Our pediatrician asked us this question 4 times at our 18 month check up. The first time she asked, we brought up potty training right away. Our son is starting to tell us when he poops (he gets it right about 50% of the time). By the third time she asked us, I looked at my husband and we both had this look that said: "uh oh. is NOT having any questions bad?"
The fourth time, my husband and I had this silent conversation with our eyes:
Do we have any questions? SHOULD WE? I don't have any questions, do you? What are we forgetting?? Is she expecting us to ask a very important question about our child??? ARE WE FAILING THIS QUIZ???? AHHHHH!!
We both said no, the doctor left, shots were administered and we all headed out to lunch. In talking together later my husband and I both decided that not having questions was OK. Good, in fact. It means we finally feel like we've GOT THIS. This parenting thing - we are, in fact, NAILING it. How, you ask?
stress this encourage this enough. I'm not just talking date night, or taking "a personal day"/"grandparents visit" to go home and clean something. I'm not talking about calling a baby sitter so you can go out with friends. These things are ALL important, don't get me wrong, but nothing compares to that sacred ALONE time.
Let me preface what I'm about to say with this: We are VERY fortunate to have a very nearby support system in both sets of grandparents. This affords us the luxury of personal time that single parents, parents of multiples, parents of children with disabilities, and parents who are isolated from support by geography have to fight to sometimes get.
I want just want YOU to know that I know I am speaking from a privileged place.
With that said, if you are in one of the more challenging parenting situations, it's even MORE important for you to carve out this personal time that I'm talking about.
This is YOUR time. Only you. Not as mommy, wife, daughter, friend. Just you. Take yourself out for a cup of coffee. Leave the husband and child at home for 1 hour and go shopping FOR YOURSELF. Take a quick jog in the park. Do some yoga.
DO ANYTHING. ALONE. Pick up an old hobby, learn a new language, or try something new.
The point, dear ones -my parents in crime- is that we HAPPILY give SO MUCH of ourselves to the little ones we hold so dear, that at some point, for our mental and emotional heath, we MUST recharge: we MUST decompress.
It feels impossible. Guilt will tell you you're making the wrong choice by choosing yourself over _______. You may even be MORE stressed out by the suggestion of spending time alone.
I'm here to tell you:
It IS possible. You can find 15 minutes a week. It's there. I promise. Maybe step away from the TV/iPad and go for that walk while baby is safe. 15 minutes to start is all you need.
You are NOT making the wrong choice. On plane safety cards, we are told to put oxygen on ourselves BEFORE the person/child sitting next to you. Why is that? If you can't breathe, how can you help anyone around you? This is the same with life. If you are maxed-out, over-stressed, at your limit, SPENT, and you don't take a moment, a breath, to recharge, how can you give your best to others?
But MOST IMPORTANTLY: You are SO worth it.