Motherhood is a 24 hour a day job. Really, it never ends. From the time you roll out of bed until the time you crawl back in it a mom is working. Even after you are snuggled in the warmth of your blankets you are always ready to be called back in to action. Maybe a hungry baby awakens you from dream land, or perhaps it is a toddler needing one more hug or a sip of water. No matter the reason you must always be ready. It is a thanks job, as well. Unless you count the thanks yous that are immediately preceded by the word, “what do you say?”
The constantness of it all often means mommy starts feeling a little frazzled. Following the frazzled feelings are often recommendations, from well-meaning bystanders, for “time for yourself.” Furthermore, you may here things like, “a happy momma means a happy baby,” or “you have to get some me time!” I know these people mean well, but “me time” is not a luxury that all of us can afford.
When should I schedule my me time, I wonder. Should it be after Lady Bug’s morning poop, or right before Wee Man wants his breakfast. No, that won’t work. Let’s try for lunch time. Maybe I can find a minute in between nursing the baby and pulling out the arm load of toys Wee Man tried to flush down the toilet. Crap, looks like early afternoon is out. Okay, maybe when daddy gets home. That’s it I will just have daddy watch them and I will get that me time. Well damn, is it still me time if I am listening to all of the kids crying outside of the door that “daddy is meeeaaannn!” And they nnneeeddd me? Oh well, I need to nurse the baby anyway so I’m not staying in my room.
First, me time, in my opinion, should be spent doing something you want to be doing. It shouldn’t he hiding behind a locked door, with your fingers in your ears chanting “I can’t hear them screaming” repeatedly. Honestly, that is just added stress. Second, I never heard my mother complaining about needing to have her own time. Have we gotten so far from family that we look at our time spent with them as moments getting in the way of what we wish we could be doing?
Sure, sometimes I have those “give me a break,” thoughts. I think we all do. But, when I go to walk out of the door I am bid farewell by the tears and screams of my two youngest children. Oh, how they beg me not to leave them. Should my me time be at the expense of my babies who can’t tell time and have no idea why I would need a break from them. After all, they never say how tired they are of me, or how badly they need to get out of the house.
Please, don’t misunderstand. I am not one of those parents that claims to not get stressed out by the day’s events here and there. I am also not complaining and then saying that their little smiles make it all worth it. As a matter of fact, when I walk in the bathroom to find the toilet over flowing and my son’s toys, which are circling the bowl, his little smile is the last thing I want to see! When I work my tired butt off to clean the house and the kids trash it immediately, I don’t care about those little toothy grins! I just want my house clean again.
No, I get over it. I just hate the idea of me time. Who made this up? Probably some one with a nanny or something. I don’t use the bathroom alone. I share almost every plate of food with someone. I run around exhausted with a baby on my boob, helping kids with homework, and entertaining my toddler simultaneously. It sucks sometimes. It is hard sometimes. Every once in a while I find myself mourning my pre-kid life. But, having children was my choice. Raising my children is my job. I love my job. I love my kids. One day they will be too busy for me. One day they will have school, friends, and activities to entertain them, and I will be but a source of funding and support. I think I will schedule my me time then.
I was going to be done with this post/rant but I wanted to add that I am talking about regular just “I am sick of these damn kids” me time. If you are depressed, really in need of help, or feeling desperate take a minute for yourself. If you need help, ask for it. Do not feel like a bad mom because you need a break! A sure sign of a great mom is being able to recognize when its all a little too much and getting the help you need!