An honest talk about marriage and kids and being selfish

I am sitting here at 8 am in the morning, alone, because my daughter is at her dad’s.  I had a flurry of thoughts go through my mind just an hour ago.

See, I am divorced, I say that with partial uncomfortable feeling ( because it’s not currently social acceptable to be happy about being divorced) and partial pride and freedom.

I AM DIVORCED.

I am divorced from always being the one to do everything for everyone, the one to plan, the one to think, the one to deal with the baby/kid stuff, the one to make money, the one to direct.

I am also free. I AM FREE. Free to have my own time, unabashedly, selfishly and wonderfully. I am free to have a break from mommy duties and wife duties (what the hell does that even mean wife duties!!! Duties to a grown ass man? F THAT!). I am free to work. Work on my projects, myself, my peace, my mind, my heart. I HAVE ME TIME.

None of this was the case when I was married, working from home with my 3 year old daughter, doing and thinking of everything, resenting not having true help from the other adult. When I say help, I do not mean “I tell you what to do and you do it” kind of help. I mean a share of the mental load, another adult on my level who takes care of half the things that need to be taken care of in the family. I am sure a lot of women feel/felt like that. I have seen countless comics about the mental load a woman carries that men tend to not share in. If you don’t know what I am talking about, click on the image below.

Things changed after the divorce, for the better, for the “OMG I HAVE NEEDED THIS SO BAD NO INDIVIDUAL CAN KEEP THEIR SANITY WHEN THEY DON’T GET A BREAK TO JUST BE” better.

I was happier, I was healthier, I was wealthier, I was busier. Admittedly, some things went too… I did not have time to do “crafts and shit” with my daughter all the time. Or give as much attention to her at all times, but that is partially due to the fact that I was also very busy being the only adult of the  household without anyone to “give tasks” to and me starting a few extra businesses. Understandable.

But what also came with that is I became an individual. As much as we, moms, do not like to admit it: we are actually so much more than MOTHERS.

We have needs and desires, we are individuals and our individuality does not begin and end with a crying baby and taking care of our household.

I know this part of us gets lost in the first few years of our childrens’ lives. And for some ( whether it is due to more kids or due to the fear of breaking out of the mommyness) that part is never found. Not because it is not there, but because it’s scary.
You are/were a mom for 4-5 years (or more if you had more children) at the time when your child needed you to be selfless and be not much more than a MOM. And now you COULD POSSIBLY get back to yourself and be something more….
But what if you’re not more? What if you’re just that? What if you have no worth beyond motherhood?

It’s all lies… fears. We are all sooooo much more than just mothers. Do you see many men who define their identity in their fatherhood? They are men first, or *insert profession* first. They are individuals. How many groups are out there named “Wisconsin Dads”?

AND WE CAN BE TOO! We can be selfish while still being selfless. We can have *our time * if we demand it. We can have a loving blossoming relationship if we take steps to ensure that we don’t lock ourselves into this pit of “I am a mom, that’s all there is to it“. We can think of ourselves as WOMEN first and MOMS second. It doesn’t mean we put our motherhood duties second to ourselves, it means we remember that we were individuals first, before we became moms.

All of this became very clear to me after I reclaimed my own time. Time that is owed to me as an individual. Adult time. And I treasure it so much!

My ex-husband and I have a 50/50 parenting split. Which means 50% of the time, I get to be selfish, myself, live for myself, do what I want or need. I do not need to make sure someone else is fed, ready for school, happy, with enough quality time with me. I get to do single adult things. For those 50% of the time, I get to go back to singlehood again. And it is glorious.

And then the other 50% of the time, I absolutely freaking love being with my daughter, seeing her, doing dishes with her, traveling with her. I’ll be honest, it’s never all sunshine and glitter farting unicorns when we are together, EVEN though it’s only 50% of the time. We have issues, arguments, I get annoyed if I am very busy and we need to do something occasionally. It’s all the same, but I am me. I have a light at the end of the tunnel, where I know that when I burn out, I get to rest and do adult things. I get to go on vacations as an adult.

No one wants to admit it, because it sounds selfish and mean, but we NEED adult things. We need time away from our kids. Just like as they get older they need time away from us ( obviously, most kids before age of 8 or sometimes more still crave their parents and that’s ok too)

So all of this brings me to one thing: getaways. I spent a few minutes this morning watching two videos from a trip I took with my boyfriend about a year ago. Adult trip. To adult resorts. No kids. anywhere….

I watched those videos and a thought occurred to me: how many other couples with kids get to do this?

Get to go on an adult getaway? Away from their kids and their problems? Just to relax and lay on the beach ( or adventure if you’d prefer that). Probably not many. I know my ex husband and I couldn’t. We had no one to leave our daughter with ( that she would stay with and that we trust).

How is it possible for two people in a relationship to connect when they do not have a single chance to connect?

We had no time in the evening ( our daughter did not sleep much). We couldn’t go on a vacation. Literally every moment was baby time. If we wanted to do something adult, one of us would have to watch Lexi for the other person to go. But how do you connect as a couple???
( disclaimer: our issues and the subsequent divorce were different than not just being able to connect and way beyond that).

I know it might be uncomfortable to admit that you want something you don’t have: people tend to push those thoughts away. But do these thoughts come up when you watch couples enjoy their alone time or thin about how much you’d love to just relax? I know they would and did for me.

And there is not much to be done about it, to be honest. If one is married happily, has kids, but no support system to take adult trips, that’s just life. You can’t change it. It’s the choice we all make, it’s the sacrifice me make for our families.  Right? Right….

And if you are on of the lucky ones to have the opportunity to get away, then you better be taking it ( and make sure to join our Moms who travel group 🙂 Or if you’re one of those people who say “Oh i love my kids so much I wouldn’t want to go on a vacation without them. I will think about them anyways” (I was there, trust me), then you’re either in denial, or you have gotten so deep into the motherhood mentality that you do not let yourself want something that is other than being there for your kids. Either of which is fine, if you’re fine with it. But I know there are millions of moms who wish they could do something about it.

So this brings me to my last point. Knowing how freeing it is to go on a child free vacation and knowing how few families are able to afford (whether financially or due to childcare) it, I want to make it a goal for myself this year to work with the destinations and hospitality partners that I have a relationship with to bring this issue to light. I want to try and organize a trip ( and keyword try) where we run a contest and bring the winning couple that most needs a getaway to a luxury adult resort with us and show them what it’s like to be an individual. And if this works out successfully, next year I would like to do the same but for a group of moms.

Because we deserve it.

  • If you think it’s a good idea and you support the cause and the sentiment, you can help by sharing this post everywhere you can and commenting on social media ( to make it be seen).
  • If you have your own story to tell that resonates with the issue, send me an email ( hello at everyavenuelife dot com)
  • If you’d like to see more videos from our trips, subscribe to our YouTube channels: Every Avenue Life  | Be Fit and Travel
  • To see our kidless and kid-full trips on Instagram, visit here: Every Avenue Life | Our Little Voyages | Be Fit and Travel |Every Avenue Girl

That is all, my loves! Let me know what you think about this topic and how you feel. I am sure there are going to be a ton of differing opinion and I am looking forward to reading them all! Be happy!

 

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    L
    January 23, 2018 at 9:30 AM

    I want to stand up and applaud you on this very real post. I am proud of you for posting it. I often find myself being jealous of my divorced friends because they get a break every other weekend. Then I immediately feel guilty for those thoughts because I love my children and Husband very much. I completely understand you. I keep telling myself, “When they are 8 & 9 we can start doing things as a couple again” so that is my “light at the end of the tunnel”. Anyway, thank you for the post. Thank you for honesty.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Every Avenue Life
      January 23, 2018 at 11:28 AM

      Thank you! There’s no need to feel guilty, it’s natural to want some time alone. It’s so hard not to be able to have a part of your old self. And yes, you definitely have light at the end of the tunnel :)))))

  • Reply
    Verna
    January 23, 2018 at 11:46 AM

    My husband’s parents divorced when he was a child. That has led us to try hard to make our marriage a priority. When our kids were little we didn’t have date night very often but occasionally grandparents would take them for a couple nights. Now that they’re getting older, we’d like to take more trips and we have a very trustworthy babysitter we can leave them with. Parenting is HARD work but it doesn’t last forever. We’ll still be married when our children leave home and I don’t want it to be wierd/hard/scary/uncomfortable.

  • Reply
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)
    January 27, 2018 at 12:30 PM

    I love this post!!

    I don’t have kids (my husband and I decided against it), but I think so many people with kids could relate to this post.

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