I Sometimes Fantasize About Running Away From My Family
By Natalie Romero
Photo © swissmediavision/Getty Images
Mar 9, 2018
My fantasy usually has me in a hotel room.
Right in the middle of a huge bed with fluffy white pillows and a heavy duvet. There is a fireplace radiating heat from the corner and a tray with leftover room service off to the side.
There is no one who needs their shoes tied or the crusts cut off their sandwich. There is no one who can’t find a library book. There is no one arguing or crying or whining. No one is complaining that someone got a bigger slice of cake or one less green bean. No one is demanding that I kiss them or hug them or tickle them.
I love my children with every ounce of me. My love for them courses through my veins. It leaves an ache in the deepest part of me. My love for my children can cause me to lose my breath. I now understand what it feels like to be willing to give your life for someone.
Yet sometimes I find myself imaging what my life would be like if I never had kids.
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Before I met my husband, I lived alone and I adored it.
I like being alone. In fact, I need it. My need to be alone is just as important as food, water and sunshine.
It’s when I’m alone that my brain recharges. It’s when I’m by myself that I’m able to push down the anxiety that tends to creep up and can, if I’m not careful, explode out of me in the most unpleasant way. It’s my time alone that allows me to function with others.
It’s not the sheer magnitude of things that need to be done. That isn’t a secret. I just have to think back to my own mother and how she rarely sat down to know that the workload, when you have children, is heavy. I am not afraid of work. I can wash dishes, do laundry, pack lunches and drive kids from one activity to another.
It’s the mental load that comes with being a mother.
It’s that I am now thinking for four people, not just for me.
It’s the planning and scheduling and rearranging that seems to never end.
My mind will not slow down. I always have to be two steps ahead or else something inevitably falls through the cracks.
I am being pulled in multiple directions at the same time. I’m usually answering at least two people at once, my children continuously raising their voices to be heard before the other.
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It’s the worry. I’m always worrying about something.
It’s the guilt that creeps in when I know I am messing up. It’s the guilt that makes me question if maybe I’m just not cut out for this motherhood gig.
And it’s often in those moments of guilt when I fantasize about running away. I imagine myself packing a bag, getting in the car and going someplace where no one knows me.
I create a whole world where only I exist. And for just a second it feels like heaven.
Then my daydream is broken up by little arms, wrapping themselves around my neck, small lips kissing my cheek and tiny voices whispering, “I love you Mummy." It's then when the spell is broken.
I know that I can never live alone again.
I may fantasize about it, but I don’t really want to run away, not forever anyway. Maybe for an afternoon or a day or two, but then I’m ready and eager to be welcomed back into my beautiful life.
So, every now and then I lock myself in my room and get lost in the daydream of running away to be alone until someone reminds me that the real world is so much better.
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