As mothers, we alway make sure our kids are well taken care of, nurtured and loved. That’s a 24 hours, seven days a week job and like ALL jobs, we need an occasional break, even if it’s just for a couple of hours. When we finally make plans to go out and hang with other adults, our righteous behavior reinforces our need to express what we as mothers deserve “Damn right! I need some time out”, “Our kids aren’t the only ones who can have fun!”. But twenty minutes after we’ve left the house, that guilt creeps in, making us wonder if we’re doing the right thing. Maybe it’s the looks our kids’ faces when they realize we’re leaving the house without them. Those hangdog expressions get us every time. Maybe you feel you SHOULD be in the house because you are in fact a mother.
It happens to the best of us. It’s the struggle between doing what’s right for our children and implementing joy in our own lives. The fact is…WE CAN DO BOTH. The problem is we don’t think we can because we feel we owe our children EVERYTHING.
The one thing we have to remember is we can’t properly function as mothers if we don’t practice balance. All work and parenting with no play will leave you with a bunch of stress, a stank attitude, and a bald head after pulling all of your hairs out! Tire tracks will be all up and down your walls because your kids are driving you up it all the time!
Know that some time away from your children is well deserved and needed. Whether it’s for a couple of hours or a couple of days, they will get to a point where they’ll realize that they’ll be okay without you, so don’t let the sad puppy dog looks convince you otherwise. If your kids are very young, most likely they have no sense of time, so even a few hours will feel like forever to them. Be vague with them when you leave the house. Telling them something like “I’ll be right back” is good enough.
Getting away from the kids is good for your mental state and your health. Parenting is just one component of a busy life. We also have to deal with the complexities of household demands/chores, job-related issues, and in some cases, spousal difficulties. All of that combined could leave you with stress. Stress could lead to health issues. Get the point?
Mom guilt is simply all in our heads. Believe me…our kids won’t even think about you ten minutes after you leave the house, especially when the Cartoon Network is on. Mom guilt comes from what we think we don’t deserve. This is the time to change our thought pattern. We do owe our children, but not in the way you might think. We owe it to them to take care of ourselves. In this case, being selfish is necessary in order to provide peace in everyone’s lives, including our own. Getting time away from your children is good for our mental state, health, and our soul. The older our kids get, the more they’ll understand.
Momma’s gotta have fun, too 🙂