When my husband recently asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I just shrugged my shoulders.  I couldn’t think of anything I had really been wanting lately and, if I’m being honest, I am one of those people who like to pick out their own “stuff.” But just a few days before the big 3-6 arrived, it hit me.  DUH.  I want a day alone at the beach. 

Oh fine.  Judge me all you want but, if you are being honest, you have to admit that it’s genius because, let’s be real, I get basically zero minutes of alone time.  Ever.  No one ever invites all four of them for play dates.  {Wait. Shoot. I’m not supposed to say play dates anymore for the older boys. Err.  Um. I mean “hang outs.”}

Oh sure.  Every now and then, some poor soul either offers or agrees to babysit for us while we have a date night and, as much as I love date nights, I’m still not alone.  And I’m probably not at the beach. 

So, first thing on the morning of July 14th, 2016, I gathered a few things, packed a few snacks in the cooler and headed off.  To the beach.  Alone. 

You guys.  The only word I can find to accurately describe my day was GLORIOUS. I was the first to arrive on the scene so I grabbed my beach chair, found me a great spot and sat back to soak it all in. 

For the next five hours, I watched moms pile in with their kids and do what moms do: rub on sunscreen, plant umbrellas, lay out a buffet of snacks, make trips to the beach house because someone’s “gotta go,” settle disputes over boogie boards, apply band aids.  Trips to the beach are anything but relaxing…unless it’s your birthday and you are alone. Like me. 

But while all this chaos was happening around me, I was too busy with my crossword puzzles and listening to 90’s country streaming through my ear buds.  And I was just so grateful to have this time to recharge.  We need it. 

Moms! YOU NEED IT.  This job we have.  Whew, it is tough stuff.  We give so much of ourselves to those we love because that’s who we are.  And that’s okay.  But we are also US. And in order to be US, we have to have a reset.  We just do.  It does not make you weak or less of a mom.  It makes you HUMAN. 

I once saw a picture of an empty coffee cup that said, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”  Truer words were never written.  We can't give the best of us to them if we are empty.  

I don’t know about your schedule.  I'm sure it's nuts.  Ours is unbelievably jam-packed so carving out time can be tricky but the benefits are so, so worth it.  Find the time.  Somehow. Trust me on this one.

Thanks to Big D who held down the fort and encouraged me to enjoy my day...that may or may not have ended in the Target parking lot because I was finished beaching, finished shopping but refusing to go home until 5:00 PM when baseball began because NO I WASN'T.  And I’m not sorry.

{We won’t talk about the condition of the actual home because that wasn’t part of the deal. And they were all in one piece.}