There are roughly 525,600 mommy blogs about being a good mom. The topics range from ditching cell phones to telling doctors where they can stick their immunizations. We can read about feeding our kids healthier meals, making cute costumes and the ever-popular getting your kids to sleep through the night or disciplining with love. We do not read enough posts about making you happy. I am certain that most moms feel guilty at some point about choosing themselves. Have you ever just wanted to stand on the dining room table in your pajamas-at-five-in-the-afternoon-haven’t-showered-in-two-days-still-have-to-cook-dinner-bathe-the-kids-and-check-homework glory and shout, “What about ME?!”
I am not condoning ignoring your family or children for unreasonable amounts of time, but as a mom of two kids who routinely wants to sit in a corner and cry because I simply cannot do it all, I know I need a break. I need a break from the guilt-ridden streams of negative energy running through my brain. Have you ever said any of the following to yourself or to someone else:
I must be a bad mom because…
…I cannot seem to keep a regular schedule for my kids.
…my kids had macaroni and cheese for dinner… again.
…I have to work and cannot take time to play with them right this minute.
…sometimes I let my kids watch a little too much TV.
…I vaccinate my kids, fed them from a bottle, and I did not use cloth diapers.
…my house is always a mess.
…all I want to do is sit down and read a book, watch a movie or paint my nails in peace… and if I have to hear that Barney CD one more time, I am going to toss it in the garbage disposal.
I know I have felt guilty about nearly everything on that list. The truth is, if I had to pick a feeling that has described the last 7 years of my life, it is guilt. The fact is, we will probably screw up our kids to some degree. We are humans, not robots — and even robots get to take time to cool off, get their parts oiled up and their circuit boards maintained.
This year, take time for you. Stop being so hard on yourself and stop focusing on everything you are doing wrong as a mom. Instead, focus on what you are doing right. Start doing for yourself more often. When we lose our tempers at our kids, many times it stems from exhaustion: mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. If you are not healthy and happy, how can you expect to keep your family healthy and happy? As we embrace 2014, let’s make a goal to treat ourselves better and to give ourselves a break.
Here are a few places to start:
– Buy a small notebook and write down something good you did with or for your kids every day. Keep the notebook handy so you can give yourself a boost when you are feeling terrible.
– Make a goal to spend two hours a week alone — doing something for only you. Even if that means just popping on a DVD you want to watch while the kids play in their room.
– Find ways to compliment other moms. We all need to hear that we are doing okay!
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