Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hard Day's Night Off

How many of you have taken a full 'day off' or 'night off'?
Have you spent the night away from your child/children? How old were they the first time?
Who took care of them?

I haven't had a full day or night off since the twins were born. That's almost 19 months of non-stop baby care. Granted, I've had help and I am so fortunate for that.
But, lately I'm really feeling like I need some time alone. For US to have some time alone.
It's hard, with the breast feeding and lack of family help. But I would even be willing to pump some again in order to take a bit of a break away.

These last 2 months with no nanny have been some of the toughest and also rewarding. There are days (or mornings) that I'm radiant with love and just can't get enough of their wonderfulness followed by afternoons where I want to shoot myself and I raise my voice and then feel like shit and cry after they go to bed.
It's fucking hard. My kids are hard. God, how I love them and I love their spunk but they are hard. I see parents with easy kids--even twins--and I think, "Man, you have no idea."
These boys are spirited.

Chicken's brother has a baby the same age as Grunter and W2. My BIL get free babysitting all the time--because, well, they live within 30 minutes of both sets of grandparents.
This past weekend, I found out that my BIL and his wife went away to Cape Cod for a few days--sans kiddo--and stayed in a free beach house (friend of the family's) and the grandparents kept the kid.
I admit that I burned with white hot jealousy. We have never been offered this beach house. We have never been offered free babysitting. Not for an afternoon, a night and never a weekend.
We have never heard "Hey, why don't you bring the twins up here and we'll watch them while you two get a break." Yes, we would even rent a car and go to them.
Chicken has had some child care breaks in the form of business trips, but neither of us have ever really had a 'day off'.
Chicken says I need to get over it. I probably do.
But it still pisses me off.

I actually don't even think my MIL and her husband could handle them--especially not in her house upstate. I really just want them to offer. Even if I know I wouldn't take them up on it. I'm so petty. Seriously. I am. I know.


Amy said...

Mine are 14 months old, and we've had 1 night off. My parents came in from the other coast for a week, and for one night we went off to a nearby island to stay at a B&B. We were away 24 hours and it was lovely! The boys even drank milk from their sippys,an unusual event.

Since then we've had no time off... We are looking for a Nanny, but I've been doing it alone for a long time. 1 night off is not enough!

Laurie said...

We have had one night off since Ryan was born. We put him to bed, and then went to dinner and stayed at a hotel just a few miles up the road while my Mom and sister stayed at the house. We met up with friends, swam in the hotel pool, and came back home well before lunch time the next day :) It was fun!

Strawberry said...

I can definitely see how that doesn't feel fair. As annoying as it is sometimes to live very close to family (40 minutes in either direction), I can't imagine not having familial help with the kiddo.

We started taking nights off shortly after he turned one I guess...maybe 15 or 16 months of age. We would go to my parents' house, feed him dinner and put him to bed, and then go out...either to return to their house and sleep over ourselves, or back to our place to return to their place in the morning (between 9 and 10am, so they'd handle the morning change and breakfast).

We started kind of doing the 'day off' thing when Nutella's new job required her to work the occasional Saturday...7am to 7pm (horrid). So I was on single mom duty the whole day and needed my own day, or at least, evening off in return....and Nutella would get the one-on-one time with Curly that she missed because she was working. But I'm sure one parent taking care of one child is much easier than one parent taking care of two.

We give each other nights off now and then (say, if Nutella wants to take a yoga class or I want to join my coworkers for happy hour) and it's entirely refreshing. I really cherish and find that I NEED those nights off in order to be a happier mom.

anofferingoflove said...

i would be burning with jealousy too.

we've had 1 "night off" - for our anniversary this year in april (bird was 18 months old and the twins were 4 months old). we left the kids at home with grandparents around 4pm, went to dinner and a movie, stayed in a hotel, and had breakfast out (all in our own city). it was a great break.

glamcookie said...

We have had no nights off (Monkey is almost 20 months old). My family is all on the East coast. DW's mom is nearby, but is not much help at all due to her constant health issues (ugh). We are okay with it, though I imagine if we had twins, I might be wanting more break time.

eeny meany said...

I don't blame you one bit for your petty grievances. You both could use a break! I can't believe how much work it is and I think you're a champion!

j.k-c. said...

I'd be pissed that MIL (or others like BIL) have not offered! It means a lot to just have the offer.

We are lucky enough to have my SIL be FANTASTIC with Little J and she has taken him for an overnight before. Actually she stayed here and we went away. This was when Little J was 1 year.
Then at the 2 year mark we went away for 2 nights and he stayed with MIL, FIL and SIL. He did great! They always behave better for other people by the way.

Now that we have 2 I don't know when we will have out next alone time. :)

K J and the kids said...

Are your kids 1/2 sibs of mine ? I'm just wondering because that whole spirited description sure rings a bell. :)

I'm sorry. Yes. Get away. Have a night off. It will be better for all of you.

I didn't spend a night away until I was on hospital bed rest for a day with the first set.

We left them all to get away and haven't looked back.
J works with a girl who she can donate time off to...so that she can sit with our kids. plus we pay her. It's a lot but it's WEEEEEELLLLLL worth it.

Good luck.

Fly them out here. We'll just add them to our crazy bunch ! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Petty? Try exhausted!

Marilia said...

I went out at night exactly twice during my daughter´s first two years. After that it was a bit more common, like every 5 months. I live far from family and got friends to help and a few nights a babysitter.

I think that you having two to leave with people might be scary to them, maybe when they are about 4 years and easier to be around and follow some rules, you might get more help. As you said, you wouldn´t accept it now, but you might later on. It will be easier with time.

Ruby at Breathedragon said...

G is 8 months old and I've never been away from him overnight, and the thought of being away from him still fills me with anxiety. I have taken him, without Rose, to visit my parents for 5 nights in Florida when he was 2 months old and am taking him to New York for 3 nights next week, and Rose very much sees this as me "taking him away from her" and not as a wanted break at all! I am quite sure we will feel differently when we have 2, and when I stop breastfeeding. You are a serious trooper for being "on" like this without family help for this long. I hope you get a vacation, seriously, soon!

Pomegranate said...

we don't have nearby family who would be able to take bunny either. we are very carefully and actively working to cultivate bunny's village. we have 2 pairs of good friends (lesbian couples who don’t plan to have kids) who are great with children and adore our son. we've been spending a lot of time with them, way more than we did before he was born, and recently went away for a weekend with the 4 of them and bunny. all 4 of them will be his godmothers. we're doing this so he has an extended family nearby, not for free babysitting, but i do expect that as a side perk. X1 and X2 in particular are fabulous aunties. they take X2's 3 nieces, a 4yearold and 19month twins, for days and nights. they even watched the almost2yearold daughter of another friend for a weekend while the moms went to new orleans. (and no they aren't as close to this couple as they are to us.)

you deserve a break! hire someone, ask someone, just do it! maybe a couple you are close to so there's one for each boy? yes, the twins may be hard to handle for any sitter, but you'll come back refreshed and able to handle whatever chaos was created in your absence. :)

Anonymous said...

Petty or not, I'd feel that way, too.

Alone time is really, REALLY important. Can you hire somebody to watch them? *hugs*

When n was younger, we had a few nights of freedom; my mom came during her spring break and gave us a night off, and if we were visiting them at their home or up in the NE, we'd get a night off, as well. N is also, um. "spirited" but my mom is used to that (and there's only one of her). This year, she's been with my mom three times, all for a couple of nights. The first time b/c we had a funeral that we couldn't make other arrangements for care during, then my mom asked if she could take her for a while, and now, because of my surgery. My mom lives ~2.5 hours away, so it's not the kind of thing where she can watch her for a night, but she loves having her come to stay.

Jen said...

We live close to all my family and we have had a few dates (movies, lunch, or something of that sort) but we never had a 'night" off until I got really sick in July and my mom kept chunk overnight because I was nearly a vegatable and Tiff needed help. He was 19 months old and neither of us enjoyed the night off. If we can get back to a strong healthy marriage, I want to maybe take a long weekend trip this fall and leave chunk with grandparents. But, that is clearly up in the air.....

Anonymous said...

it is unfortunate that grandma doesn't want to help out. she is missing out on a great opportunity to get to know the boys better! i didn't leave hook overnight once until he was over 4! it was hard. with the wigglers i am headed to memphis for a marathon two weeks before their first birthday and i am already freaking out about it!