daydreams.