Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Mom Sabbatical

A few years ago, Tim started taking the kids to his parents' cottage on Memorial Weekend and leaving me home for what my mother-in-law called my "mom sabbatical." Last Friday night I cried and told Tim I didn't think it was a good idea for him to take the kids away for the weekend.  I usually look forward to time on my own, but the last couple of weeks have made me want to just keep everyone home forever and never let them go, ever.  Which is why Tim thought this year more than other years, it was a really good idea to give me a "mom sabbatical."  

I mean I was getting a little weird.  My obsessive worry about Peyton made me worse than any Helicopter Mom out there.  I became like the mom in the book "I Love You Forever."  If I could have picked him up and cradled that great big boy when he was sleeping, I would have.  Instead I stood over him and watched to make sure he was breathing. If he happened to sleep in a little longer than usual, I would again stand over him to make sure his chest was moving up and down.  Last Friday morning, as I stood over him, he opened his eyes and freaked out a little about me hovering over him.   Tim was probably right, not only did I need a break from my over-worrying, Peyton needed a break from me too.

They left Saturday morning.

After a few minutes of feeling lost and not knowing what to do, I found my mom sabbatical groove and what I know for sure is that we all need a little alone time.

Here's what else I know for sure after a couple days alone:

  • Having a beer in the middle of the day made me feel wild and crazy. And also pretty relaxed. It was fun to throw caution to the wind and have a Corona and buy the medium salsa instead of the mild because that's what the rest of the family likes.
Don't you love the flowers? I think they look like mini Truffula Trees from Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.

  • Hi, my name is Angela and I am a jogger. Sometimes it takes a little time alone to reflect and accept things about yourself. I am accepting the fact that I am no longer a runner, but I am more of a jogger. Peyton pointed this out to me when we tried to go on a "run" together recently.  When I asked him to slow down a little he said "Mom, you aren't even running, you are sort of jogging."  I was so offended and brought up the fact that I "ran" a marathon once in 4 hours and 11 minutes and that I used to be really good.  He was unimpressed and that's okay. After a little time to reflect and after going for a jog, I realized I'm older and have less time to run, but I do make time to jog and I'm grateful for that. I am a jogger and that's cool.

  • Having another Corona for dinner was fun too. 
I think we live in a pretty damn cool time, TV shows outside?! It was a dream of mine as a kid and now it's my life. Ahhhh.

And so was binge-watching a whole season of a TV show in two days. I LOVE the show Grace and Frankie. I mean LOVE it!  Go watch the whole season on Netflix now. It's so much fun.

  • Dogs make great company.  I wasn't totally alone this weekend, I had my dogs Cosi and Rufus. They are a little high maintenance, but oh so cute and lovable.

  • I am going to be the old lady that watches and talks back to shows like Dateline. I was only alone for 24 hours before I had on one of those shows in the background and was saying "oh did he really think he'd get away with it. He's guilty!" to the the TV. 

  • Lime-A-Ritas are gross and fantastic all at the same time. I had seven of them on Saturday and ended up feeling great. And I made myself a pizza at 9 at night while I watched Fast Times At Ridgemont High. What????

I know for sure that I totally and completely honored the Three R's of a mom sabbatical--Recharge, Relax and Remember (who you are). I felt centered and grounded and calmer. I laughed at myself and didn't feel guilty about watching hours of television. I took walks. I turned everything off in the house and opened the windows and listened to the birds chirping. I did yard work. I went for a jog. I took a nap. I took selfies.  I breathed. I got take-out for myself. I rode my bike. I went to bed early. I stayed up late. I did whatever I wanted.

To be perfectly honest, I'm still scared and vulnerable and highly over-sensitive about how fast everything can change and am still shaking the images of Peyton in the ER and still a little sad about Wade graduating from PreK....yeah, there's still all that. But after this weekend, I do feel stronger, more self-aware and well-rested and it was good to take a break from the worry and the busy and the pace of parenting and end-of-the-school-year craziness.

I found and love this quote from a book I reread once a year, "Gift from the Sea" by Ann Morrow Lindbergh and it sums up what a Mom Sabbatical and solitude can be about-- "But women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves: that firm strand which will be the indispensable center of a whole web of human relationships. She must find that inner stillness which Charles Morgan describes as the 'stilling of the soul within the activities of the mind and body so that it might be still as the axis of a revolving wheel is still.'"

Yeah, that's how I feel after this weekend, solitude helped my soul find the stillness.  I feel a little more solid.


  1. I love how you spent your Mom Sabbatical! I might have to see about doing something like this! Glad you are feeling more solid.

  2. I don't know what else to say except, Jealous! ;) Some time to just myself (even to just NOT do housework, etc.) would be divine! Glad you enjoyed your mom sabbatical. xo

  3. What a great idea! I admire how in touch with yourself and your feelings you are. I'm glad you got some time alone!