In a previous post, I touched a little on how hard it is to take time for yourself when you’re a mom. I wanted to talk a little more about that, because it seems like a common issue among a lot of moms I know. My husband is telling me all the time to just pick something I want to do and just do it, but my question is “when?”
You see, if you’re a mom, you probably can’t get yourself to stop thinking about how your leaving to do something you want to do will affect the rest of your family, as well as what gets done and what doesn’t get done. For example, a couple of weekends ago, I decided to go to Starbucks for a couple of hours. I planned to time it while my husband was watching the Colt’s game which was hopefully going to be around the same time that the kids should be napping. I thought that was a great idea so that both of us would get some much needed time to relax a little.
But of course, nothing ever works the way it should. My husband finished his work outside later than usual, which meant that I left for Starbucks later than usual. And of course, Felix refused to nap and Anya talked Daddy out of hers. So as I was leaving, my husband was irritated that he wasn’t going to be able to watch the game in peace and out of frustration, made me feel like it was my fault it didn’t work out the way it was supposed to. As I was leaving, my husband also mentioned that he wanted to go running, so I felt like I had to be back by a certain time so that he could do that before it got too dark. So instead of spending the time I wanted to spend at Starbucks, I spent much less time than I had planned and rushed myself more than I should have so he could do that. In the end, I was the one who didn’t get to follow through with my plans. For some reason, I feel like I should plan my “me” time around what everyone else wants to do. But why?
Now I know that plans don’t always work out for both parties, but for some reason, it always seems like this happens more often for moms. Even while I sit here at Starbucks, I’m constantly looking at the clock to be sure I’m not spending too much time doing something I want to do, because there is so much that still needs to be done at home and my husband might need help with the kids. Why is it that we can’t just take the time AND enjoy it?
Is it because we are thinking about all the chores that need to be done and won’t be done unless we go home and do them ourselves? Or is it because we know how difficult it is to get anything done with kids around or that we know how it is to have to take care of the kids on our own and we don’t want to put that on someone else? Even if it means sacrificing the time we spend on ourselves? Or is it because we feel guilty for taking even an hour away from our kids? To be honest, it’s a mixture of these things for me. I feel like most moms have this kind of “disorder.” It’s like the minute our children are born, we feel a responsibility to do everything for our families to make it easier on everyone else, but that isn’t always reciprocated.
One big thing I have learned since becoming a mom is that, chances are, no one else is going to set aside time for you. No matter how stressed out you are, or how much you need time away, no one is going to plan for you to take that time. I am usually guilty of letting everyone else’s plans dictate what I would like to do, and on a lot of occasions, it means I don’t get to do what I want to do because I put others’ plans before my own, even when I desperately need the time away. I know I’m not the only one who does this.
So my point is, we need to start doing these things for ourselves, even if it will put someone else into a stressful situation. Even if someone else will have to put the kids to bed. Even if the laundry isn’t done. Even if someone else will have to start dinner while you’re away. Even if someone else doesn’t get to do everything he/she wants to do that day. I’m starting to see that I’m a much better mom when I get that time away, so it is necessary. And I work hard to be a good mom and wife, so I deserve that time. I’m sure you do, too.