We were sitting in a restaurant – my husband, our daughter and I. Kiddo was at her chirpy best – asking questions and exploring the surroundings. But on that particular day, I was very tired; I didn’t have the patience or the energy to deal with kiddo.
I was unhappy. It was as if all my energy had been sucked out. I was at the breaking point. For the first time in four years of motherhood, I was telling my husband that I needed a break. I needed a break not just from routine but from parenting too. I just wanted to disappear from my duties and responsibilities.
My daughter is one of those with very high energy levels. She is very curious, constantly up to something. She cannot sit in one place for longer than a second, always exploring and continuously asking questions. There is never a dull moment with her.
Her strong will and determination knows no bounds. And in stubbornness she takes after her parents, both fiercely independent. One needs all the energy to channel her curiousness and energy to something productive, else she is up to some mischief.
Don’t get me wrong. As with any parent, my daughter is my pride. I love to take care of her, spend time with her, teach her things, see the world with her and watch her burst into a fit of giggles. I also like to fight with her, scold her, punish her and then just simply love her. I love how our life has shaped after she came into our lives. I love my husband and I love my life in general.
But the stress of parenting and working full-time does take its toll. We live very far away from our extended family. So we don’t even have the backup of our extended families where we can leave our kiddo safely and scoot off somewhere. But we keep our happiness meter filled in some way so that we can keep such breakdown days at bay. We recharge frequently by means of friends, hobbies and trips so that we can go back to our lives rejuvenated. But on that particular day, I had wanted to just get away, period.
Luckily, it was time for our trip to India, just what was needed! We were sitting at the airport restaurant. As soon as we landed, I delegated all parenting responsibilities to my husband and his extended family and took a break.
To my surprise, I didn’t need much time off from my kiddo to actually miss her! I left her in the morning to travel to another city and by the night I was already missing her. I hadn’t stayed away from my daughter even for a single night since her birth and that was my first time! I missed her terribly. I wanted to read her stories and put her to bed – I felt emptiness, already!
At the beginning of the day, I was worried sick that the feeling of getting away was going to be my companion for a while. But I had managed to shake it off so soon! Nature had its way. That was the moment when I realised that the only constant in motherhood is boundless love and guilt.
One of my friend was recounting her story of the time when she experienced this. When her two kids were young her husband travelled constantly and she had no help. Once she was so tired of managing everything alone that she let her husband take charge and just left home. She just drove, roamed around the streets and even went to movie alone.
Does this happen to you? Have you ever felt that you just want to snap out even if it’s for a while?
Divya Rao is a mother to a 4 yr old bundle of joy. She has one eye set on growing her career and the other watching and enjoying her little one grow up.