Being a mother is one of the greatest gifts in the world. It is also one of the most physically and mentally exhausting “jobs” we are permanently committed to. According to a study commissioned by juice company Welch’s, a survey of two thousand moms showed the hours put in for mommy duties average out to about 98 hours per week. YIKES! No wonder why I still feel tired.
You see, us moms have the selfless habit of putting every single living being in our household first, including pets. We remain in mommy mode without end and tend to lose ourselves in the shuffle. The thought of… maybe I should take a break, quickly gets shut down with the overflow of guilt we feel for desiring a little separation from our kids. Listen to your maternal instinct. Has it proven you wrong yet? I think not.
It wasn’t until someone told me, “if you don’t take care of yourself first, then how will you take care of your babies?” It was a record halting moment.
…She was right
To be the best for my children means taking time for myself because anything constantly used deteriorates if not properly maintained (e.g. car, relationship, etc.). The point is it breaks down. I was doing a disservice to them and to myself.
Taking time for yourself does not mean you are selfish. You are more valuable because you are responsible for little lives. Taking time out allows you to think clearer, be more rational, and less reactive. No one wants to hear mom going off the handle, yelling, and acting like a lunatic. Regardless, guilt will set in but once your me time is over you will feel better. There will never be a right time to pause. Stop and Just Do It. Whether you take 15 minutes, a full day, a solo escape, or time to chill with your girls it all helps create a positive difference in your world.
How dare I not start sooner? The funny part was where I started… in the bathroom with the door locked. I was either taking a number one, number two, or a breather. The bathroom was my safe haven for a while. Here’s a little advice: “Find your escape even if it is around your house. Even if stepping out is not possible.” It is a process.
As my kids got older I would just tell them straight up, “okay I’m on a mom break now.” Chances are your kids will appreciate you more. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. Guilty free too.
I live by the saying if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. So much so, its on my kitchen wall…true story. Your sanity depends on it. It is in our nature to excel in prioritizing our household, work, and the gremlins. But it is important to take a deep breath and put yourself as number one.