Mom guilt. When DOESNT it rear it’s ugly head? Whether it’s while you’re enjoying a solo trip to the grocery store, or on a mom’s weekend getaway, it can show up and ruin your alone time in 3 seconds flat.
I recently had the opportunity to spend 10 days in Prague and Germany on a trip with my aunt. Eight months out, it was easy to book the tickets and put the trip out of my mind for a while. Getting closer to the trip, each hard day I had with my 4-year-old and 1-year-old twins made me look forward even more to what I knew would be a good reset trip for me after a hard transition to having 3 kids.
But the closer we got, as we struggled with mental and physical health in both of our sons, I barely made it through each day without asking my husband if he thought I should stay home and cancel my trip. Each time he said no, that they would be fine, I needed the break, and I should go and not worry about him or the kids. The day I left, I felt sick. I kept telling myself that I shouldn’t go, that we didn’t have the money, that our son would be a mess, that my husband couldn’t handle the kids alone for so long.
But now after being home for 3 days from an absolutely amazing trip, I am so glad that I was able to (mostly) shut out the guilt and really enjoy myself and have an unforgettable trip.
Mamas, I’m convinced there will always be something trying to stand in your way of having some time alone. My Facebook feed is full of shared articles about mom burn out and making time for self-care. How many of us share those articles and do nothing to change our circumstances and take care of ourselves? Coming home refreshed and rested (10 nights of uninterrupted sleep did some wonders for me!) helped me look at our everyday life with a new perspective and really enjoy some simple yet sweet moments with my kids. It also helped me realize where I need to ask for help to prevent getting burned out in the future.
While we have by no means been doing this parenting thing alone, we have not prioritized our own mental health. My husband and I have both felt like we are in survival mode since our twins were born 20 months ago. We got so wrapped up in doctor’s appointments and therapy appointments, we haven’t always taken advantage of the help that would maybe have helped pull us out.
Whether it’s an opportunity for a coffee break with friends, or a trip around the world, I would really encourage all the mamas reading this to not forget about yourselves in the midst of raising kids. Take the time for yourself and take the opportunities that present themselves for you to do the things that you want. You’ll likely come out of it being an even better mom.