“My name is Eryn. I am married and have 3 boys, another baby on the way in March. Currently we live at campsite S-57 at the reservoir campground.

There were a couple of small gasps. I smiled and went on to explain our recent life changes. A house sold, a camper bought, a 7-week road trip taken, and now we were living in our camper until we moved into our new home in a few days.

The other women gathered for our new Bible study went around introducing themselves and their stories likewise. When it came time to pray, I asked them to pray for patience. “It has been so much change for the boys. Grayson and I have a lot on our minds. We are very on edge…” I went to describe the ugly breakdown I had just before driving over to the study, how I’d crumbled in tears when my husband walked into the RV. “I just need to get away from the kids.” I had told him, blotchy face and runny nose, swollen belly.

A good friend of mine sat across from me at the study. She looked at me for a moment after I described my breakdown. “It took you seven weeks?” She asked. I laughed, suddenly amazed that I had not displayed more of these ugly moments throughout our seven weeks of living in a 20-foot trailer– 5 humans and a dog.

Looking back on it, it seems completely sane that I would feel the need to get away from my kids. Even not living in an RV, us moms feel that way—regularly. But no matter the truth behind it—that we do in fact need our alone time in order to remain sane, and to be a good mom—the guilt remains. And it is fierce.

What kind of mom says that she needs to get away from these tiny humans she loves with all of her heart? Who does that?!

Oh fellow Mamas, it is ok that we feel this way.

It is ok that some evenings, when backup walks through that door, we just need to grab our shoes and go somewhere. Anywhere.

We need to schedule coffee dates, sans kids, with fellow moms.

We need to take a walk along the river, all by ourselves.

We need to browse Barnes and Noble, and choose a new book to read just for the fun of it.

And we need to know that this is ok to need these things.

Maybe it’s time to talk with your husband and carve out two hours each weekend that you can spend by yourself or with a girlfriend.

If you’re single, maybe it’s time to swap a couple of hours child-sitting each week with a friend, so you each have time to yourself.

Maybe it’s time to join a weekly walking group, no strollers allowed.

We love our babies. We love them enough to know that we need time apart. Because too much time spent side-by-side, and nerves run high. We actually stop enjoying their presence, and this is not healthy for any of us. A bit of a break, and we can come back to their side refreshed, ready to love big and hug long. Ready to laugh, not snap. Ready to offer advice, show interest in their interests, and engage in their world without feeling starved of our own.

Fellow mamas, I know that you, like I, love your kids more than words can express—to the moon and back, beyond infinity, forever and for always. And with a little bit of space, we’ll like them all that much more, too.

So let’s do it, mamas, let’s take some time. I think our kids will thank us for it.

Eryn Lynum is a speaker and the author of 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting. (Bethany House Publishers, 2018) She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and three boys, where they spend their time hiking, camping, and exploring the Rocky Mountains. She loves to travel and share at conferences, churches, and writers’ groups. Every opportunity she gets, she is out exploring God’s creation with her family.

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