The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Really, Is A Little Time Alone Too Much to Ask?!?!?!?!

It is nine Saturday morning and I long for a morning off.

“I’ll take them if you get them ready,” my husband offers.

Isn’t the whole point a break for me?

Why is it that any time, scheduled or last minute, that appears to be an opportunity for me to be alone -- shrinks before my eyes? I am packing snacks, dressing children, loading backpacks, finding shoes, etc.

But why do I need to do anything at all?

“Can’t you do it?” I suggest.

“I don’t know what they need,” he responds with a straight face.

I begin to question my husband’s mental faculties.

My husband is a fly-by-the-seat of his Levis kind of guy. Snacks? We will forage! Water bottles? We will find a stream! Extra clothes? We warriors will run naked!

Often they are back within an hour. They are usually hungry, thirsty and soaking wet.

I try to stock my own car so that it could survive any excursion. Extra clothes, first aid kit, healthy snacks, etc. Of course, my husband prefers to take his car. This actually is a relief to me since I do not want to hear the never-ending commentary on how my car is always filthy and full of useless stuff.

It is ten a.m. and the natives are getting restless. If I wait much longer there will be blood or tears. Or both.

So I go ahead and transfer the necessary rations to his car. I am painfully aware that I may never see these things again.

There is that resentment once more.

I pack the car and kiss them goodbye. I am relieved to no longer have to complain about them not wanting to go without me. Finally, they are excited at the prospect of “daddy time.”

Rather than feeling left out, I feel “let out.”

I try to pin my husband down as to when they will be back. He cannot comprehend why this matters. “In a while. We’ll see what happens.” He has no idea that the amount of time I have is directly proportionate to how relaxed I am able to get. More time means I can get more relaxed. If I think they are coming back any minute, I can’t relax at all.

It is already ten-forty. I worry they will never leave. I don’t exhale ‘till the car turns the corner.

On these rare occasions that I do somehow manage to escape the vortex of my family, I am often so exhausted from the preparations that my first half hour alone is spent recuperating. Then I frantically do things that can be done quickly.

It is eleven. I throw in a load of laundry. Pay bills. Walk the dog. Answer e-mails.

The truth is they could be back in five minutes or after dinner. I so long for any quiet time in my own home that I will take what I can get even if I never get to relax. I do not dare to embark on any kind of project that might involve lengthy prep time or clean up. Must maximize private time.

It is now twelve-thirty. They will probably be back any minute. I am starving. Do I still have time to eat something hot?

By Cathy Burke

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great blog, cathy. so true. beautiful sentences, vivid scene, real dialogue.
how wonderful that, given a very small window of time, you created something so good.
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