Holidays: The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Because I Finally Get a Break

The holidays…are truly the most wonderful time of the year because I finally get a BREAK.

If you’re like me and are parenting without a village nearby, time with family is something you long to have. Not just because you want to see your family (trust, I love my family dearly), but more so because you will have several sets of extra hands. In my case, I live only a few hours away from my village/family. While this is not a long distance, it seems to be light years away when I’m in my day to day hustle and bustle. My husband and I both work and I am currently finishing up grad school, so our daily and weekly lives are nothing short of busy. Having an energetic 15 month old keeps us on our toes and keeps this mama tired as the dickens.

So, why not move closer to my village?

Here’s the catch, we LOVE living in Austin. We moved here about 4 years ago (before we were parents) and have grown tremendously in our careers in addition to growing to a family of 3. We have been blessed to meet the right people at the right time, find a church home that we love, and even establish a few friendships. It’s been fun and exciting to establish our family and lives and even dream about where the future might take us. Therein lies our catch 22….loving where we are while also wanting our village nearby.

Holiday time = Rest Time

So, this brings me to my only alternative- the holidays. Typically, we travel home for the holidays whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, etc. I even count Spring Break and summers off (I’m clearly an educator) as part of my “holidays.” For many, this time can be stressful with travel, shopping for gifts, or simply keeping up with your little ones as the holiday season unfolds. As for myself, I look at the holidays as a time to get some much needed mama R&R. 

See, when you don’t have your village nearby (for most of the year), mama life can be a challenging one. You’re ALWAYS ON because frankly, how else would you make it? My husband is WONDERFUL and takes on just as much as I do. However, with our work schedules, this leaves me to man the fort most of the time. It’s life. We love our sweet bundle of toddler joy, and in the same breathe sometimes I would love to click my heels 3 times and be home…..not forever, but maybe to take a much needed nap.

It takes a village…

This old African proverb couldn’t be more true. Yes, it does take a village to raise a child. This is why I relish in our home visits. The extra pair of hands. The willingness of family to jump in (mostly because they miss the baby, right?). The moments where I can just sit and relax and not have to keep the running mama list in my head of all the things to check. The shows I get to watch, uninterrupted. The books I get to read… silence. The outings with hubby as most of our day dates or date nights alone are few and far between. And the naps. Did I already mention the naps? Although I have to continue to tell my control freak mind to shush, I am still able to steal away a few moments to just BE. 

I used to feel a bit guilty for looking forward to this. I thought, “How selfish of me to want to get a break from motherhood.” I somehow equated my need and desire for a break to not being a rockstar mom.

However, the truth is that much of what we view to be elements of success are myths. We’re not better for running ourselves ragged and “handling it all” on our own, or even with help.

So, recently, I gave myself permission to not feel guilty. Raising a human being is hard. Working and raising a human being is hard. Being a wife while working and raising a human being is HARD. And for those of us who do not have our village nearby…..we shall not feel guilty for wanting those moments of peace. I don’t love my family any less just because I need a break here and there. A tired, worn down mama is no good to her family. So, yes, I look forward to the holidays because I know I will have the chance to catch a break. 

To the mamas without a village. To the mamas who just aren’t close enough to their village. To the single mamas (bless your entire souls). To the mamas who simply need. a. break. Take one when and if you get the chance and don’t feel guilty. You deserve it. You need it and your mind, body, and soul will thank you.

LaToya Morrison
LaToya is a North Austin transplant by way of Fort Worth, is happily married to Brandon, and a proud mama to their son Griffin (2017). Her greatest passions are writing and education which lead her to the classroom. After 10 years of teaching middle school English, she is currently an Assistant Principal of Instruction for IDEA Public Schools. A proud Aggie grad and Pinterest loving mama, her love for kids and writing drew her to the Austin Moms Blog Team. You can also follow her musings on her CraftyMorrison blog and The Educator's Room.


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