Health (Mine) – Needed a Break

I needed to get out of the house yesterday. I was ready to tear my hair out. I don’t know why everything that I have been dealing with every day for months was suddenly more than I could take, it just was. My older kids were constantly asking for stuff – snacks, drink, TV, attention, for me to play referee on their latest kerfluffle.
My partner, who was having a really bad day yesterday (in much pain from his disability) was on a short temper and couldn’t handle hearing the baby cry and not being able do anything about it.
Baby, usually pretty calm and happy for a teething baby, was grumpy and demanding and screaming every time I put him down.
So I left. Took baby with me, told the older kids to listen to Michael, and drove off. I had a good excuse handy – a friend had asked me to pick something up for her. I had already told her I wouldn’t be able too, but she was perfectly happy for me to change my mind.
5 years and 2 babies ago, I would have felt guilty for needing to get out of the house. Like needing a break made me a bad mother of something. Now? It’s just part of the deal.
So, baby and I drove across town – him asleep as soon as we were off our block. Picked up what we needed from the Freecycle drop, and turned around. Then in a burst of forgetfulness, drove right past my friend’s house to hit the book store.
My refuge, my sanity, my salvation – whether it was B&N, Borders, independent corner store, whenever life gets too much, I head for the books. If I’m lucky, and I time my trip right, baby is due for a long nap, and sleeps for 2 hours or so at the store, while I relax. Then, it I’m REALLY lucky, he’ll eat and then be happy sitting watching everyone else for another half hour or so.
Yesterday, I was semi-lucky. He woke from his nap before I found something to read, but he was in a good mood, as long as I kept the stroller moving. So we walked around the store for a while; then walked outside to look at some other stores. I figured I’d treat myself to a bit of ice cream from the shop at the other end of the promenade. On the way, I stopped to check out some jewelry that my grandmother would have loved – big and bold. Never thought it was my style, but found some of it catching my eye. Styles change, I guess.
We got to the ice cream shop and I’d forgotten how expensive they are. I’ll admit it; I ended up in tears when I realized I didn’t have enough money on me for a cone. Just all the frustrations of the day adding up and overwhelming me. I felt better for the cry, and ended the day on a good note- 15 years ago, I used to hide in my uncle’s basement on visits and read his collection of fantasy novels. For the first time since then, I found one his books that I loved. Now I have a new/old series to enjoy, and lots of afternoons at the bookstore to look forward to.
And on the way home, I finally remembered to stop at my friends place and drop off her stuff.