Last night I NEEDED to run. I didn’t want to. I didn’t feel like I should. I HAD to, or else I would have emotionally imploded.
My son had been crying all day. He wouldn’t let me put him down. I got absolutely nothing done around the house and I felt like a failure in about a million different ways. I had not cleaned, I had not done any of the schoolwork I had planned, I did not write, I barely changed out of my pajamas. Most of all, I felt like a failure of a mom because I had no clue what to do with my son. I ended up just lying on our bed and letting him sleep on my chest for an hour because that was the only way he would sleep for any length of time.
By the time my husband got home, I felt like I had been holding my breath all day. He took the baby out of my arms (the baby proceeded to smile the biggest smile he had all day, which did not help my already broken self-esteem) and told me to get out of the house while saying something to the effect of “Go to the store, go pick up some dinner, go exercise… just go do something alone for an hour, anything!”
You would think it would be a relief to hear those words. But alas, I only felt dread at the thought of leaving my to-do list undone, leaving my baby, and squeezing my postpartum body into workout clothes. So, instead of thinking about those things, I decided to leave the sweats and nursing bra that I had on, stuff my phone in said nursing bra with some music blaring (I couldn’t find my headphones), and run out the door. I figured, if I thought about it any more, I wouldn’t go. And I NEEDED to go. I needed to run away, even if it was just for a few minutes. Maybe it was the act of physically running away from the frustration and exhaustion of the day, or just getting some fresh air. I just know that if I hadn’t had run out the door at that very moment, I probably would have screamed… probably at my husband.. for no reason.
So, all that to say, I think I learned something last night and I want to pass it on to you. If you ever have a chance to safely leave your baby with someone, even if only for a few minutes and especially on one of those really hard days, DO IT. Better yet, if you’re like me and bottle up your frustrations, go do something physically demanding and release some of that inner tension. Don’t think about it, don’t spend 20 minutes getting dressed (unless that’s the thing that would make you feel better), just GO. If it’s sleep you need, just jump in bed and shut off the lights. Take off your clothes if they’re uncomfortable, just don’t waste time making excuses for not doing something for yourself. Your family needs you to be happy and healthy and you deserve it.