A very well known diaper bag company is doing a giveaway over on Instagram right now, and because I really want to win one of their awesome bags I entered it. But it doesn’t sit quite right with me. You see, in order to enter you have to post your “mommy hiding spot” or how you hide away from the kids/house/whatever. Which irks me. A lot.
Society tells us that once you become a mom that is what you are. You are Mom with a capital M, you are no longer [insert your name here]. You are expected to be sleep deprived, frazzled, and rarely have time for yourself. You should only find some time to yourself if you lock the bathroom door. You will need to self medicate with a glass of wine daily at least. Basically, you are no longer to care about you, only your children (and your husband, of course.) But that is not how it should be.
As a mom you are often the first role model your children have, and what sort of example are you setting for them if you never take care of you? You are showing your child that Mom is not important. You are telling them through your actions that Mom is never expected to be able to eat a hot meal or be able to get out of the house with friends without the kids in tow. But you are a person too, and that person needs to be cared for and loved, by you first and foremost!
Right after SB was born I struggled a lot with mommy guilt. I felt like I shouldn’t take the time to shower or eat or whatever because my baby needed me. I felt guilty for wanting to get out of the house to have ten minutes by myself without the baby nearby. I felt bad that I wanted to just be able to read my book and have someone else rock the baby to sleep for once. After many sessions with a coach, I came to realize that none of those feelings were unfair, or ones that should bring me guilt. It was unfair to me to not take care of myself. I came to realize that mommy guilt is a horrible monster that society has created. But it is a monster that can and should be squashed. If I am not happy, how can I be happy for my child? For my husband?
It is not a bad thing for a mom to want me time. It is not a bad thing for a mom to take me time. Self care is important for everyone, and we need to show our children that. It is okay for Mom (or Dad!) to take time alone to read for half an hour. In fact, it should be the norm!
Instead of perpetuating this myth that Mommy has to hide to get some me time, let’s face the problem head on. Let’s start vocalizing our needs to ourselves and to our families. Let’s starting giving ourselves permission to take care of ourselves and read a book in peace!
What will you do for yourself today?