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Do you have Mom Guilt about asking for time to yourself? Like, more than the ability to just pee alone – like actual time to yourself? Well, if you do, it’s time to dumpt that shit….
Mother’s Day is today and for the last 15 years, I have spent Mother’s Day (weekend) with my husband and kids. Normally, I would let the kids choose what we would do because it meant more to them than it did to me. Littles get so excited planning out how they are going to pamper Mom.
Every year they would ask what I would want and their father would help them pick something out for me that I would like. Plus the kids would make something at school which was always so precious.
Then we all got older…
The kids don’t want to spend every moment with me, and with the way my teens’ smell, I’m OK with that (seriously, I can’t buy enough deodorant!).
Oh Mom Guilt, how I hate Thee…
This year when my daughter asked what I wanted, I was afraid to tell her. I was agonizing over a way to tell her (she is always so considerate about asking and still wants to help plan a bit) because I had some serious Mom Guilt going on. I didn’t want her to think I didn’t love her.
See, what I wanted was to get away. To have the weekend to myself where I didn’t HAVE to do anything. Like check into a hotel (tons to choose from here in sunny Las Vegas) and eat what I want, when I want. Maybe have room service, maybe try some new foods – regardless, it meant it was all about me (and I didn’t have to cook, clean, or cater to anyone else!).
Granted, my kids aren’t little, and fend for themselves when it comes to breakfast and lunch, BUT, whenever I get into a groove with something they are wanting to talk to me. I don’t mind, but it does get old, lol.
Yeah, I’m that Mom.
The one who wants time to myself even though I “work” from home. I am currently homeschooling our daughter for the rest of this school year to help her get through a difficult time. I have had ZERO time to myself since mid-March and that never happens. I used to have some free time every weekday while the kids are at school.
When I initially brought up the idea to my husband, I felt some major Mom Guilt. Like it was too much money, I didn’t deserve it, I was being selfish, blah, blah, blah. Basically all the stupid shit we tell ourselves.
But that was bullshit. I work HARD. I may not earn money, but I am available to my husband and kids 24/7 – no sick days, no vacation days, normally no days off either (damn, my boss is an asshole, WTF).
Kudos to the hubs because he didn’t even bat an eye (he’s awesome like that). He totally supported it. In fact, he was the one who convinced me to actually go through with it. He wouldn’t make my hotel reservation (bastard), but he did convince me to actually do it.
He said, “when have you ever done something like this?” Ah, NEVER! He has no qualms about heading to the beach for the weekend (he’s a Califonia boy). No guilt what so ever! He knows he needs it. He knows he earned it. He knows things will be taken care of at home.
Well, I knew I NEEDED it. I knew I EARNED it.
Oh, and the hubs is just as capable of keeping our kids alive (he’s a nurse) as I am. Seriously. Just because it isn’t my way doesn’t make it wrong. (well it does, but shh, don’t tell him that)
We women seem to think our worth is less than our significant others. Why? Do we not contribute? My husband may earn the physical cash we spend, but he couldn’t have the freedom to do the jobs he’s had if I didn’t do the one I have. WE. ARE. A. TEAM!!!!
We are a family and do things together. The hubs contributes, I contribute, and the kids contribute – although they bitch and complain because they are hormonal demons right now.
If the normal or average person gets sick days and paid time off, why don’t we give that to ourselves? Don’t we earn it? We don’t “only” work from 9-5, we start working the moment we get up and go right until we go to bed, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Plus we don’t get paid double for the holidays. Seriously, my boss can go suck it!
We hide in the bathroom, closet, car, etc., just to get a few quiet minutes to ourselves. We are constantly re-filling everyone else’s bucket.
But who is refilling ours?
It is OUR job to advocate for ourselves. Sometimes we may need a little push and sometimes we will get some push back. I’ve been married for 18 years and it wasn’t always like it is now. My husband has a greater understanding of what I need. Not because he is a mind reader (although that would be f’ing awesome, oh, maybe not…) but because I told him. Yep, plain and simple. Met like that. Hey Matt, I need XYZ, mmk, thanks! Granted I had to tell him more than once, but when he finally understood, he embraced it.
I’ll be honest, the idea to spend the weekend in a hotel was not my idea. A friend posted in a group we are in and I totally ran with the idea. I know have friends who are planning to do something similar next year. All because someone mentioned something one time (you never know who is listening and needs to hear what you have to say, so don’t hold back).
I am currently sitting in a boujee bar lounge at my hotel rocking out to the awesome music being piped in and writing this. I am also indulging in a lovely adult beverage at 3 in the afternoon because I CAN! Isn’t that point of this weekend? I GET to do what I want and indulge every now and then.
I’m not implying that you need to do exactly what I did, but I am insisting, no wait…
DEMANDING that you start advocating for yourself. Yep, I can put on my Bossy Pants from time to time and totally get in your face – I have had years of military training so I suggest you listen and comply (resistence is futile).
That is your #1 job, above everything else. The only exception, when your kids are trying to run into oncoming traffic – so basically a safety issue. Other than that, you MUST start to take care of yourself. Because when we don’t we are horrible, bitchy mom’s – don’t deny it, we all get that way and no it isn’t PMS because I don’t have that part anymore.
We get burnt out and need a reset so we can reboot with a purpose. Think teacher at the beginning of the year vs teacher at the end of the year – yep, totally different. Which one do you want to be?
I spent the last 2 months focusing solely on our daughter because it was necessary; however, she is now better and now mommy needs a little love.
Dump the Mom Guilt
It’s time to get rid of mom guilt for Mother’s Day. Go dump that shit in the trash, maybe even give it the middle finger for doing you wrong for the past X amount of years. Go on, dump that mom guilt in the trash right now. Go ahead, I will wait right here for you take care of that…. (remember, former military, been to survival school and all, just a bit of a badass so don’t mess with me, mmk)
Good, now make a list of what you need and what you want. Put items on there that cost $ (doesn’t mean you have to spend $, just put it on your list). Make sure you are only putting things that are for you, not stuff for the house or your spouse. Not a vacuum, or some other household item. Something that will refill your bucket. Maybe a new book with uninterrupted time to read it each day/week (let your significant other watch the kids during that time). Use your imagination. Maybe paint your nails, take a nap, chat with a friend, get coffee, etc. Just something for you.
Put items on the list that are free and just require time. I know time is precious, but 30 minutes of peace and quiet is not going to be a big deal.
Now that you have some options, choose one thing from your list that you can do in the next few days and act on it. Trust me, everyone will be happier afterward, and yes your spouse will figure it out – remember, just keeping the kids alive is the goal right now. You can work on clean and alive over time.
If you’re single, maybe find a relative who can help or a friend you can swap daycare with. You may need to get creative until it becomes natural, but at least take the first step.
So what action item did you choose? I would love to hear about it. Maybe we can all brainstorm ideas so we have a bucket of ideas to pull from.
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