Friday, August 5, 2011

For the Better...

Life is changing in our family. I hope it will be a positive change. I'm experiencing some guilt but I am sure this change will be better.

The Littles' dad and I have agreed to a more equal custody arrangement. I never thought I'd be okay with not being the 100%, full-time parent - but it actually was me that requested the change. Me. I asked for my babies to be away from me almost half the time.

I have been flattened this year. No, I've been flattened by the last few years. This last year has just put me over the edge. I've always been able to look after everyone and keep myself together. Now I'm finding myself too tired, too broken, too weak to keep doing it. With what feels like no hope of my life changing I have to do this in order to just survive.

I'm not sure why I feel like I'll have a scarlet letter on my chest for doing this. The Littles are going to be with their other parent, I'm not selling them on e-bay or dropping them on the doorstep of a church. I know I'm not less of a parent because of this but I wonder if other people will see it that way. Will it look to the world that I'm abandoning my kids half the time?

I need to plan out the time that the Littles are away. I need to use this time to get myself to a place where I can make it through the day without feeling that it'd be better if I just hadn't woken up. I need to use this time. I need to use this time to spend time looking after myself both physically and emotionally. I need to use this time to spend time with my girls who have suffered from me being so broken. I need to use this time to spend time with friends and maybe laugh a little. I need to use this time to get stronger. It sounds so selfish when I see it all typed out.

It's going to be so strange around here when the Littles are gone so much. But I'm sure it'll be for the better.


  1. It doesn't seem selfish at all when it is all typed out! It looks to me like you are taking sometime to look after yourself so that you can be a better you, and thereby a better mom. You are exhausted and spread too thin and you have recognized that. You are a thoughtful, intelligent woman-and a wonderful mom. There is no doubt in my mind that you have considered this decision carefully and chose it because you felt this would be best for your family.

  2. Andra,
    I just discovered your blog and this entry really stuck out to me. We all struggle with wanting time alone, away from our kids, and yet feeling guilty for not being "a perfect mom". I take time away from my kids almost every day and it makes us a happier family because they get some time to spend with someone else, usually Kids Kare at the Y, and I get some time to myself and we're happy to reunite and spend the rest of the day together.
    I came up with some ideas for ways to fill your time:
    - clean your house
    - bake a whole bunch of yummy, very fattening foods, eat them while watching TV in your pajamas, and don't clean up the mess until tomorrow
    - go to the gym and work out and feel great!
    - sleep in late and read books in bed all day
    - go to the library
    - go get McDonald's, then enjoy it in the park
    - spend some time with good friends
    - spend the entire day on Facebook, escaping real people and creeping your "friends"
    - do what makes you feel good!

    No matter what you do, make sure you enjoy the time you have to yourself and use it to regenerate your spirit and nourish your soul. If you look after yourself, you'll be a better mom for your kids to come home to.

  3. Annie, thanks for your ideas. Unfortunately now (for about a month) I have an opposite problem as the Littles are always here and only go every other weekend. They aren't adjusting well to that change and quite frankly, neither am I! We'll adjust in time I'm sure. I will look at your list of ideas on my weekends "off" when I get them!