Moms and dads, I’m here to tell you something you already know all too well. Why am I telling you this? Well, maybe I am just seeking sympathy, but I assure you I am not complaining about our job. Here goes: Breaks — we don’t get them.
There’s no such thing as a reprieve from parenting nor is there a postponement or respite. Parenting doesn’t take a 15-minute break for a snack and a Coke. It’s a job with no access to a LOA. There are no arrangements made for vacations, holidays, hiatuses, sabbaticals, and such.
Even when we take vacations as a family we seek vacations from vacation, because while they’re full of escape and memories, they can frankly be too much work to plan for, pack for, take on, and return to the real world from. When we have a quiet moment our minds drift to desolate beaches, the feel of sand between our toes, and the sound of waves crashing rather than screeching, arguing, and the varying other sounds of sibling rivalry. That ocean we dream of is like parenting. It ebbs and flows. It’s full of life, sometimes strife, yet lots of fun and lots of crusty sand in crevices everywhere.
If we take a vacation sans kids we feel guilty, we miss them, they run through our thoughts, and upon arrival we just want to smother them with all of the hugs and kisses we missed. In essence it wasn’t really a vacation, a getaway or a breaktime.
Parenting doesn’t end. Ever. Just as it should be, it is a job that one does 24 hours a day for 52 long weeks during years that seemingly fly by when we reflect on them, and we love it. There’s no finer job in the world. Why in the world would we take time to take a break? Now I need a Coke and a snack.