I’m about to get into the shower when I hear the garage door open.
My husband is home with our boys and I know that they will be hungry for lunch soon. I better hurry.
I take a quick shower. I don’t take the time to stand still and feel the warm water on my aching back. I don’t let myself relax in the steam and I don’t take the time to let my mind wander like I used to.
As I get out and look at myself in the mirror, and do a quick inventory of how much time I need to get ready.
“I don’t really have to dry my hair. It will be curly and unruly if I let it air dry, but who cares? I’m not going anywhere that important today.
I can put on my makeup later. I don’t have to do that right now.
Let’s just do the bare minimum, I need to get downstairs.”
Then I stopped. I looked in the mirror again, and it hit me.
Why do I have to hurry? Why can’t I take my time and actually get ready? My husband is with them, and he’s more than capable of making a few peanut butter sandwiches if they get hungry.
Why do I feel like I have to be there? They have left me alone since they’ve been home. They are not pressuring me to get ready, why am I rushing?
I know I’m Mom and all, but they can totally survive without me for a few minutes while I get ready.
So I blow dried my hair and I put on my makeup. Again, I looked in the mirror.
I felt great, complete, ready to start the day.
When I finally made it downstairs, my boys were just fine.
The only difference was that I felt fine too.
Why do I feel like I need to deny myself those few minutes to actually get ready?
Is it because I’m Mom? Is it because being a parent is my full time job, so I feel the most responsible?
I don’t know…but it needs to end.
It’s time to start really focusing on not just my kids needs, but mine too.
Get Dressed: How Busy Mom’s Find The Time To Feel Awesome
Finding Balance in Motherhood
This one is a spot on for me! When I manage to stop myself rushing to the rescue, we are all more relaxed, I feel better for finishing what ever I was doing, my husband feels proud for handling everything on his own and giving me ME time and kids get the vibe from that all. But somehow the guild battle is always there…
I know, I’m the same way! I feel better when I step back, and my husband likes that he can handle it without me. The guilt is still there though…makes no sense.
This post actually made me tear up. I am constantly doing this. I deny my husband and kids the chance to be OK without me while I take time to shower, or look after myself somehow. My husband does not feel guilty for taking 20 mins to shower and shave, it wouldn’t occur to him. So why can’t I let go? Is it self worth? Or guilt, or fear that if I let them get on without me for a while they won’t need me anymore? I know the last bit isn’t true, as when I came downstairs this morning after catching up on so much lost sleep from last night, my son and daughter ran to me, flung their arms around my legs, with delighted squeals of ‘Mummy!’
Now, how can I continue to put off looking after myself, and be tired, resentful, scruffy, and neglected Mummy. They adore me the way I am, if I took a little time and care maybe I’d like myself more too…
The Educational Tourist
What a GREAT post. It is totally normal for mom to have a few minutes to spend on herself – she is important, too. We moms forget that sometimes because we are so needed – every minute of every day. But, it is good for us…and good for them, that we take a few minutes because everyone is important. Even mom. 😉
I believe in this philosophy when it comes to travel, which I write about at http://www.theeducationaltourist.com. I encourage parents to plan THEIR dream trip and take the kids. Those places we ‘should’ take the kids can wait till they plan trips of their own. Why shouldn’t you go the place you have always dreamt of? You CAN take the kids and all have a wonderful time.
Parents need to feed their souls.
Thanks for the wonderful post.
Natalie, The Educational Tourist
What a fantastic post. I think moms everywhere struggle with the intense pressure to be ‘on’ and make it all happen … stepping away and relinquishing even s few minutes can really bring on anxiety!! I feel it is so important to discuss this and validate each other’s need for a few minutes of our own. The world will no fall apart and as a matter of fact, things are more likely to go even BETTER when mom feels relaxed and ready too. I linked to this amazing post in my post about choosing the perfect family travel destination… it includes what Mom wants too!!!!