I ran into a mom friend of mine today, and it was obvious that she’s had a rough week. Dark circles under her eyes, a crying kid in her grocery cart, and another kid munching on donuts. She went on to tell me what her week was like – doctor’s appointments, teething, and tantrums. Then she added,
“I just needed out of the house today. I need a break – I know that makes me a bad mom.”
As soon as the words slipped out of her mouth, I could tell she regretted it. That is something that we often say in the safety of our mind – where we ridicule, judge, and criticize ourselves worse than anyone else can.
That short conversation has haunted me all day because:
- It is the furthest thing from the truth. She’s an excellent mom.
- It is a phrase that I have said to myself a million times.
I recently started going to the gym, and I am debating whether or not I should get a membership. The gym has childcare and both of my kiddos have done really well the few times I’ve gone. However, I am struck with guilt when I’m there. How dare I leave my kids with strangers so that I can work out? I couldn’t possibly take a class – that would be ditching them for an HOUR – I know that makes me a bad mom.
BUT it doesn’t. Needing alone time is NECESSARY and NORMAL. Motherhood is a 24/7 gig, and in order to keep your sanity you have to do thing for yourself! You can only give so much before you’re totally drained, and a drained mom is not the type of mom you want to be.
So, take the hour-long yoga class, join the gym, go to the store and let your kids eat donuts just so you can get out of the house. NONE of that makes you a bad mom, just a human muddling through the hardest (most fulfilling, most frustrating, most amazing) job in the world.