Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Moms and "Me" Time

Sometimes, when I do things by myself, even if it's just going to the market, I find myself feeling like I have to rush to get home to the kids. My husband is certainly capable of caring for three kids and entertaining them. Still, whenever I say I have to go to the store, he'll ask, "Which one are you taking?" If I do go alone, I speed through Target and Trader Joe's, a woman on a mission. I'm tired of feeling stressed out when I leave the kids behind; it should actually be relaxing. It's not like it happens often; I usually have two or three in tow when I shop. And, who says shopping for necessities is fun, anyway? I'd rather not have to shop, however, if I don't, it won't get done. But I digress...

Recently, I decided that I would get out to walk all by myself, as often as I can. At first, I would ask for the time, but now I am insistent. I've always exercised, but mostly with a stroller in front of me. Right away, I felt the benefits of the combination of exercise and "me" time. I can listen to any music I want. (Absolutely no Backyardigans or Wiggles.) I can go in whatever direction I want. I can walk as fast as I want. I don't have to talk to anyone or mediate any arguments. I get back home feeling better than when I left.

As a stay-at-home mom, I bear the lion's share of the childcare responsibility, and I gladly accept it. But I'm not just "Mom", although it's sometimes easy to forget that. So, I wonder why it's hard for mom's to ask for the time alone that they need. I know I'm not the only one.

1 comment:

  1. I remember a plaque I once saw that said: "If Mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I think there is a lot of truth to that. As mom's, we do take on most of the responsibility for running a home and caring for kids. If you are a stay at home mom, you are expected to do it all! (isn't that your job???) If you are unhappy and exhausted, it is going to spill over into everything you do.

    The thing that people forget about stay at home mom's (I know, because I was one once upon a time) is that when you work oustide the home, your job is done when you go home. When you "work at home" your job is never done. You don't get a set lunch hour and two 10 minute breaks to escape the expectations and responsibilities. So YES- you MUST demand those "breaks"; you must take them. And you MUSTN'T feel guilty about it.

    As a single mom who works, I don't get a lot of me time- but I make sure to make some for myself. My kids get it. They like that I am a refreshed and more pleasant person after I have given myself a break. And I think they appreciate me more as a person when they see I don't just grocery shop and clean toilets. For a brief time I played softball with our company's team and my kids came and cheered me on- they thought that was cool. Your kids are young and it is a bit harder right now- but they, too, will eventually get it if you start showing them now that mommy needs to do her own thing from time to time.

    Give Don his wife time, give the kids your mom time, but also give yourself your "me" time. Otherwise, ain't nobody gonna be happy...