Why do I never feel guilty of taking breaks from my son?

Recently, I wrote a picture of myself on a child-free holiday with two of my friends. In my inbox, I then found a message from a woman who was quite exposed that I had escaped without my child for four nights.

"Why do you have a child if you're never there?", Read the message.

I have seen the same when a celebrity mom is working or vacationing away from her children. Critics are quick to jump to say essentially that mom and children should be tied up in the hip.

Perhaps we should preferably carry our offspring in a kangaroo style bag until they are 18. But I will never feel guilty of time away from my son, because I know it's as much as mys for his benefit.

Amy spends time with her friends minus her son. Copyright: [Amy Nickell]

Self-care is as important whoever you are, no matter what job you do, and parents are no exception. In particular, this is a full-time, unpaid worker for the miniatures for 18 years.

In fact, I find parenting more estimation than my actual paid job – that's why I have so much respect for staying at home mom.

Being a mom is the best job I've ever had (and I interviewed Jennifer Aniston about Doritos), but like all hard work with a good payout – it's also exhaustive, mentally and sometimes physically. As someone who has broken a three year old in a car seat will know.

Amy and her four year old Freddy. Copyright: [Alicia Canter]

As parents, we are the most important influence on what adults or children will be. Scary when you think about it for a long time, let's not live. But a content and a happy person makes content and a happy mom. My son makes me happy of course, but also my life away from maternity is an important part of my happiness too. A break means when we reunite I have ten times more energy and enthusiasm. Not having space sometimes means I get irritated and short-lived, which is not the kind of mom I want to be.

Maternity can be lonely and the child's business can wear, so the odd night – and even the weekend away – is important. A time to be an adult, not a mom and remind you of "you" you were before somebody called you mom. I also believe that it gives Freddy a chance to grow in independence and find out who he is outside to be with me all the time.

So no, I'll never feel guilty of time away from Freddy – because that makes me the best mom I can when I'm there.

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