The Day I Wasn’t Needed


    A typical morning at my house is my husband and I hitting snooze as many times as possible before our two (almost three) year old wakes up. I always say I’m going to get up and ready before her, but let’s be honest: if she’s still asleep, so am I. When we finally get up, it’s a rush to get out the door. It’s worth those few extra zzz’s, though. 

    While my husband is equally capable and willing to help out in the mornings, our daughter has always been very attached to me. I’ve held her while I brushed my teeth, got dressed, put on makeup, the whole routine. She clings to my leg while I make breakfast. I’ve endured screams of sadness when I walk out the door leaving her behind. I’m told she only cries for a few minutes, but it still breaks my heart every time.

    One morning as I finally got up, rushing to get ready and out the door, I realized I had a meeting at work I needed to prep for. It was not the day to be late.

    I went downstairs and started the chaotic routine of trying to get my daughter to eat her breakfast, find her hair-ties so she can have a “pone tail,” pack lunches, make myself coffee – you know the drill. I was about to put food in the dog’s bowl, when my husband lovingly took my face in his hands and said “you can leave now, we don’t need you anymore.”

    Say WHATTTT?!?!?

    I was confused, annoyed, and a little caught off guard, but I grabbed my purse and headed out the door. My daughter said “bye mommy!” and didn’t even bat an eye at me leaving.

    While in the moment I was annoyed, as I didn’t want my routine interrupted, when I drove to work that morning I realized what a profound statement that was. You see, what I didn’t realize over the past several months is that she needs me less and less. She plays well independently in our room while I get ready or she makes daddy hold her while HE gets ready. She chases the dog while I make coffee. She sits on dad’s lap and says “bye-bye” the second I pick up my purse to walk out the door. She’s finally realized she has TWO parents!  

    I made it to work with enough time for coffee!

    While most people mourn the fact that their children are growing up too fast, I tend to lean more towards: it’s about time! I love being a mom and I probably cave in to giving that girl what she wants more than I want to admit, but man it’s a relief to not be needed at times. It’s so nice to sit and watch her be her. I’ve put so much of myself into her these last two years, I finally feel like I’m getting some of me back. 

    It is nice to be the person who can make it all better. But sometimes, it’s nice to hear “you can leave now, we don’t need you anymore.”

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    Lisa Freeburg
    Lisa is a transplant from the Midwest. She was born and raised in Kansas (yes, she has seen a tornado) and spent a few years in Ohio before moving to South Carolina in 2014. She holds a degree in Biology and works as a research assistant at the USC School of Medicine. Her career in science spans 11 years and she can't imagine a job anywhere else. She has also been married to her college sweetheart for 11 years. He is a professor at USC, so they are Gamecock fans by default. They are proud parents to a spunky 2.5 year old girl who keeps them on their toes. As a family, they enjoy being outside in the wonderful southern sun, gardening, playing tennis, and going to the beach. They also are parents to 2 fur babies who still aren't sure about their little sister.


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