Last night I went out on a real date with my hubby. No kids allowed kind of date at a nice restaurant with a waitstaff and low lights. It was heaven. I haven’t been able to get out for more than 2 hours of “me” time in a long while. I have a kiddo that is very sensitive to my presence, or lack there of, and only wants to stay with a grandparent or his daddy when I go anywhere. Even then he has only been okay with it for a little less than 2 hours and that is his limit. My oldest wasn’t this way at all. He was very self-reliant and independent. People told me this was my “great parenting” that created his independence but I have to say that I am not that great a parent. I am just a parent and I try to stay conscious about who I am being with my kids. Also, I have come to realize with my second child, each kiddo is different. I knew this but now I really know this to be true. They all have different needs. Different ideas about how life works and it is my duty as a parent to figure out what is going on in their individual emotional lives and help them to work through it to become independent.
So, here I am, in much need of a break which I finally got last night! Yea! I know that I am a better mother when I get away for a few hours. I know that I can deal with life when I take time for me. Working on solving these dependency issues is imperative to my sanity and the health of my family. I decided recently that I needed to consciously start taking steps to break this cycle. I realized that I have become too dependent on the help of family to solve my issues with the kids. I looked out into my community and found that the Mothers’ Club I belong to has a Babysitting Co-op. We were so fortunate to have a member join who had done this with another group and was willing to start it with our group. She set up a point system and each member gets or takes away points for sitting. The number of kids and the hours sat, make up the points. She keeps track of them for us and we can request whatever we need as long as we take time to help out another member. This past week, I decided to start with baby steps. I had two different members come on different days to watch my youngest while I did some much needed home cleaning and organization. They were great. Very engaging and loving. Next time around, I will leave for a short period of time. I plan to continue to expand this to trips to the store and running errands and eventually to date night with the hubby. I know that taking time to create what will work for us all and to build autonomy for my son is the best thing I can do for everyone. Last night he was able to stay with the grandparents a little longer than before. He did great!