07 Jul Moms: You Need to Take a Break
When did women not taking care of themselves become a badge of honor? When did it become admirable for a woman to bemoan having no time to herself, no time to enjoy her husband, no time to do anything she wants?
I don’t like a world where self-destruction is revered.
Confession time: I sacrifice time with my family to work out. I let my kids watch TV so I can read a book without pictures. I leave my children with my husband and go to dinner with my girlfriends. I leave my children with their grandparents so I can go to dinner with my husband. I lock them outside to play with all the toys we spent all the money on so I can eat a brownie in peace and quiet!!! (Mine are 9 and 10, so they are perfectly fine – don’t question my parenting. I didn’t do it when they were 2 and 3. Much.)
In other words, I make a habit of taking care of myself. Call me selfish, but it’s what I need to stay sane. You ultra-moms out there who are convinced 5 minutes to yourself is a luxury you can’t afford? You WILL burn out. Trust me on this one. You will get bitter and tired and everyone around you will pay. The martyr complex needs to go and you need to cry uncle. Ask for help. There’s no shame in that game.
Your kids will not suffer a lifetime of debilitating sadness because you locked the door and took a bubble bath. They won’t need therapy because you weren’t there one night to read Green Eggs and Ham. (You might need therapy, though, if you have to read it one more time, Sam I Am.) It’s OK – and good! – for you to be just you for a few minutes. Being a mom is exhausting, and if it’s all you let yourself be, you’ll forget who you are without them. There is nothing more destructive to a child than a mom who doesn’t know her identity.
If you are a mom to little-bitties, I get it. It’s much harder to get time to yourself when you are the food source and you are the waste management system and you are the protector of things falling on their heads. But it’s even more important for you to get a break, because those little-bitties are leeches who will suck the very life right out of you. They will demand more and more and more because they don’t understand that you and they are separate bodies of matter. It is your job to teach them. Teach them well, my dear friends. Teach them well.
Go do it. Right now. Either take or schedule a mommy time-out, and let me know how it goes. I guarantee you’ll feel better – and be a better mommy – when you have.