As mothers we tend to feel guilty for taking time out for ourselves especially when there are very young children dependent on us. I’m no exception to this. I love to take time out for myself whether it be to exercise, or for a night out with the girls. But many times I do feel guilty about leaving the kids behind especially because my son is still an infant.
However, something another mom said recently just stuck to me. This momma said “I don’t feel guilty when I take time out for myself because I’m a great mom to them when I’m with them”.
First of all I admire her confidence. It’s wonderful that she felt like she was completely devoted to her kids and was doing a great job.
I realized that this is how every mom should really feel. When we are with our kids we should really “be with them”. Instead of tuning out on TV shows, cell phones or getting buried in household chores, we should really spend time observing, listening and participating with our children. It doesn’t mean that those who do get buried in their chores don’t care about their kids or are any less mothers. But perhaps the guilty feeling many of us have when we take time out for ourself has to do with trying to juggle multiple things.
When we are with our kids there is always cleaning, cooking and house chores that prevent us from interacting with them more than we want to. What if those chores are made to wait? What if the cooking was all done on the weekend and you only have to reheat your meal in half the time? What happens when there are no distractions getting in the way of you simply sitting there doing puzzles with your child all day because that’s all he/she wants? Perhaps it may be a little easier for us to take a little “break” without feeling guilty.
I know it’s easier said than done as I am one of those who always try to juggle multiple things at once. No matter how much we plan ahead kids always throw a curveball. A house with children always needs cleaning..there’s always someone who is hungry, who needs a snack or a drink..there’s always laundry to be done. But if we remind ourself to put some of those chores on hold once in a while and just devote the time to getting down to the kids level and doing things with them that they really want then maybe we an eliminate those guilty feelings when all we want to do is spend some time alone without the kids.
As mothers we should definitely not feel guilty about taking the time out for ourselves, however we may wish to spend that time. Those “me” times are important for us to rejuvenate our minds, better ourselves and ultimately be better parents to our children.