We All Need A Little Breather
Parenting is hard. It’s busy, it’s crazy, it’s stressful, and it’s a whole lot of fun as well. And as a mum, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the life of a mum – and we often forget to look after ourselves. We get so busy trying to do everything for our children, we often work as well, we might be a wife who also takes care of hubby, and on top of all of that; society expects us to keep a clean house, drive our kids around, and so on.
So the question is, when do we take time out for ourselves?
And the answer is – not often enough, in most cases!
Mums Don’t Stop Being Mums
Yesterday, I went out for a day on my own. It was actually my birthday 10 days ago and my friend and I decided to celebrate with a girl’s day out. So we went out for a nice breakfast, then we went to the movies and before we knew it, half the day was over. So we decided to get a little shopping in – and believe it or not, we spent the next TWO hours spending money. And what did we buy? Stuff for our kids? TWO hours of shopping and neither of us bought a single thing for ourselves. When we realised that it was almost time for my friend to go back to her hubby and kids – we felt a little deflated. We went out to have a day to ourselves – and yet we had just spent two hours focussed on our kids. No matter what you do, where you go, or how much time you spend away from the family – mums don’t stop being mums. And we’re guaranteed to always consider our kids, and even our husbands, when we are supposed to be enjoying time to ourselves.
So we made a last minute decision that it was time to do something else for us. She called hubby and said she’d be another hour, then we went to a massage parlour and we both had a lovely neck and shoulder massage – and felt a million times better afterwards. I stayed at the shops for another hour after she left and I vowed not to spend a single cent on the kids in that time – and I managed to do it. Instead I bought myself a frozen yoghurt and sat down to think; then I got myself a new jumper; and off I went home – returning to the “daddy day-care mayhem” that always happens when I leave the house for longer than 30 seconds. Was the mess I returned home to worth it? Hell, yes.
I came home feeling at least 10 times better than I felt when I left, and within 10 minutes of being home I was frazzled again … but it was all worth it for those 8 hours I was out of the house, doing my own thing, without having to worry about kids crying, wanting food, and so on.
It’s Funny How Dads And Mums Differ
My husband can go out for a day on his own; and I don’t hear a word from him. He could have literally flown in a rocket ship off the planet – and I wouldn’t know about it. When he goes out to have time on his own, he goes out – and has time on his own. I envy that. When I go out to have time on my own, I spend money on him and the kids; I text throughout the day to see if there is anything they need and to make sure the house isn’t crumbling in my absence.
It’s hard to switch off from mum-brain to woman-brain. But sometimes it’s imperative that we do.
We spend so much time living for others. We spend months or years focused on feeding our kids, we have them attached to us (sometimes it feels as though its 24 hours a day, 7 days a week), we worry about keeping a clean house and cooking dinners. And in that time, we forget that we are actually women as well … independent women who need a little care, refreshing and a treat every now and again.
I know some mums with kids the same age as mine, who go out every weekend on their own; or who go away on holidays on their own for days or weeks at a time. I probably have a me-day once every 2 months; and I have some friends who don’t have them at all. And it shows. When I haven’t had a day to myself in a while, I find that I lose patience much faster and I’m shorter-tempered. After I’ve had a day to myself I’m generally more relaxed – at least for a day or two after.
The thing is, if we don’t take care of ourselves – who will? If we’re so busy taking care of our kids and our husband, taking care of the house and our jobs, and so on … who is going to take care of us? And the simple answer is – no one, unless we take the time out that we need, when we need it.
So if it’s been a while since you had a day out to yourself, book one in. Meet up with a kid-free friend, go to the movies, get a massage – do the things that you can’t do when you go out with your children … you could even eat a Mars bar without having to share it! Can you imagine!!!??!