by Lori Dwyer on August 18, 2011 · 35 comments

I’m taking the weekend off again.

It’s become a regular event… dropping my kids off, and running away for a day or two.

There’s a lingering guilt there (plenty of other mums do this, alone, all the time… why can’t I?) that’s overridden by an insatiable desire to get away.

To disconnect.

I don’t worry about my kids when I’m gone, shamefully, I think of them only in abstract terms, love them from afar. But I don’t worry and fret, whether they miss me, if I have packed enough warm clothes for them, if they are doing OK.

I’m not supposed to confess to that, I know. But that’s the way it is. I can so easily disconnect from my kids. Just like I did, directly After.

It’s a matter of self preservation.

I have to do this, I have to decompress every now and then… or I will lose my mind.

I need a break from the constant wash of demands. The constant tug of physicality…. when I’m not with my kids, is it any wonder I just want to be alone, to not be touched?


My self esteem is shattered, and it seems to be getting worse.

The negatives, they are difficult to ignore.

It’s been years since that droning, grating voice in my head has been so persistent… Telling me I’m useless, I make people cry, I should really just give up on this writing thing and go get a job working checkouts. That I’m boring and weak and selfish (undeniable, I am selfish at the moment, and that may not be a bad thing, but I struggle to give it a positive connotation.)

That I killed my husband.

And, deepest,that I am a vessel for my children. The people left in my life, my only worth to them is a mother to my little ones. That no one really cares how I am, for the sake of if I am OK… just to make sure I will be able to take care of my kids properly.

After all, isn’t that the most important thing? That my children are OK?

This voice, it tells me I’m dispensable. That if my children didn’t need me, I really wouldn’t be needed at all. And it seems unfair to be kept here for the benefit of others.

I know none of that is true, of course.

It’s just that voice, it’s difficult not to listen to.


My son hasn’t mentioned his daddy for days now… maybe four or five days, a record of sorts.

Tonight, he is looking at Tony’s photo on the wall.

“Are you looking at Daddy?” I ask.

He turns to me, blue eyes full of the kind of childhood wonder reserved for fairy tales, and whispers…

“He was giant.”

I catch a sob in my throat.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin @ Farewell, Stranger August 20, 2011 at 3:34 pm

You amaze me with your strength. Really, you do, even if you can't see that strength yourself. You are doing what you need to do with your kids, which includes taking time for yourself.

You deserve to have that time. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be OKAY.

And if you're not okay, ask for help. You deserve that too.

We're all here with you. I just wish we could do more.


Stranger Than Fiction aka Yeran August 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm

All I can say is Lori, you have every right to have a 'break', to 'disconnect'.
Keep in mind you have gone through an extraordinary experience and you need to do what is right for you, which in turn is right for your beautiful children.
You are far from useless.
You are amazing.
You are doing amazing things for so many people.
This blog is SAVING LIVES.
Hold your chin high Miss Lori.


Anonymous August 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm

You deserve time out from your hectic runnings of being a single mum but don't forget the ones who love you and are there for you.


Anonymous August 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I remember when you said, a long time back, that you were worried that nobody would want to love you. I wanted to say….'but, but, I do'.

And now, that I read, tonight, that you worry that you are "useless, a vessel for your children, your self esteem shattered"…….this just makes me want to emerge from anonymity, and say to you, "if only you knew". You, Lori, are the epitome, of a Stong Woman, someone of substance, guts, creativity. Just the sort of woman I so like to be with…


Bean’s Mummy August 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm

You're doing a wonderful job Lori – enjoy your break. Like everyone is saying, you absolutely deserve it. You are also very often in my thoughts. xx


Donna August 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm

You are still brave, still bold, still beautiful and still talented beyond words.

But completely agree you need time regularly to decompress – its no doubt healthy for all as the kids get a change of scenery too.

In my thoughts always x


lionjumper August 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I am normally a reader, not a commenter, but I had to jump in here.

The feeling of being nothing but a vessel to get our children through childhood and safely into adulthood is something I can relate to, so perfectly. I have said the same thing, in almost the same words. Just wanted to let you know that it isn't unique to your situation. The truth is, our kids would probably be just fine without us, and that's a scary concept. Just have to hang on to the fact that no one would do as good a job as we are doing, and hang in there till this feeling passes.

Its easy to see how giant T was when you look at the gap he left behind.

Thinking of you, always. Now back to anonymity. LJ xx


Maxabella August 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Be kind(er) to yourself, hon. x


Lívia August 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Oh this is so heartbreaking… I wish you would get better… and yes, do whatever you want, if you feel better you will be a better mum…

have you seen this blog? someone that went though something some like you did… start at: haven't been here before…

lots of love you way,



Toni August 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm

I haven't been able to stop thinking of this post since I first read it.

Loi, sole parenting is the hardest gig there is. And you didn't enter into it by choice.
So ABSOLUTELY you should take time out when you need it.
As so many have said in the comments above, parents just parent better when we nurture ourselves.

Take care of you, chick. You matter.


Shellye August 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm

As everyone else has said:

1. That voice inside your head is telling nothing but lies.

2. It's okay to get away from your children, especially when you've been through trauma, and you and your children will benefit from your mini breaks.

3. Please don't stop writing…


Annabellz August 19, 2011 at 11:54 am

/deep sigh/ it is important to get away and not worry… it is important to let them be cared for by someone else… it takes a village is my motto (although I have to admit I rarely go away and if I do guilt/fear follows me but there are reasons i won't go into)… I envy your being able to let them be and go away.

I do want to say I know "that voice"… ugh. Stinky rotton, viseral entity that sucks the life right out of a day. Don't know what else to say about that but be stronger than it is because you are amazing and important and good no matter what.


Martha August 19, 2011 at 11:51 am

I suppose I do understand, in a way, those parents who fret and worry and miss their children so terribly when they are apart. But I've never experienced that aching heart of missing my daughter when I've gone on a trip for work, or when she's gone on holiday for weeks at a time with her dad. I miss her, sure. I miss having her smiles in my day. But I know she is being looked after and loved, so why would I worry?

Yep, I know I'm partly dispensible. I could disappear and I know she would be loved and cared for. But I also know that she would miss me, that HER heart aches when we are apart and rejoices when we come together again. And that keeps me on this earth.

Leave the guilt in a rubbish bin somewhere and enjoy your weekend!


DanielleQ August 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

I, just…. *hugs*.

Vicky makes a good point – sometimes part of looking after your children IS looking after yourself. Well, it always is, but sometimes putting your needs first for a time is actually better for them anyway, long run.

I need to escape regularly, too. And I don't really miss my kids when I'm away – I love them, massively, but don't feel their absence keenly for those few days at least. I sometimes feel bad about that, but then I don't. When I am here, I am here for them.

Sometimes I am there, and that is for me.


DanielleQ August 19, 2011 at 10:52 am

I, just…. *hugs*.

Vicky makes a good point – sometimes part of looking after your children IS looking after yourself. Well, it always is, but sometimes putting your needs first for a time is actually better for them anyway, long run.

I need to escape regularly, too. And I don't really miss my kids when I'm away – I love them, massively, but don't feel their absence keenly for those few days at least. I sometimes feel bad about that, but then I don't. When I am here, I am here for them.

Sometimes I am there, and that is for me.


Mary J August 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

Oh, my heartstrings are tugged to tears again – enjoy your time away from the little ones to stop revive survive.


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Vicky August 19, 2011 at 9:51 am

I do a happy dance Loudly chanting "I have no kids for the whole weekend!!!" throw the mumma hat off, put the Vicky one on firmly and then throughly and totally misbehave.

If I didn't have a break I too would go insane. If I don't stop and refill the tank, and feed my soul then the possiblity of what could happen isn't pretty.

I love my kids – intensely and passionately… but if I don't look after me, then there won't be anyone to look after them.

Being a parent is hard work – flying solo as one is bloody hard work.

Dance in the sunshine, feed your soul, Enjoy being LORI…

sending you love and light beautiful woman. xxx


Sober 100 Days August 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

Is time to get out and be free without any guilt or bad feelings. Go for it and deep breathe…


MrsKellB August 19, 2011 at 9:14 am

Big hugs Lori x


Jen August 19, 2011 at 9:03 am

Oh Lori :(

That voice is a leech which feeds on the beautiful to try and make them crumble. And you are beautiful and it speaks venom and lies.

You couldn't stop writing my friend, words run through your veins and flow to us like a beautiful gift. You are a brilliant writer, far too talented to waste those thoughts and fingers by pushing groceries past a scanner.

I believe that the non fretting at leaving your children is a sign that you trust they are in good hands and not that you are a bad mother. You will not fret when they are at school each day, 5 hours away from you, and this is pretty much the same thing. Go and party guilt free, breathe, relax and just be Lori. We all need to just be ourselves sometimes without little people hanging off us.

You are always in my thoughts Lori and I know that isn't the same as being there, it doesn't help much when you are sitting alone with the voice whispering in your ear but I just want you to know that in spirit you have so many people there with you, thinking of you. You are such an important member of this world.

Super ((((hugs)))) mate, I hope you have a wonderful weekend away. Your Chop is nothing short of beautiful. xoxo


Amy xxoo August 19, 2011 at 7:25 am

What an achingly beautiful thing for him to say, and perhaps for you to be able to hear…
And just imagine – if Chop saw his Daddy as a giant, imagine how he sees you…


Cherie @ ‘a baby called Max’ August 19, 2011 at 7:08 am

Hang in there …

You're doing a freakin' incredibly job!

Savour the days away!



Eccles August 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Lori, I have been blown away by how far you have come since Tony. You have sold your house & moved to Paradise, you came to Melbourne for Blogopolis, you have been Awarded for your blog & you are learning new skills & making new contacts through your blogging.
Of course you have that loathesome voice in your head, second guessing your every move. Without it, you wouldn't have anything to fight against. (Your kids WOULD be OK without you, but they wouldn't have YOU). So, "Lori, use the force".
Enjoy your weekend away & enjoy your kidlets when you return home. (X)


Anonymous August 19, 2011 at 4:45 am

I agree, we are our own worst enemies. My brain has that nasty little voice that tries to make me feel like crap about myself. I literally have to tell it to shut up (not out loud, only to myself as to not allow others to know how CRAZY my brain is). And most times it does work. We just make ourselves NUTS. I also drop my 3 1/2 yo daughter at my parents for a break a couple of times a month (or more). And I do feel a little bit of guilt. But I am always wearing a giant grin when I drive out of their driveway. :) I know she will be just fine, nothing will happen. And we need our breaks. Sometimes I just go home, sit on my couch and listen to: NOTHING. Besides my wine being poured into a glass. It has such a nice calming sound to it. Try not to beat yourself up too much. You have been through WAY too much! Your brain needs to shut off or at the very least learn some new positive language. LORI IS A GREAT MOM! LORI IS WONDERFUL! LORI IS A STRONG BITCH! LORI, well is just amazing!! Have fun this weekend, enjoy and kick up thoise heels. You deserve it!!!! Lisa


Fox in the City August 18, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I truly believe that we are our own worst enemies . . . that voice in our head telling us that we are not needed, that we are undeserving, that we are worthless.

The battle to ignore that voice is so draining . . . often times it is just easier to believe it. But it is not the truth. You are more than just a mom, you are Lori and you are an important part of this world.


Miss Pink August 18, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Think of how the loss of Tony makes you feel.
Your kids, they'd survive, but they wouldn't be living life to the fullest.

<3 <3 <3


edenland August 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Oh, oh hon.

You really are living this, day in and day out. It must feel like a fucking marathon.

Power to you. I'll be one of those people in a white tent, handing out gatorade. The toughest hardcorest gatorade in town.

A lot of the time I stay alive for my kids. And I wonder if I was not here and I think, "Eh. They'd survive."

They would, and I always decide to stick around anyway. But just the letting go, the unkotting of it all in my gut makes me feel better.

I am hoping this means I will see you on Saturday night xxoo


Melissa August 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Oh Lori. Heartbreaking.
I pray you can recognize that negative voice as inaccurate. It may be persistent, but it isn't correct. You're doing the best job you can for yourself and for your kids. You get to take breaks, it's perfectly reasonable and beneficial for you and for the kids – they need you to be refreshed, even just a little. Enjoy your break. And for what it's worth – I don't worry about my kids when I drop them off somewhere, either.


Salamander August 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Oh babe. Hugs. That's all I can think of xxxxxxxxx


Chantel August 18, 2011 at 9:49 pm



robyn August 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Oh, Lori. I have no words. But I read. I hear you.


Suzy August 18, 2011 at 9:46 pm

it certainly is a matter of self preservation. I went through the same need to disconnect from my living son after the death of my baby son in 2008. Your children of course still need you – but they need you healthy. And getting away, for yourself, keeps you healthy for them. I think it's entirely necessary when you are in the depths of grief still.

And that last paragraph…just breaks my heart. I cannot imagine.



Crystal August 18, 2011 at 10:18 pm

I know that negative voice – I have one, too. Try, Lori, try to shut it out. It's a foul-mouthed, bold-faced liar. You are worth more than just "a vessel for my children." If you need to escape on a weekend in order to keep your sanity, there's nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. So many parents SHOULD do that, take a break, but they choose to force themselves to stay, they get worn and frazzled and it ends up doing nobody any good, least of all their poor kids!

HUGE hugs to you, Lori…


Mrs Woog August 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm

How heartbreaking darling. Xx


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