When Tempest is upset with me she tells me to go to my room for a time-out. Most of the time I just want to tell her “Child, you don’t even know how much I would love a time-out”
The thing about parenting, unlike every other job, is that you are always on. You are always in parent mode. There is never a time in my life that I can forget about being a parent. And there is always a possibility that I will have to get up to get some tiny human juice. (Or be interrupted while writing a blog post for a toddler to tell me they are tired, but don’t want to sleep). But when you are always on it means that you can never fully relax. Even when I am sleeping my brain is still hardwired to hear when someone might be getting up or crying.
For someone like me, who grew up an only child, in a household where I got lots of alone time, this is crazy. I need alone time, even just to sit and do nothing, but mostly to be able to get my head together and be able to think again. I understand why mothers now frequently are absentminded and frantic. I now am one of them. Because there is always input coming at me. My life is a constant battle for just a second of peace and quiet. Frequently, this comes at night between midnight and one thirty in the morning, when Tempest is finally asleep and Alice has yet to wake up. But this is also the time when I know I should be sleeping, because I know that running on only 4 hours of sleep average isn’t good for my body. And I know that the large amount of energy drinks I am addicted to could probably fuel a rocket ship to the moon. But I need that moment. I need to cherish the silence (even if it is usually interrupted by husband snoring). So, I take it. Typically I don’t do more than play dumb games (usually nomograms if you must know) on my kindle because I don’t possess the brainpower to do much else. So, any time I get a few extra moments to sit in time-out, I’ll take them. Because parenting is hard, and doesn’t come with lunch breaks.