I’m Off For A While – When Mom Needs A Break


Story and photo by Corinna Pongracz

Mom, mom, mom! Moooooom!

It’s been going like this the entire morning. Why do the kids always call for me? Daaaaad, doesn’t that sound great too?


Everything’s too much for me today. I slept badly last night because the kids were restless, the week’s been hard. I don’t want to be a mother today. I just want to pack my bags, escape to a lonely island and have some time off.
I’m tired, I haven’t had a cup of coffee and there’s a long list of things that need to be done in my head again.

Our days are jam-packed like this: getting up at 6AM, making breakfast for the kids, coffee for the adults. Getting the kids ready afterwards. Between dressing the kids and brushing their teeth, I quickly get dressed myself – yesterday’s outfit will have to do again. Brushing my own teeth in a rush, some makeup, hairspray.

One glance at the clock, we have to leave.

Getting the kids to kindergarten, my husband and I go to work afterwards. I often fantasize about not going to work, just keeping driving, to Paris? The sea?

It doesn’t stop at work. My to-do-list grows every day and the hours seem to get shorter and shorter. Half the day’s gone already. In a rush, again, from work to the day care center. I don’t want to be the last one to pick my kids up, right. We do want to spend some time together. Time that is so valuable and important to us – not just for the kids, for us adults too.

But today, I just want to be by myself for a change. I want to sit at a café, sip my coffee in silence, maybe even have a piece of delicious cake. And I really, really don’t want to share that piece of cake with anyone. I just want to enjoy it. Just me. My time off.

Is that selfish? Am I a bad mother? Do I not love my children enough? Does this mean I shouldn’t have had kids in the first place? Am I just not capable of all this? Am I overwhelmed?

All of these questions are running through my head when I just want to be me for a moment. The old me, that didn’t always have to function, know all the appointments by heart and have answers for everything. I’ve read lots of blog posts about this topic and I’m so glad I’m not the only mom feeling this way.
We’re mothers, not machines. We’re allowed to let go of control, to let our hair down.

Time off is important. Important for your own soul, but also for family life. Always functioning and trying to be perfect is not going to make us happy. It’s going to lead to fights, between adults especially, because one always thinks they’re at a disadvantage. 

You don’t have to feel guilty about wanting some time off, some peace.
Only happy parents are good parents!

P.S.: Throwing a glance into the kids’ room before I go to bed at night, seeing how satisfied they’re sleeping, dreaming about an exciting day in the forest or on the playground, some of my strange questions answer themselves.

Author’s profile: Corinna is a graphic designer, photographer, wife and mom. Her blog knuffelknutscher.de includes fun, honest and creative posts about the wonderful, chaotic, and colorful life as a working mom as well as recipes and craft projects.

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