Part of the Before Life

So, before we were an expat family living in the Philippines. We were a fairly normal family living in BRooksville, FL in a big house that we own with our kids and dog. Yup. A dog. This dog is named Aidan and he has been our baby before babies. We have had him his entire life, since he was about 4 months old. He is now going to be 6 in November. So, while we were trying to figure out exactly how we were going to the Philippines for six months, we had to figure in our doggy buddy… He was staying with my mom while we were traveling and then would come back to us (this made the most sense since we didn’t want to “get rid of him” as he is family.) Fast forward a year (almost) to now. We have been trying and trying to get Aidan to the Philippines.

Having him shipped here (through a service that would fly him safely) turned into a nightmare. We have gone over and over the whole “shouldn’t we just put him up for adoption?” conversation and every time we say no. He is in a healthy loving home and will come back to a healthy loving home (with us). The kids love him and so do we. After going around and around we finally started feeling like, it just won’t happen and my mom is currently moving into her dream house (an RV) with 6 cats, so no more room for doggy… Thankfully Joey’s parents have taken Aidan for now until we are there in November. We had a service to pick him up from my mom with all his things and drive him up north to NYC from Florida. This is great! Joey especially is relieved as the Philippines was his big dream and he was feeling depressed and really sad that he may lose his dog over it. Understandably. Now we just have to work on getting him back to the Philippines with us when we leave to come back from NYC in January…

I wanted to share this with you guys because this is part of having “a before life.” When we got married and adopted a dog and bought a house and got pregnant, it wasn’t in our plans to leave and live in Asia full time. It wasn’t even a thought that this would be our reality. Life changes though. So fast and so frequently. I also wanted to share with you that you CAN still do it! You can still make a big and bold move even if you already have a “before life” or are settled down or have bought a house or whatever! Traveling is such an amazing and enriching experience and if you want it, you can have it! Is it stressful sometimes!? OF COURSE! But it is 100% worth it and I think that it’s important to be prepared for those “before life struggles” because they will be there.

Leaving an animal behind for any period of time is like leaving a family member. You miss them and you wish for them to be there but you know you’ll be together again soon (in my case.) A lot of family and friends don’t understand our wanting to bring Aidan out here and have even told us that it is cruel to have him *bouncing around* but we know that he is with people he knows, love him, take care of him and eventually he will be with who he belongs with which is us. 🙂

Thanks for reading!! If you have any questions feel free to ask!!


ThisLittleElephantFamily ❤

Date Days!!

Let me just start by saying that I am a very lucky, lucky woman. I understand that some mom’s do not get “a break.” Whether this be from their children or just in general from their everyday responsibilities. I am so, so aware of this. I have thankfully had either my mother who would take the kids on Mondays every week or my in-laws who would hang with the kids while I wanted to get out and now I have a nanny three days a week which is a pretty big deal because I had always been one of those mothers who felt like “NO! I can’t do that! I have to do it all and I can do it all!” Until i burnt myself out and just was going absolutely crazy. Joey pushed me and told me “it’s okay and you deserve a break. Also, I deserve to see you…ALONE!” haha! So yes, we have a nanny.

I also understand that not all moms want or need a break. That is cool too. Look, I understand every edge of this situation. I used to not want or need a break. I wanted all my time with my baby and if she was asleep then I could feel guilt free/want to spend time with my husband but I discovered after having my second how much it was hurting (SPECIFICALLY) our relationship and how sad it actually made me to not spend time with Joey as much. I wanted to, I just had this undeniable urge to keep Aubrey with me always and that meant he had to be second ALWAYS which is hard for a spouse. Honestly, I can’t even imagine as I am very much in the #Queenstatuszone when it comes to my husband. Every mom is different and some of my closest mom friends really encouraged me to break away and get some me time and also some me and hubby time. This was good for me! If it’s not for you, like I said, do you boo and keep rocking your life! Some friends also judged me for having these “breaks” or we’re upset that I was able to get them and they weren’t. I’m sure they are judging me harder now that it isn’t a trusted grandparent but a nanny but my latest mantra of “I don’t give any fucks” is really working for me so that’s that.

She comes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Usually on those days I am relaxing whether it be with the kids while she cleans up and helps me with random things or at Starbucks writing without the kids or at the movies/dinner/shopping/whatever with Joey. This is such an amazing thing because 1) I get to have a break 2) I come home/get to experience a clean house without the effort (ha!) 3) get to spend time with Joey one on one and recharge my mumming abilities and 4) I get to put some time in for myself doing something that I love and being able to solely focus that without doing what Im doing right now which is watching my kids run up and down a hall in Central Square while sitting at an outside table in Starbucks…. Not that I mind that all the time but sometimes it is nice to put on a pair of headphones, drink a latte and get shit flowing without having to focus on anything or anyone else but myself. As I stated above, sometimes I do just stay home and snuggle with my kids and ms. Ana will spend her day either cleaning up and doing things that aren’t done everyday like cleaning the aircons or the bathrooms or whatever and this is cool because I can be completely present without worrying like, “oh, i really needed to do this today right!?” Another amazing thing that I really didn’t think about before was that my kids LOVE her! This is awesome because it gives them someone else to play with when they are “bored” of me. They have a playmate who is completely devout to them and is there to give her full attention. There are times when they are allowed NO TV time. Sometimes this lasts for weeks and yet ms.Ana has no problems with this. She will literally take them down to the pool and spend hours there, I’m talking from 12PM to 6PM! That is awesome.

We spend the majority of our date days at the movie theaters. We both love movies and since they aren’t super expensive here it is a good way to spend some time together. We also use these “date days” for errands such as immigration, doctor appointments, bill paying, grocery shopping, etc. I have also been using them for yoga days, nail days, waxing days, etc which is just the best haha! I think that we are also going to try and start taking some boxing classes/working out at the gym together on those days as well! Do you and your significant other do “date days?” Was it hard to leave baby or do you have someone completely trust worthy to watch them? That was hard for me.. Trust, haha! Let me know! I’d love to hear about your experiences. Also if you have any questions about having a nanny while in another country or expat living please, comment!!

Thanks for reading!


ThisLittleElephantFamily ❤

Packing up!

So I wanted to make a post about how we pack up, including food/snacks!

We ALWAYS pack lunch boxes for the kids because well airplane food just doesnt look appetizing for them, haha! Things I usually pack for them are:

  • Peanut butter sandwiches
  • Some type of pasta (not always because it depends on the time of the flight and how long its sitting
  • Coconut date rolls
  • Cashews and vegan chocolate chips
  • Red beans/Chickpeas/peas/green beans
  • Peanut butter and apple slices
  • Apples
  • Fruit snacks
  • Water (DUH!) They always sniff it when we go through security, haha!
  • Some kind of organic cereal if we have it.
  • Kind bars
  • Larabars (if were coming from US to wherever because I dont find them usually in PH, etc)
  • Soymilks (Chocolate for ollie, vanilla for Aubrey)

This is a basic list right here. Sometimes I bring all of this stuff and sometimes only half or so, haha! It really depends on the time of the flight. If it is a night time flight I dont have to pack as much because they will usually just sleep/snack and not want a full meal. However if we leave first thing in the morning, then the entire day has to be planned and prepared for.

As far as our luggage, we usually only have to bring one large hard case suitcase. I try to keep it to that or maybe one more so that I separate Aubrey and Olivers clothes from mine and Joeys. We weigh our luggage with a luggage scale that we bought on amazon so we never go over the limit and we also do not pack or bring any toiletries. We are very aware now of where we can get all vegan toothpastes, shampoos, conditioners, soaps, etc. This way we are able to keep our bags quite a bit lighter. We havent been bringing carry ons really besides the food carry on, also. So that makes our lives a lot easier. This trip going we brought one full suitcase and one empty, we came back with 5 full suitcases though, haha! We all had gotten new shoes, sneakers, crocs, boots (for Joey), new clothes for the year, plus souvenirs and any gifts that were given to the kids from family and whatnot so we had a lot of luggage coming back this time. Also, coming back was our first time not bringing any carry ons so that added to our luggage as Joeys Asus laptop weighs about 15lbs WITHOUT accessories like his mechanical keyboard, mouse, stand, etc. I am hoping that in November we wont have to bring back as much stuff or need as much stuff. It was really important to me that we get clothes while we were home because for Joey and the kids it was 1) easier and 2) less expensive. Not really so much for me as I just mostly shop at Forever 21 here which I feel is about the same price or less than what I would buy from say Target.

So yeah, that is how we pack up for our trips!!

Thanks for reading!


ThisLittleElephantFamily ❤

Catch Up

So we have been home for almost 3 weeks now and thankfully we are finally getting back into a routine and a schedule especially as far as sleeping in concerned because oh my gosh the first week or so was ROUGH.They were going to bed at about 7PM easily and if I was trying to keep them up later they would just fall asleep anywhere they were BUT then they would be up by like 1/2AM and be up until 5/6AM and sleep again until like 9/10AM. This obviously is not a fun schedule for a mama who stays up until about 1/2AM to spend time with their husbandha! We are mostly back on schedule now, like I said.

We have cut TV out of our lives again for the most part as Aubrey has been having a lot of issues, sensory and attitude wise. We are also cutting out the junk that has slowly crept into our household things like crackers, lollipops, etc. We are not a big junk food family as many of you know but even these things are driving me crazy and I do think they affect Aubrey and how she acts. She will eat crackers instead of a meal and I feel it leads her to be more difficult and cranky because she isnt getting like a full balanced meal. I am literally fighting tooth and nail with her most days and its very difficult on her, me and our relationship.

Oliver is doing great. We are working on potty learning right now and he is mostly doing all the effort himself. He will take his diaper off and sit down and go pee without any of my help or sometimes even my knowledge. He is very aware of when he has gone and when he needs a new diaper so we are encouraging this and working on it. We have finally gotten our pantry pretty restocked again and have just been super busy with doctor appointments, errands, condo things, etc.

Weve had a lot of issues with out condo as it is NOT DONE. It was supposed to be done and we were supposed to be moving in on June 25th (TODAY) but it hasn’t been touched and so we are now waiting for it to be done, talking with our lawyer, etc. The woman who is in charge has just basically been useless. When I called her to ask her like what happened and why it wasn’t done, she laughed. This of course made me more upset and I didn’t play very nicely and then apologized to my admin office (in house as they had nothing to do with it and are all very sweet) for having to witness me in bitch mode. UGH!

Ms. Ana has been a life saver, really and truly as we all get adjusted again. Helping us catch up on sleep as well as time together for Joey and I, since we didnt get really ANY alone time on our 17 days? In the U.K. & France. On Wednesday we were actually able to go into Makati to Immigration (JUST JOEY AND I) and accomplish our visa updates without the kids which was great as they truly hate sitting around in a hot building. We are all set with our Visas until August thankfully now. Joey is doing well too although he hasnt been getting much sleep with everything…

So on Thursday the kids and I ran errands and spent the entire day at Kidzoona! On Friday we had my closest friend over with her daughter and spent the day playing with babies and then going out to see Transformers BABY FREE! My friend hasn’t really had a chance to go to a movie baby free so that was awesome that we were able to give her a little break thanks to Ms.Ana :).  On Saturday, I tried to pay rent but all of the banks were CLOSED!! So I will have to do it today (Monday.) We then went and ran an errand for Joey, grabbed garlic knots and a burrito and then spent the day at Kidzoona yet again to try and give Joey some peace and quiet. Thankfully I have had a lot of Kidzoona coupons! Though, we normally spend about two days a week there because it’s a good break from the heat/rain/being at home, haha. Then yesterday we slept in (ALL TOGETHER AS A FAMILY! WOW!) then we got up and took the kids over to The Mind Museum! We got annual passes as they are on sale right now so that we can visit the science museum whenever we want and also have full access to the outdoor playground! This was great and the kids loved “seeing dinosaur bones” and the moon, stars, etc! All in all, I’d say we are getting there as far as readjustment and are all happy to be home. 100% we missed the Philippines.

Thanks for reading!!


ThisLittleElephantFamily ❤


Alright!! So here is going to be what I think will be a big post just catching you guys up on our lives and how London and Paris treated us, haha!

So first off, let’s just talk about being back in New York. My kids were super happy to see their grandparents and their grammy again. That was great. I was super happy to have my sister back for a while even though sometimes it was a little hard because she has grown up so much more since I have been away and continues to do so. I love her so much and am so happy for her though and really just need to remember that she is an adult and this is life, haha! The weather in New York was mostly cold, rainy and disgusting but we did luckily get a few nice days, especially after my brother Dillon and his girlfriend Sam arrived. I really enjoyed all the FOOD! Oh man, new york just has some bomb ass vegan food and it is amazing. All in all we did a lot and had a great time visiting family. Jamie and I spent a bunch of days in the city including one day that we went to the Met for over 3 hours and STILL didn’t see the whole thing, as well as hitting up our favorite grocery store (Whole foods) and eating ourselves into a coma with all their delicious vegan treats, haha!

Being in New York was also a little hard though because I truly realize now how much time I lose with Joey when we are in America. The time difference and him being stuck inside all day and then getting off at 7PM and everything being closed or honestly, too expensive to do, is so hard. We were going to head out to the movies one night and priced it all up to be almost $100 for him, me and Jamie with the movie, transportation and snacks… That is insane when we only pay $10 for our movie tickets, walk to the theater, and maybe another $10 on snacks.. MAYBE! So we missed each other very much as really it was putting him into a funk where he just wanted to go to bed after work, disappointed that there was nothing he could really go do.

This being said we were so excited to leave for London because Joey had TWO FULL WEEKS OFF!! This was amazing. We LOVED London! Honestly, it was so amazing. We all had a great time and I’m going to share a bunch of pictures on my Instagram (I have shared some already, i believe too!) We went all over and spent May 23rd – May 31st there. We stayed in Queen’s Park which a lot of people say used to be a pretty shitty neighborhood but I didn’t care or notice one bit. I thought it was great. Our flat was so close to the bus stop, literally a 3 minute walk and we could go anywhere from there! We saw the Queen at Buckingham palace our first real day there!!! It was just so cool. Such a great experience to just happen to walk into with no real knowledge of it happening. The kids enjoyed all of our bus rides and adventures. We were so exhausted from that trip, honestly. The amount of things we did were crazy. Also, we were exhausted from what I am going to say is serious jet lag. We were exhausted. I think we crashed once arriving at maybe 2pm and slept all the way into the next day. SO TIRED.

Let’s take a second to talk about vegan food and then go back to our travels… I have heard that London actually has a lot of good vegan food but there was nothing near by us. We mostly ate pizza without cheese and things like toast, pasta, fruits, etc. It wasn’t very fun to have no real options as far as like other foods we eat, rice, tofu, etc. Also, London was EXPENSIVE!! More expensive than New York which was just crazy to me. We ordered thai food one night and it cost just Joey and I FIFTY DOLLARS! Where maybe something like that in New York would have cost us $25/$30. Paris had a cute vegan bakery where we got croissants and some desserts and things that was super tasty but it was two metro trains away and so it was just too inconvenient to really go there often. Also, grocery shopping in Paris was quite a bit harder because nothing was in english and we literally couldn’t find any bread for the kids that didn’t have milk or eggs in it so Aubrey was pretty sad. I did eat a bomb ass Vegan burger at Paris Disney though! I had packed the kids a lot of apple sauce, apples, freeze dried mangos I had left from Target, and some fruit snacks. They also had some french fries and then when we got home they ate their weight in microwavable rice which was *HELLA* expensive and red beans with broccoli. I think next time we go to London we will have to definitely check out an area that is closer to some Vegan things just to make it more convenient for us. We have decided that we will be visiting London again, maybe sans children, haha!

In London we did SO MUCH. We saw Big Ben, West Minister Abbey, The London Eye, Keat’s house, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, The West End, Platform 9 3/4, Kensington Gardens, and Hyde park as well as like WestField London, a pretty cute Whole Foods, etc. I fell in love with London, really. The only thing that could have been better was just food. If we had proper cooking things and had gone to a bigger grocery store (which we stayed shopping mostly at little local stores because no one else wanted to shop for food as they were all eating out for every meal) then I think it would have been 100x better. The kids enjoyed London as well. They loved the double decker buses, they loved our apartment which had a deck that was nice for them to play on, and we were close to a playground and a couple smoothie places as well! I was pretty sad to leave London but I was hoping that Paris would offer us some more fun and a change of pace since now we had seen and done most everything we wanted to do and could do.

The train ride from London to Paris was pretty amazing!! Oliver slept and Aubrey just hung out with my Mother-in-Law. My mother-in-law and I had walked to in the train “bar” and grabbed some wine, sodas, and snacks and then we just sat and talked! The trip seemed so short even though it was a few hours long in reality. We didn’t have any trouble getting out bags on and off the train so that was good because we had SO MUCH luggage. We did have one bag checked at security which was annoying but it was okay. Aubrey ended up falling asleep right as we were getting off so we had to wake her up. She was so sleepy. We ended up walking all the way to the opposite side and thankfully getting two nice big Uber vans. They were EXPENSIVE! Im talking like $100 EACH. It was a far ride though from the station, like an hour? Maybe. Our place in Paris was AWFUL. Oh my god, it was awful. It was old and outdated and just not like the pictures had shown. It turned out that there was also mold growing in a fridge/freezer in one of the rooms and Joey was having a hard time breathing. He couldn’t stop coughing and just was having an awful time feeling like complete garbage. Our Airbnb lady refunded our money except for the two days we were there and then I found another Airbnb that was a little outside of Paris we could afford and we moved there. This Airbnb was BEAUTIFUL and had a washer and dryer which meant ALL CLEAN CLOTHES! Although our London Flat had a washer, it was small and we had to line dry everything which was fine for the days where it wasn’t raining.. haha! We were also very close to the Metro so getting into Paris was very easy and convenient. It also had a playground which was awesome. The was NO food delivery though, not even pizza and the closest grocery store was a bit far away. Our first day there me and my mother-in-law walked there and had bought quite a bit of things, expecting to take uber home, my phone died while we had just gotten a driver so we had to walk home and carry all this stuff plus…it started raining. Basically we laughed our asses off because it was truly awful, hahaha! Joey will say he lived on bread which is only half true.. haha!

So in Paris we didn’t do too much sight seeing. We saw the Eiffel Tower at night, which was beautiful but our kids were just a disaster. They were tired, cranky, and really just meltdown city which resulted in me crying. Joey was also just not in a good mood so it really took away from the experience but it was truly beautiful and the kids did love what they saw in between breaking down. Oliver ended up falling asleep in the Tula (thank Buddha for babies who still nurse/love Tula time, ha!) We also saw the Lourve, the Arc, Notre Dome, had some vegan croissants, desserts, pizza… It was just not as fun filled as London which left a sour taste in both mine and Joey’s mouths. Declaring that Paris hated us was a big part of the trip, haha. The kids LOVED Disney Paris. Absolutely 100% happiest day of our entire trip for them. Aubrey declared it as her BEST day ever which was amazing. I literally started crying as we walked in because they were just so unbelievably excited. Aubrey waited in line happily for over an hour to meet Mickey Mouse and her face was just truly priceless. It was wonderful to watch and be apart of. I think that I would do Paris again but with more planning, more knowledge of the language and WITHOUT the kids. I know we will do Disney again whether it be in Paris or in California or New York or maybe even Tokyo as I hear that one is pretty amazing, haha!

At the end of our trip I was just really struggling, I had a couple meltdowns and got a little too tipsy on wine one night as I just had a hard time with doing so many adult things and not really many things for the kids which was meaning constant “please stay here, please come back, please don’t sit here, I know you are tired, I know you are hungry, no, I’m sorry we can’t do this or that, etc.” It was wearing me down and causing some serious issues between me and Aubrey. I was ready to leave Paris when it came time and am thankful it went so smoothly. Our flights were pretty okay. The first one was stressful as the kids were just not wanting to relax. Then once they were happy we had a french woman yell at us because towards the end of our flight they started singing, happily. She was saying “SHHHHHH!!!” I just laughed and asked her what she would like me to do? They are singing, put your headphones in and go to bed… and she proceeded to yell at me in french, haha. Oh well. Second flight was cake, seemed like it went so fast. Then our nanny (ms.Ana) met us at the condo and was a huge help while Joey and I showered, unpacked some and went straight to sleep while the kids went down to the pool. Later we ran some errands like getting money, sim cards, etc and then we were happily and mostly in bed by 8PM!

I’ll catch you guys up some more shortly about how we have been doing with getting readjusted 🙂


ThisLittleElephantFamily ❤

Health Update – Thyroid Journey

So, while we were away I decided that I was going to restart my health. I have been feeling for a long time that my thyroid medication has not been doing it’s job. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism when I was 18 years old. I have been on Levothyroxin 75mcg since then and I have felt over the years that it has been a waste of my money, honestly. I am still over weight, exhausted, and often deal with depressive states for sometimes months. I haven’t really opened up to anyone about this until recently though because there have been so many times I’ve changed doctors (4 times) and talked to them about, getting off the medication, upping it, changing it, etc and they have basically told me “exercise more, sleep more, eat less.” The most weight I have been able to lose was when I was breastfeeding a toddler, a new born, walking 25,000 steps a day, doing at least two workouts (squats, lunges, jumping jacks, etc) and only eating about 2000 calories a day. I went from 240lbs to 175lbs. I am currently 225lbs. I can’t keep up with almost 6 hours a day of exercise and barely eating. I am still hungry by the end of the day and so physically exhausted I feel like I have to go to bed after finishing my workouts which sometimes didn’t happen until midnight! That is insane! I decided, actually right before we went away, that I would try to speak to a doctor here in the Philippines and see if I could get her to take me seriously. Thankfully, I have!! I saw her last Thursday at St. Lukes Medical Center here in BGC, Taguig, and she had me schedule myself for blood work and an ultrasound of my neck and thyroid. I was able to the blood work on Friday and the Ultrasound on Monday and then I saw her today, Tuesday. She told me that my levels actually aren’t that bad! She was super impressed with my cholesterol and said that though my TSH was a borderline, that is sometimes expected from over-weight people. She said that because of my issues though she is going to up my medication to 100mcg and also change the brand to one that she has seen better results with (a U.K. brand that I can’t recall the name of right now.) I am so pleased and really hope that this will help me through the challenges that I am currently facing.

On top of my doctor visits, I also attending my first Vinyasa Yoga class in a couple months now and let me tell you… No A/C. 90 degree weather. On hour and 15 minutes… I did it! It was hard. I did my best and i wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed when I had to stop a take a drink or just a second to refocus my strength and breathing and I even pushed through when I had to literally remove my glasses from my face because sweat was just pouring off of me, hahaha! Joey has been looking into getting us gym memberships and also signing us up for a couples boxing class, so we are on the path to working on ourselves a little more. As many of you know, we do eat pretty healthy through our vegan diet but you may also know that just because it is vegan doesn’t mean it is healthy. I am hoping that since we are back home we will fall back into a less processed diet and more whole food based so that we can also work on that part of our health.

Thanks for reading guys! I appreciate your love and support 100% and if you wanna share any thyroid related stuff or vegan related stuff, please do!! I welcome any feedback ❤



Self care

Getting back to taking care of myself has always been a “priority.” Except for that fact that things always kept “coming up.” Even today, I had planned to go to a yoga class and instead sent my nanny home and skipped it because I was exhausted. I didn’t do anything too crazy either! Just some blood work, a mani/pedi, paid some bills, and then did a little shopping. Though once Oliver was asleep Joey sent me back out again to get something for our Internet, pick up some food, and then grab some more rice (plus he wanted coffee.) I am working on it though. Honestly, I think I have come a huge way already as I had previously refused my husband wanting us to have a part time nanny or a nanny at all because I wanted to be “the mom who does it all.” I didn’t feel like I needed a break or anyones help even though I do and I did. I have now after two years, accepted part time help. I have accepted a nanny to come and help me three days a week. This allows to me take yoga classes, grocery shop alone, working on things I enjoy like writing, date my husband, go to doctor appointments alone, etc. It provides me with a break and a chance to be more than “mom.” I get to be myself (in peace and quiet), haha! Anyways, the point of this is that I am looking for some support and also some accountability to take better care of myself and so I am starting Yoga classes again and also have been looking into taking a boxing class with my husband. I am restarting a morning routine which includes three page a day journaling. I am also currently going through a bunch of tests to figure out exactly what is up with my Thyroid. I think I have mentioned before I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism at age 18 and that I have also felt like the medication I take every day does nothing for me. American doctors haven’t really been any help to me so I restarted my Thyroid health journey here in the Philippines. Today I actually went into St.Lukes in BGC and had blood work done and have also been scheduled for an Ultrasound of my thyroid and neck. I’m thankful that this doctor is taking my concerns and feelings seriously and proceeding fiercely with all these tests.

Self care is important. You are important. You are worthy of peace and quiet. You still love your children even though you need a break. You are helping yourself be the best mother you can be by taking time FOR YOURSELF and ENJOYING IT!