Burping, tooting, diaper-filling, drooling little charmers! Just when you sit down to regenerate what brain cells you have left, there they are with another need or want for you to fulfill! Just when you take a moment for potty, laundry, dishes, making calls, coffee, or cleaning, it is as if they sense your desperation, sending out squeals in pitches you thought only opera singers and dying birds were capable of.
That is being a mom.
It is even harder when these little marshmallows come in groups of two or more, you begin to feel like you will never again be able to shut a bathroom door without someone pounding on it with inquiries of “Mommy, whatcha doin’?”
Day in, day out, you find less of yourself as you transform more into “Mommy.” The quiet transformation begins with the first fluttering in your belly. The transformation continues after hours of painful contractions to the moment you find yourself staring straight into your tiny one’s eyes for the first time. It won’t stop there, you contemplate, chewing on your fingernails instead of lunch—you have decades to go.
It is when you begin to forget your first name, as it becomes replaced by Mommy, Mama, and finally, Ma. Your own vocabulary changes like a slow moving mudslide to include words such as: poo, tinkle, binky, blankey, and boo-boo and no-no.
Until one day, a thought gets through your oatmeal-mush brain and cries out: “Ohhhhh, I really miss having time alone”—followed immediately by treacherous pangs of guilt for having such selfish thoughts.
Moms, rest assured, what you are feeling is normal. Try not to panic, cry, scream, or want to wash your own mouth out with soap, but do realize it is time to get some YOU time in, for the sake of all, and no guilt should come of it!
It is not only important, but it should be a priority to find some guilt-free time alone. Moms, I’m not suggesting you sit in front of the television watching I Love Lucy marathons, but you can take joy in refreshing yourself for moments to minutes, whenever possible. Every second you have of quiet time, take deep breaths, stretch, and rejoice! It is amazing what this can do for a weary mom’s psyche. Be YOU for even a few moments each day to do something you love—and then love it all you can, for the time you have! Find something you enjoy, and then make time to do it whenever possible. Dig deep; you may have to dust off those memories of what you enjoyed prior to wife and motherhood, but there is at least one thing you must enjoy that will assist you in releasing stress while finding peace.
I realize that right behind mommy time is often wifey time, so don’t forget the importance of getting together with your spouse to schedule in some downtime together. Your honey will appreciate your thinking of him and should avert him from throwing any temper tantrums of his own your way!
Most importantly, don’t think you are being selfish, but instead think of what a better person you will be, for you—for everyone! For if you have time to enjoy moments with yourself, for yourself, you will be less stressed, anxious, and much happier!
Lastly, when it comes to “me time,” scheduling time would seem best, but isn’t always practical. Instead, the trick to sanity is to make things you enjoy easily accessible. For instance, if you paint, set up an area where you can easily brush a few strokes (or many), depending upon the amount of quiet time you get. Keeping things “work-in-progress” gives you something that you can look forward to while you are spot-removing baby barf. Take baby steps—try keeping a journal nearby, a scrapbook, sewing machine, a good book, or crocheting, all at arm’s reach. Just keep things at hand that you enjoy. This may not be the time to take back up your bungee jumping, but there are many other things that you can bring to the diaper table.
Everyone has interests. Find yours. Don’t let your passions become something you “used to do before kids.” Rather, find a way to incorporate them into motherhood. By keeping true to yourself, you can handle those potty training days!
And by remembering your other passion, too, you’ll keep your love alive by getting in that couple time! Always keep a Plan A with a backup Plan B just in case that scheduled date doesn’t jive with a feverish munchkin, and never forget to give and get those much needed kisses and hugs which do wonders! Even when tired, remember one night of rockin’ your world has been shown in some studies to lower your blood pressure for up to two weeks!
Yes, you will wear a lot of shoes now, but the best thing to do is to make sure the soles don’t get worn before the rest of the shoe—or they’ll just look good but won’t work worth a flip!