Saturday, January 23, 2010

What the what?

Has anyone else heard that little gem of advice that mothers need to "take time" for themselves. That is such a great idea. Isn't it?

In theory...but in practice, how does it happen? Here's a typical conversation in my head on any given day when I manage to eek out a few precious moments for myself:

"OMG these kids are driving me NUTS! I'm gonna lose it in a minute. Didn't I tell them to put their dirty clothes IN THE HAMPER?! Ah, look how cute they look all dressed up in their costumes. Ha ha, that E is such a bugger. SERIOUSLY?! CAN'T THEY PEE IN THE TOILET??! What should I make for lunch? No, R doesn't like that...Why does E always have marker on her face? These floors really need scrubbed. I should wash all the sheets. What time is it? *sigh* Wonder what time Joe will get home tonight. Ha Ha, that's so funny, that L! I love the things he says. Oh, M! Another 'up the back' poop?! I've seen so much poop already today...I am NOT scrubbing that the trash you go...I have a paper due tonight. Oh for crying out loud, they're fighting AGAIN?! If I could  JUST HAVE 5 MINUTES TO MYSELF!!! Oh, I can go to the grocery store when Joe gets home. Oh good, he's home!..."

(walking out the door while all three kiddos press their noses to the glass and wave goodbye)

"They're so sweet. I miss them already. Ahh, why don't we all just go..."

Am I the only one who has that crazy problem? I swear, I can't get out the door fast enough, peeling little grubby hands off my legs, and then when I do...I miss them.
It's seems like that could qualify as certifiably insane. Am I really the only one who struggles with this? I dream, cry, beg and plead about time to myself and then when I get it, I feel so guilty leaving that my entire plan is hijacked!

I know it's necessary, but I am so wired to care for them, and I spend every waking minute so many hours a day with them, that when I'm away from feels like part of me is missing. When I'm driving in the car alone I have to stop myself from pointing out every school bus (I'm like a tour guide for my kids. They love school buses..*shrug*) or asking if they saw the doggy we just passed.

Anyone else have this? Please do share...If you have been able to move past that self-guilt trip, how did you do it???

**By the way...those aren't really my kids in that picture. Yes, we do have a big family, but not quite THAT big...although, you never know with us! ;)

1 comment:

  1. Mandy, I so remember this feeling. Lindsey may have some advice for you, since just last evening she had a girls' night out, and when I asked what they talked about at Meredith's, she said, Army stuff, and girl mention of kid stuff.
    When that was me, a few years ago, I remember feeling just like you. Later, when they went to sleep overs, and Chris and I were finally able to have a date night, alone, with no kids, I would sit on their beds and cry, look at their little sneakers an cry, and then go to bed and cry myself to sleep. I am of no help in sharing how this "alone time" is doable! Self-care is key to healthy mental well being, so you MUST DO IT! I do not have the energy to type out this concept, but my therapist convinced me of the need for it, and even insisted that I make it a priority!
    The hard part is that as moms we invest so much into the lives of these most important little human beings, our flesh, our mission, that we aren't really in tune with taking care of ourselves. My encouragement though is this, if you don't take time to care for yourself, who will take care of everyone else when you drop from pure exhaustion? Taking time away reminds us of the immense blessing of being a parent, and allows for a refreshed spirit that contributes to being the best moms we can be!
    I love you!


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