It took me quite some time, as a first time mom, to give up spending some time with my child. I couldn’t rationalize that moms need time for themselves. That’s what I was giving up when I decided to become a mom, right? Aside from the first terrible 6 months, I felt like it was my job as a Stay Home Parent to spend every waking moment with S and to put aside my wants and needs. I assumed that, by putting everyone’s wants and needs ahead of mine, I was on my way to becoming a stellar wife and mother.
Boy was I ever WRONG. Not just wrong but
I was losing my sense of self, becoming exhausted, worn out, and burned out. I began losing my sense of humor and patience. I was down on myself feeling insignificant, useless, and boring… heck, I’m starting to wonder if I ever was as smart as I thought I was. My relationship with my husband was suffering and I began to resent him for getting out of the house and, truthfully, began to resent my own baby for everything else I was losing.
Does this sound harsh?? Sure it does! Perhaps you’re cringing as you read the words, but if your family and friends aren’t telling you just how bad things can get, you may not be getting the full story. Honestly, as I started down the path as a full-time stay at home mom and homemaker, I found myself in mommy groups with women who also didn’t get out and do things for themselves (if they did, I wasn’t meeting them). So, I just went on assuming that’s what stay at home moms do.
As everything started crumbling around me, something had to give! Finally, some time around my daughter’s 1st year, we decided it was time that I learn to get out of the house without my husband and baby. It wasn’t easy, and the first few times I did, it felt as though I was abandoning everyone and shirking the only responsibility I had in life.
Trying to get some of the mom’s from my play group out made me think it just wasn’t what women did after having children. Thankfully, I had someone show up to one of my mom’s night out events and oddly I had never met her before. Everyone I knew bailed on me and I almost cancelled plans to go out because I didn’t know the only person who was bothering to come out. I can’t express how relieved I was to get to know her and learn that I could rely on her to get out of the house on occasion with me!
So, I’ve learned to get out without feeling guilty. You may not be there yet, or perhaps you’re reading this shaking your head because you’ve been there. I can tell you, it turned so many things around.
Why Moms Need Time for Themselves
- It’s similar to a re-boot of your computer – you leave exhausted and slow (and someone is probably ready to punch your screen), but you come back feeling rested, relaxed, and clear headed and hopefully running smoother.
- You’re building friendships – who doesn’t need someone to talk and vent to, anyway?
- You now have something else to talk about and your significant other is probably happy to hear about something other than the number of diapers you changed, the melt-downs (yours and your little ones), and all the disgusting and annoying incidents of the day.
- You find out more about yourself and your friends, and maybe gain a little extra confidence in the process.
- There’s potential for networking if you’re a WAHM or for when you plan to return to the work force.
The added bonuses:
- If daddy isn’t already putting baby to bed, it’s a great skill for him to learn
- Bonding time with daddy.
- Teaching the kid(s) that daddy does things differently AND THAT’S OKAY.
Have you found any other benefits to mommy having some of her own time away?