Updated: Jul 27
Mom guilt is serious stuff. Like rock-you-to-your-core, keep-you-up-all-night, heart-wrenching business. I don’t know of one mother who has not experienced this guilt, perhaps even on a daily basis. And I am no exception, sweet friends. But there is another type of mom-guilt lingering out there in this big, judgy world that not many talk about. Many mommas just plain-and-simply don’t want to bring it up. Because they don’t want to look like a “bad” mother. It’s almost an opposite kind of guilt…
The need for a mommy break. A “time-out”. Some space. An adventure alone. Without any little babes in-toe. To do something special just for yourself. And of this type of guilt as well, I am totally “guilty”. I try not to be away from my girls, unless I a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. have to. And that is usually for work. I love them with every bone in my body. Every ounce of my soul. Every inch of my heart. I thank God for them each-and-every day.
But sometimes…every once-in-a-while, I want some time to go do something for just me. Or with MY mom. Or with some friends. Or to just grab some groceries alone. And that is an entirely new type of guilt with which I grapple; daily. Because, if God gave me these precious beings, which I n.e.v.e.r. for one second take for granted, why should I ever have a desire to be away from them?
One of my friends left a comment on a post I had written about 8ish months ago. She reminded me about how not to feel guilty for taking that time for myself as a mother, because, just as in an emergency situation on a plane, you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first, before helping others. It really made me think.
If I am feeling exhausted, patience-depleted or just plain at my wit’s-end, how can I be the best mother that I want to be? And that’s the thing. I can’t. I need rest. I need help. I need to pull myself out of a situation where I might get very upset. I need some time to refresh my spirits, my desires, and my passions. Mommies have dreams too, you know. And I need to know that it is okay…
It’s okay to…
~want to spend some time away from your children
~pursue a career outside of the home
~to take up a hobby that is just for you
~to get away for the weekend
~to be more excited about a girls’ night out than you have been in years
~to hide in the pantry and devour your secret stash of chocolate
~to pop on a Disney movie so you can read a book, catch up on emails or write a blog post
~to spend part of each day exercising, or training for an upcoming athletic event, knowing that you are sacrificing time from your kids, but trying to set an example of a healthy lifestyle
Over the last two weekends, I have made it a point to take some time for myself. Thanksgiving weekend was a little rough. The girls picked up a cold and started not feeling well. We were in the house for two days straight. I was tired and wishing I had another week with my sweeties. My patience was thinner than thin. So, after my husband was done with all that he needed to do for the day, and was settled on the couch with the girls watching Sunday Night football, I asked him if I could go outside and walk. And I did. Up-and-down our lengthy driveway. Probably 15-20 times. It was a warm fall day. No sun. Just clouds. But the air. Fresh. Rejuvenating. Invigorating. Perfect.
Mothers are i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e. beings. Their job never ends. All day. All night. All year-round. And it is t.h.e. m.o.s.t. rewarding “job” imaginable. But with that being said, mothers deserve a vacation more than anyone in this world. And as a mother, I try very hard not to judge when I see or know of others mommas taking this time. Because, as a momma of three very little ones, I completely understand.
So my wish for you today, precious mamas, is this: Don’t let lingering “mom guilt” rob you of your dreams. Your passions. Your “time”. Although our world does lend itself to some very heartbreaking situations, most mothers I know would sacrifice e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. for the well-being of their child(ren). But in most cases, this is an unnecessary task. There is room for both. Being a mom. And being YOU. The heart of it all. I have experienced the negative side of not letting myself “be me” for years, and I lived my life in the grasp of many things…anxiety, worry and massive mom-guilt. I lost myself. I felt entrapped. It was only when I let myself free, and knew I was okay in doing it, that the guilt began to fade. And I really found myself. Someone who had been “lost” for quite some time.
So, sweet lady, take a deep breath, say “yes” to that upcoming girls’ night, solo shopping trip or mini-vacation with your closest friends…and enjoy. You deserve it!