I think all, if not most, mothers would agree with me that there is nothing as precious on this earth than our children. Carrying them inside us until the date of their birth. I don't know if other mothers experienced those mixed feelings that I felt- excitement, joy, and anticipation coupled with apprehension, self-doubt, fear, and maybe even guilt. Yes, I was worried. What if I did everything wrong, what if I become a bad mother, what if I'm not mommy material, what if something happens to him? I guess all those hormones raging inside me were making me freak out. But, all that changed when I held my baby boy in my arms. There was no time to worry. It was time to be responsible for another human being- it was time to be a fearless, nail-scratching, teeth-baring, life-sacrificing mom. And boy, has it been a trip. Sleepless nights, constant crying, cleaning, laundry, spit-ups, food in my hair, milk down my shirt, my foot sore from stepping on lego pieces, sliding across the floor on toy cars, constant cartoons, always coming out wet after his bath, tantrums, and of course, having a constant shadow wherever I go. Admittingly, we live in an era where much is dictated by our children's needs. And it's quite exhausting for all moms. So, to keep our sanity, we, all moms, need a little "me" time.
Moms today, in my opinion, are supermoms- they are out there doing it all: raising their kids, working (sometimes even double jobs), running the household, even taking care of their elderly parents or siblings with disabilities. With all these things under their belt, it's a wonder how they can manage to find time to sleep. These women are so busy taking care of everyone else and other people but, neglect that one single important person-themselves. At the end of the day, you hear the same complaint from all these moms, "there is no time left for me".
|Bath time can be your alone time.|
Image credit: Pixabay
Filipino men, in general, believe in gender roles. The mother takes care of the children-period. Even if she has work, even if she is sick, even if she has 10,000 commitments, a truckload of laundry and even if her hair is on fire- it doesn't matter, you (mom) have but to deal with it. I have noticed among the Filipinos while the wife is tucked up in the house taking care of 3 or more kids, the husband is out drinking with his mates as if, he doesn't have a care in the world. If the dads are able to get some "me" time without feeling guilty or negotiating then, the moms should learn from the dads and take a step back to get what all mothers crave most. Just a little time away...some well-deserved "me" time. On our own, quiet, without the constant screaming, mess and fuss.
|Every mom is a super mom...|
Image credit: Pixabay
It's not a surprise that women, moms, tend to forget or maybe even disregard taking care of themselves. I've experienced this with my own mom who always said "I don't need to pamper myself or get a manicure or get a massage. I need to get home to you guys." I think this shows that women feel guilty about taking some time off. Most believe that being a mom is all about self-sacrifice and taking time off from being the commander of the house doesn't actually jive. Some even think that the whole structure of their household will fall apart if they took some needed time to take care of themselves. Honestly, to all moms out there, if you go into pieces because of all the stress you are going through, everyone else is going down with you. In the long run, it becomes counter-productive for you. Therefore, it is healthy for you to stop for a bit and take some time for yourself.
Psychiatrists say the key is for women to recognize the difference between being selfish in a bad way and being selfish in a healthy way. Giving time for yourself is not "bad" selfish nor is it narcissistic. It doesn't make you a bad mother nor does it mean that you are weak. It's just a little time to decompress- to shut down your brain momentarily from the environment and focus on yourself. Make yourself feel good...and when you are done making yourself feel good, you'll want to make the people around you feel even better.
I know free time is hard to get, but 15-30 minutes a day is all you need. Read a book or magazine, listen to some music, give yourself a pedicure today, a manicure tomorrow, watch a show you want to watch with a glass of wine, plant new flowers, take the time to exercise or take a relaxing bubble bath with aromatherapy candles. Do what works for you and when you start, make it a habit or a part of your daily routine. You will benefit from all this and you'll be an even better mom or sister or daughter and wife to your loved ones.
I know some control-freak moms. These are the do it yourself moms who believe that they do everything best. Moms, you have to let people help you. Delegate some responsibilities and lean on friends and family when help is needed. It's ok to ask for help. We have to face the facts..there are things that happen that are out of our control and it would be great if we had trusted people who we can turn to during the last minute when we are running behind.
|Read something you want to read.|
Image credit: Pixabay
It's ok to do things that benefit only Mom. For moms out there who can't figure out how they can get a little time for themselves or can't figure out what to do, here's a list that you can start with:
1. Take time to exercise daily.
2. Sometimes, instead of exercising, sit at a café and just watch the world pass you by.
3. Hurry the kids to bed so, you can watch your favorite show on the telly or take a long bath.
4. Scrap dinner plans and order pizza or take out instead.
5. Call on the grandparents, friends, or neighbors for a sleepover so, you can catch up on your beauty rest.
6. Get a massage, or a facial, or a mani-pedi, or a haircut.
7. Go shopping on your own.
8. Read something that you want to read.
9. If you can, go out with your girlfriends even if it's just for coffee.
10. Send the kids outside to play so they won't mess up the cleaned house.
11. Sit in your empty home and just simply enjoy the peace and quiet.
12. Find a hobby that has nothing to do with work or your kids, something you enjoy doing.
Moms, never feel guilty about getting some "me" time. You will find that you will be more productive if you do get some much needed alone time. You must take care of yourself. Your whole self- mentally, spiritually, and physically.
|Image credit: Pixabay|
White-Varma, Kavita "In 'Doing it All' Moms Neglect an Important Person: Themselves", www.today.com
Gruber, Rebecca "25 Selfish Things Moms Should Do For Themselves", www.popsugar.com
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