I haven't been away from my children over five hours in their entire lives. Just short of 26 months of nearly continuous around the clock care. Even when I had my second son, I was nursing my daughter right up until the minute we left the house and I gave birth less than an hour later. I didn't even manage a few hours without a child hanging on me then. I love being with my children and I am so lucky to get to raise them instead of having to send them to day care to spend the majority of their time with someone else. That being said, it really is a job. I'm not sitting at home all day taking naps and watching HGTV.
I go to work two mornings a week. My job is only about 10 minutes from the house and I can leave whenever necessary. I only stay about three and a half hours so that I can be home to feed the kids lunch and get them down for their naps. Once or twice I have gone to a hockey game or a get together with friends, and I mean quite literally once or twice. I think my daughter has slept through the night five or six times ever. I'm just trying to wrap my head around just how little time I have had "off" in the last two years. Compounding matters is the fact my baby still refuses to have any sort of nap schedule. Some days he'll take two short naps, other days he'll take one long one. Some days he won't take any at all. At nine months.. yeah I know shoot me. Most days I don't have even one minute between the time Andrew leaves at seven thirty until he gets home after six. Then it is the dinner/bath/bedtime battle that often doesn't end until nine. My son often wakes for the day shortly after five. I am totally burned out. As in totally, 100% I don't think I can do this another day burned out. I actually yelled at my two year old today "I'm a person too you know!" Sigh.
I try my hardest to follow an attachment parenting philosophy and admittedly it is really kicking my ass with two so small at the same time. Neither child has ever put up with baby wearing and even if they had I would still have had a hard time carrying one child while wearing the other. I breastfeed both on demand still and am very committed to child led weaning. When they cry I go to them day or night. That's what parents are for. I don't think either of them are old enough to handle the emotional fall out from being made to deal with feeling abandoned in the name of toughening them up. Sure it would make my life easier if they didn't bother calling out for me when they needed me but I don't believe that cry it out makes the need go away. It just teaches them their needs won't be met.
At any rate I am at the point of having to admit that I need some time away. Be it a babysitter a couple of afternoons a week, part time preschool for my daughter, or a night or two a week to be off duty... something has to give. Mama needs to recharge her batteries...
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