Your alarm clock may go off before every one else rises to get a head start on your day, or your alarm clock may be the sound of a crying baby, of kids playing, or fighting, or even screaming your name. Well at least on some days this is my normal. You may also have a full day that sounds like, “mom, mom, mom”, I want a snack, can I have something to drink, I’m bored, can you take me to the store, loud cries and diaper changes, or the what’s for dinner question and the list goes on.
So why should we ever feel guilty about getting a break from all of this? (Clearly a joke..haha) I will be the first to tell you that the feelings of guilt or anxiousness are perfectly normal. While Webster’s Dictionary for sure hasn’t given mom guilt a proper definition, I am sure most moms can say at some point they may have experienced it raising children, can I get an Amen! It’s an anxiousness or guilt we feel that we aren’t doing enough, or that we are failing as a mom in some way if we aren’t living up to our expectations of mom life, or wanting a break from the kids. Lives of mothers today are much more complex and flourishing with opportunities and abilities to care for our families that never existed before. Ways that require us to need time to ourselves to re-focus, regenerate, and regroup so that we can be the best for our families minus the mom guilt. We were created to nurture as mothers, and when away from our kids for 24 hours it almost seems like it takes a full 24 hours for our brains to send the signal that we are on a break! Is this scientific? No, but I think that I am pretty close in theory here, would you agree? ! Our brain has been on auto pilot in going through the every day tasks that to tell it to turn off sends our emotional sensors into “kid withdrawals”. Is that a thing? Again not scientific but I’m sure I’m hitting it out of the park here! So how do we push through? Here are a few things I would suggest that you can do if you have just a few hours or even if you have more than 24 hours away from your family:
Take a nice warm bath with lavender or your favorite relaxing essential oil, add some epsom salt to relax and decompress. Light some candles, Sip your favorite wine, or tea if you are feeling fancy, and I would recommend you include your favorite music to set the mood.
Have a book, magazine reading material handy that you have been wanting to read or an audiobook that focuses on YOU. Try to stay away from material or reading that connects with motherhood. Yes I said it. For some reason even when we have time away for ourselves we are looking for recipes, shopping for the kids, still in mommy mode. This one in particular will take practice but you can do it!
Try to limit social media. Now you know, seeing all the cute kids while you scrolling your timeline, will have you missing your own babies, even if they were driving you crazy. Keep the focus on rest and most importantly YOU.
Make a commit to yourself to try and keep this special time to yourself on a schedule. Once or twice a month if you can, soon you will see how important it is for your well-being and most importantly a healthy motherhood.
Enjoy every bit of it! Take the time to refresh and re-focus as an intentional mom with purpose.