My son is at that stage. At least, I hope it’s just a stage. That stage where he needs me. Every. Second. Of. The. Day. He can’t even talk yet but his gestures and his sweet facial expressions tell me when he feels sad, or scared or lonely. I finally understand all of those mothers who talk about the joy of using the bathroom by themselves. I get it. I totally get it!

The other night, on the verge of tears, I almost retreated to the bathroom by myself, so that I could have two minutes to eat some ice cream. Two minutes to enjoy it, without having this little person pulling at my leg and grunting his “give me some” grunt. Two minutes to enjoy some peace and quiet. Two minutes to just sit. And think. Or to just sit and not think about anything.

I love my son more than anything, and I love that I get to spend as much time with him as I do. But sometimes I really feel like I need a break. It isn’t because he annoys me, or because I don’t want to give him attention. You other moms know. It’s because we give, give, give and usually lose ourselves in the process. We devote our lives to our children while simultaneously not caring about our own. And sometimes, we just need a break.

And then…we finally get some time to ourselves. Finally, a husband, or a friend or a neighbor says they can watch our baby for a few hours so that we can enjoy some “mommy time.” This is when we jump up and down, screaming “yippee!” This is when we do our makeup and sport our sassy non-mom apparel. This is when we leave the house in song and dance, thanking God, or our lucky stars, for some time to just get away from the chaos, from the daily grind.

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And then…the second we drive away from the house, we miss our kids like crazy. We miss those tugs on our legs. We miss those “give me some” grunts. We miss those smiles, those tears, those chubby legs. We feel this guilt rush through us, because we left our precious babies. But wait…don’t I want this time alone? Don’t I need this time alone?

Once you become a mother, your life changes. Suddenly your life is…well…your children are your life. And even when you take time away from your children to make sure you keep your own spirit alive, you never really leave your children.

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