"You need a break," the message sounds from every direction, "you are working so hard, you deserve a break!" - well, I do deserve a break, right? I'm taking care of two little children under 3 full-time, right? I'm ready to sleep even as I'm tucking my children in, right?..
"I'd be happy if they only let me drink my morning cup of coffee in peace," I thought one day. Then, "I'd be happy if only they went down for a nice nap at midday and I could handle some of my things in peace and quiet"; and then, "I'd be happy if they went to bed early, no arguments, and both slept through the night so I could wake up nice and refreshed."
Then I became brutally honest with myself. How long a break do I actually need in order to feel completely rejuvenated and ready to jump back on the bandwagon?
Um... several months? No... it isn't really going to work, is it?
I need, can, and will take time to shower, get enough sleep, take care of my things, work on projects in little snippets here and there... but my family is my life now; I cannot take a break of any considerable length from living life. It is not a break I need, therefore, but a change of attitude.
"A child is not a job," writes Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, "he is a friend." As a mother I am always on duty, sure, but can I also be a good, fun friend to my noisy, lively little ones? Can I lose myself for a while in the world of play-dough, Lego, and watercolors? Can I be excited about a tent made of a couple of sheets? Can I throw away thoughts of efficiency, in favor of letting my children be involved in everything that is going on at home (barring anything dangerous, of course)?
I will always have to be there, as long as they need me. But I don't always have to wear the hat of the mature, responsible, hard-working adult. I can goof around. My children don't care about bread crumbs on the floor. It is my project to work at creating such a life for us all, that none of us will feel the constant need to take a lengthy break from it.
...I will now round up this post, head into the kitchen, roll up my sleeves and start making latkes - a yummy Hanukkah treat. Happy Hanukkah!