So, moms, as I currently type this blog I am living the dream. I’m sitting in Starbucks on a hot, humid June afternoon alone. I’m sipping a pineapple black tea while I have a much needed break from my mommy duties. But, I still feel guilty. Can you relate? I love my kids. I am so grateful for them. However, my heart yearns for alone time. Then, when it comes, enter guilt. Guilt gut is what I lovingly refer to the feeling in my tummy when I’ve had me-time.
But, mommy time is so important. Here’s why.
We’re people, too. Did you get that? Even under the spit-up, the dirty hair that you haven’t washed in days, and the yoga pants and flip flops, we’re people, too. This has been especially hard for me to remember in this season of my life. I have three small children, and I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last 6 years. Suddenly last night, I realized, I have lost me. I am not sure who I am without my kids. Well, I do know I’m awkward. I talk to myself a lot. But, deep down, I am a woman. I am a person with interests, needs, and hobbies. I love to write. I love coffee and Bequet caramels. I love time with loved ones and a good book to read when my kids are peacefully sleeping. We’re people, too. We need mommy breaks to tap into these parts of us.
Burn out happens. Yesterday was a rough day at my house. I found myself fussy, irritable, and thankful that no one sees me on the ugly days inside my home with my kids. I was not the kindest, most loving version of me yesterday. I felt burned out. I needed to recharge. Today, I am getting that recharge that will last me until I can have another mommy break. It’s okay to have a break. We all get burned out.
Our kids need breaks, too. I left my kids today at an amazing program at a local church. My youngest has rarely spent time away from me, and she didn’t even shed a tear today when I left her. Amazing progress right there. Our kids need experiences with other human beings besides mommy and daddy. Our kids need to see there is a bigger world outside of our homes. Time with the other parent, grandparents, or even trusted family friends or babysitters is vital.
Self-care is not an optional activity. Sometimes as moms, we forget to take care of us. I love when I have me-time after the kids have hit the hay. A peaceful bath with my DaBomb bath bombs or even just a mental break reading while indulging in a Bequet caramel can be a game changer for me. We can’t take care of our little people without first taking care of ourselves.
So, yes, we need breaks. Will we feel guilty? Sometimes. Will we miss our kids? Yes. But in the end, time marches on and our kids will continue to grow. We can’t lose ourselves completely in the mom game, because someday we will need to find that person who used to have interests and hobbies. She’s under there somewhere. She’s better now, just a better version with a new title. No guilt required.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she is loving blogging at Starbucks. This is the best mommy break ever.