My name is Teri and I’m the proud mama of a beautiful, busy, hilarious, brilliant one-year-old boy. Being a mom is a challenging and beautiful adventure that nothing else in my life prepared me for. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who is there through all the ups and downs, awesome friends who are happy to share their parenting knowledge (or at least laugh with me through the chaos!), and an extended family who is always ready to help. I work as a marketing and communications professional, and love sharing my experiences as a mom.
Before I became a mom, I didn’t think a lot about how I spent my time. There usually seemed to be enough to go around—I saw friends frequently, went out with my husband regularly, took a class every once in a while… basically, my time was my own and I never felt like I had to sacrifice much to do something else.
Now, the way I think about time has completely changed. Of course, having a kid is going to disrupt your schedule a bit, and I knew I was in for a bit of an upheaval. I love my life now, but a lot has changed. I see friends less often, but I try to make the most of the time we do get together (or we get together with the kids!). I am lucky to have family members who are more than happy to baby-sit, so my husband and I still get some time out together, sometimes with friends and sometimes just us. But I’m also back to work full time, and I don’t get to see my son as often as I did during that first year, so now that’s in the mix. It’s a complicated thing to juggle, and I often feel like I’m falling down in one area if I’m succeeding in the others.
However, there is one area that always seems to drop to the bottom of the list, which I bet is true for a lot of moms—my alone time. These days, if I do get time to myself, it’s most often because my husband has gone out and I’m at home while our son is in bed. And while this time is nice, it’s not quite as relaxing as having actual free, all-to-myself time, unburdened by the responsibility of taking care of a tiny human being.
It’s been on my mind more lately because I have a work conference coming up, and I will spend two nights in a hotel in Banff. By myself. I am looking forward to this, maybe more than I should be, because not only does the conference sound great, but also, the alone time! Actual quiet, no one needs anything from me and I don’t have to be responsible for anyone else, alone time. I think I am most looking forward to getting to sleep past 6 am, when my adorable early riser usually prefers to start his day.
I say all of this now, but I know that when I get there and I’m in that quiet hotel room, I will miss the little voice saying “Mama!” to start my day, and the snuggles before bedtime as we read stories. And therein lies the paradox—there is now always something to miss. I’m working on figuring out the balance, and I’m not quite there yet. But, for those two days at least, I will try to feel grateful that I have something to look forward to when I get home—and enjoy the quiet while it lasts.