Written by Shenise Gatson
Such peace. Such tranquility. Such freedom.
It’s 6:30 am. The store aisles are empty. As I push a squeaky shopping cart along, I smile inwardly. There’s nothing like going to the store….BY MYSELF.
Am I the only one?
The only one who dreads taking their three-year old to the grocery store?
One Saturday morning I woke up bright and early at 6 a.m. While my husband and daughter were sleeping peacefully, I took a shower and put on my clothes. As I grabbed my purse and car keys, I tapped my husband on the shoulder. He opened sleepy eyes and mumbled, “Where are you going?”
“Hey baby,” I told him excitedly. “I’m going to the store!”
He glanced at the clock, then gave me a strange look. “At six in the morning?!” My head bobbed, “Yes! See you later.” I happily sprinted to the car, thinking, “I’m free!!”
If you are a mommy like me, you love your child with all your heart. But, let’s be real. Sometimes we desire child-free time. Time away from the temper tantrums, endless “why” questions, falling out, and embarrassing store moments. Even just for a moment.
In my case, my toddler is in a cookie phase so everything is, “Mommy, can I have cookies? Mommy, I am so sad….”
“Why are you sad, love bug?” I ask, trying not to laugh at my daughter’s exaggerated sad face.
She holds her head down, chin on her chest, “Alana is sad because she wants cookies.”
The no to cookies turns into a big debacle. Or, should I say, the no to anything.
I’m that mother that walks along the store aisle, looking straight ahead, praying my child will act right long enough for me to grab a few items. Most store visits are filled with temper tantrums and screams for some toy or snack. Through it all, I have to remain calm, cool, and collected as I swiftly walk along while my child yells, “Mommy, I want that toy!” or “No, I want to ride in the blue basket! Not this one! Noooooooo!!!” Through the discipline and stern warnings, I have to hold my high when sometimes I really am drained.
Caring for a child is rewarding and precious. Sometimes, at night, I lean down and kiss my baby’s juicy cheeks and smile at how cute she looks. But I have to be honest, dealing with a toddler is not easy and some days I am still trying to figure out what the heck I am doing!
So…..when I get moments to myself to go to the store at 6:00 am, it is like a breath of fresh air!! I want to say to all the mothers out there…..
If you are constantly caring for children day in and day out, you need a second somewhere in there to get some fuel to keep going. Raising children is both a blessing and a challenge at times. We have to find times to regroup.
Remember to take time and moments for yourself. Even if it is a small as:
- Getting up a little early to go to the store alone
- Asking hubby to watch the kids, while you take a relaxing bubble bath
- Reading a few pages of an exciting romance book while the kids are napping
- Treating yourself to a nice dessert while you binge watch a long-awaited episode of your favorite show
- Pausing episodes of Peppa Pig, Baby Shark, and Dora the Explorer and watching an show that YOU like. (I say this because some days all I watch are kid shows with my daughter).
- Listen to your favorite genre of music (anything other than Baaabbbby Shark Dooo Dooo Dooo Doooo Dooo Dooo!) I must admit…that theme song is so catchy!
- Have lunch or happy hour with a friend
- Schedule a walk in the park
- Exercise and listen to some upbeat music
- Go shopping and buy yourself something
One day when my husband returned from work, I told him how hectic of a day I had experienced with our daughter. I told him that it would be good for me to get away for a moment and relax for a bit. He watched our daughter while I went out and ran a couple of errands for myself (went to the bookstore, perused, and bought me a few titles I had been wanting to read. Next, I went and bought me some “smell goods” (body washes, body sprays, etc). Lastly, I treated myself to a nice meal.
Just that short bit of time away was enough to give me time to regroup, refresh, and restart.
Mommies? I tell you….I know our lives are busy and we have about fifty things to do in one day. Sometimes we don’t even get to use the restroom or take a shower alone without little cute baby hands under the doorway or chubby baby faces peeping around the shower curtain. But remember…
Don’t forget to find small moments in your day to restart.
Self-care matters. When we take those small moments to refocus and rebuild our energy, we can be even better mommies to our cutie pies!
So whenever our babies yell, “I want cookies, Mommy!!!” or some other variation of toddler tantrums, we can handle it accordingly, keep moving forward, and remember to give ourselves those small moments to restart!
Copyright @ 2019 Shenise Gatson
Photos provided by Pexels.