Finding a balance between motherhood and the rest of your life is challenging. But I have always been one to ensure I have “me time”. It’s that outlet that I need in my life for my inner happiness, whether it be my dance classes or getting together with my friends for a night out, or that time before bed when the house is quiet and I can read or write.

I know that not only do I need these times of recharge to be a better parent, but I feel it is good for Arrine to see me do this as well. Not only am I setting an example of making your health a priority and having a close support circle of friends, it also gives her the opportunity to be with someone besides me! Like Grandpa Charlie or her fav babysitter.

But even all these positive reasons for time apart from her, it doesn’t make the separation any easier. Especially when she is such a good girl about it all. When both Nick and I have plans in the evening, and we know it’s going to be later than about 11pm, we ask Grandpa Charlie to host a sleepover. And since his condo has a pool and bedtime snacks include black jelly beans, the time there is always loved. But getting there can be a challenge sometimes. There are days when she just doesn’t want to go. Like any other adult who doesn’t feel like doing what they already committed to or were told to do. Like this weekend. Arrine and I spent all Friday and Saturday together and then it was time for the sleepover at supper time. She knew the plan but in her sweetest voice, she said, “But I wanna stay with you.” Not to diss Grandpa, just because she wanted to be with me. And I know in a weird way this is another reason why time apart is good. But it doesn’t make it any easier. It’s harder.

Because even though I knew in that moment she would rather stay with me than go, I had to say, “Oh Love. But it’s time to go with Grandpa. I need you to put on your boots and coat.” And she just looked at me and said so sweetly and softly, “Ok, Mama…”. And she did. And off that little doll went with Grandpa out the front door. And I stood at the window and blew her kisses and didn’t let her see me cry.

Because I love her so much it hurts.