“Four Parks, Burnout and The Benefits of Mother’s Helpers”

Mother and Child - Stock Image

Ah, Spring has finally sprung! The “s” stuff is almost gone, :), the weather is warming up and cooperating, and the sun is shining. I am excited, happy and feel free! I think I speak for most of us when I say that Spring has been long overdue. The only problem I forsee is my energy level, my energy level, that is, for my very active Exceptional Child who needs four parks now to tire out instead of one or two as he did before. Now, don’t get me wrong, these parks all all close by to our house, and many are more like playgrounds, but last year, I had to face the fact that going to four parks by foot is a lot for me, in shape or not. I love kids’ energy at this time of year. It’s infectious, and it brings out the kid in me, yet I am also an adult who has a little less energy and whose body reacts to the environment very differently than my Exceptional Child’s. He feels thing more or less intensely than I do, and needs the feedback from the extra physical walking, bending and moving. So, it’s with mixed feelings I would welcome the spring and summer, hoping that I wouldn’t always have to be the only one to take him to these places.

I love going to parks with Michael. He has awakened the childish curiosity in me, which as adults we tend to lose. But realistically after a few weeks of park hopping, I’m tired. Then there’s the chores at home to do when I get back. Suffice it to say, I was extremely fortunate last year to find some great mother’s helpers who would come and take Michael on his park outings and adventures. These three young women were my saviors as well as his. I was still recovering from a bad burnout, and even with summer camp activities, there were days Michael still needed to go go go. These young ladies helped out tremendously. All of them being twenty years younger or more than I, had the energy I didn’t have to begin with, and Michael got a chance to bond with some new friendly faces. He even played great games with one of them. He told me that each of the slides were an island and they would pretend to swim out to each other islands. Very inventive. He loved the new people, new experiences, and when I was able to take him later in the summer, we both enjoyed it so much more. Him, because he’d missed me, and me because I’d rested up and had time to recharge and miss him too.

Don’t be afraid to take a break Moms and admit when you need a mother’s helper to step in and play with your children. It’s a win win for all, new experiences, new things to talk about, and a change for you to do things that give you personal pleasure. It will make you that much more present for the next adventure your child takes you on. In my case, a new series of parks. 🙂 Until next time.


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