I read a post over on the Love and Marriage blog today about Mom’s putting themselves last in their families. I’m right there with you – I do it too. Just this weekend I was on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster if you will, and found myself sobbing. My husband of course asked me what was wrong, and all I could tell him was that I feel as though I never have any time to myself. My whole day is either about the kids, work, or housework. There’s always something to do. And the times that I do take time for myself – like going to a quiet corner in the bookstores cafe – I feel this sense of guilt because I’m not home with my girls.
In fact, he proposed putting off his dad/daughter date until Sunday so that I could get some time; I found myself adamantly refusing, saying, “no, A. is more important.”Why is that my knee jerk response?
In the post I read, the author says “forgetting about your medical appointment, not seeing friends for months, not getting a real haircut and putting yourself last is the norm, right?”
But why? Why is putting ourselves last the normal? Why has that become the silent expectation in our society? I can’t blame my husband – he’s always pushing me out the door and telling me to take time for myself. I can’t even blame my kids, because they’re just fine when I do go. And it’s not a bad thing for them to get that alone time with their dad.
“Kids of happy moms are happier, kids of moms who take care of themselves will know how to take care of themselves in the future, and kids of moms who set their boundaries will know how to set them for themselves too.”
How very true. I am a better mom when I’m relaxed, when I’ve taken time for myself. When I’m not feeling like the world must revolve around my children. Suddenly, I’m able to enjoy my girls. Suddenly, my patience is greater. Suddenly, I’m not yelling.
But we don’t always feel like there’s time. I know I don’t. Some days, we have to learn to seize those 10 minutes when the kids are playing. We have to learn that it’s okay to make our kids wait for something. We have to recognize that it’s okay to put ourselves first.