WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “I think it is only natural we all wish for that small break where we can just be ourselves and not be mom for a minute. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as taking a whole vacation, it can just be hiding in the bathroom for 15 minutes to take a second to breathe, running to the store alone, going on a weekend trip, or in my case, driving eight hours away to a cabin in the woods to hopefully unwind and unplug.”

WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “It may take years to realize that you have forgotten about yourself. I know it did for me. But when you finally break out of that mom cocoon it can feel refreshing to finally do something for yourself. It can be as simple as sitting down for 30 minutes to read a book or as elaborate as taking a kid free vacation to recharge your batteries. The reason I am writing this is to remind you that in the middle of the chaos, spit up, and dirty hair, you are in fact a person. You are still you.”

WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “This past summer I finally started letting my daughter stay home by herself. I would be lying if I said I don’t think of every possible thing that could go wrong before I leave the house though. When does protecting them too much start to hinder their growth process? Has worry and fear taken over my life? Am I putting my child’s happiness in a bottle and locking it up until they are old enough to move out of the house? Am I taking away their ability to become risk takers or confidant adventurers all because I let my fear and worry take over my life? I think the answer is yes, at least a little bit.”

“My days are filled with manic highs and mind-numbing lows. There are days where I am just ‘fine’ and days where I can barely get off the couch. There are days where I feel like I am drowning and being swallowed up by sadness. Of course on these days parenting is the hardest. Thinking and breathing hurts. Doing anything hurts. Parenting is the last thing on my mind. I can hardly take care of myself, so how do I take care of another human being?”

Do you ever wonder where later has gone? I often think it goes to the back of the closet and gets lost with those Christmas gifts you forgot you bought. As an adult, later seems like something small and trivial. As a child, later seems like something you’ve wished for but it never happens. And that makes me mad.