Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wait, wait. I'm having a moment here...

Sometimes all I want is just a minute.

Well, that's a lie. I want more than a minute. I'd like 5, 10, 45 minutes, or hey - how about a whole afternoon? A whole day? A weekend? That's probably pushing it...

My life has a tendency to spin a bit out of control at times, just as I'm sure yours does from time to time. Things pile up, the stress continues to mount, and I reach a point where I have a hard time just carrying on as usual.

Sometimes it just gets to be too much, and if I could just have a minute (and by minute I mean at least a couple of hours), I could function oh-so-much better.

Do you ever have those times in your life where you feel like so much is going on that you don't have the ability to just sit? Just be? Just think and ponder and reflect and get back to basics?

That's what kind of time I'm having.

I try to wind down every night by reading a book before bed. It relaxes me, it distracts my mind, makes my eyes tired, and helps me get a restful night's sleep. But even that doesn't give me what I ultimately need, and the majority of the time, I don't make what I need a priority.

I think it has to do with the fact that there are these unspoken expectations that go along with being a wife and a mother and, in general, a woman in today's world. I think we're finally making some progress as it is becoming more acceptable to take care of ourselves, but that is not how it's been for women in our society.

You can talk about women's liberation until you're blue in the face, but the fact is - we are still followed around with these expectations that we are supposed to do certain things and be a certain way.

Cook dinner. Take care of your babies. Listen. Nurture. Behave. Don't be bitchy. Don't be rude. Volunteer. Don't lose your temper. Don't confront. Say yes. Go there. Be there. Do this. Do that.

It's so sad that for many of us, it's like pulling teeth just to say no to something. We're plagued by this guilt, and for those of us that are moms, we all suffer from Mommy Guilt in its many forms.


For not spending enough time with our kids.
For not feeding them organic or fresh food.
For giving them pre-packaged, microwave it in 30 seconds lunches.
For plopping them in front of the TV so we can have some silence.
For wanting to get away.
For using formula instead of breast feeding.
For getting mad at them.
For yelling at them.

We're scared...

Of being judged.
Of not being perfect.
Of not being as good as those other moms who appear have it all together.
That we really can't handle all that comes our way.

But, that's not how it's supposed to be.

We shouldn't plague ourselves with guilt. We shouldn't be scared of failing or of being judged or of falling short of the mark.

We are humans. We are moms. And we are doing the best that we can.

But, if there's one thing we suck at, it's taking care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves without the guilt...

...Realizing that just because we want to get away from our kids and our spouses and our homes and our responsibilities - THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE BAD MOMS.

We can't be on our game if we're burning the candle at both ends and constantly on edge about something because we've just had it up to HERE and feel like we're going to crack. We have so much on our plates as women - I don't care if you have kids, work outside the home, are married, are single, whatever. The mere fact that we are women automatically means that we have a tremendous amount of responsibility, stress, and unrealistic expectations.

We all just need a minute. A minute to breathe, to think, to be ALONE and not be bothered.

I've felt the need for my own little minute coming for quite a while now, and the events of the past couple weeks, eventually resulting in my 16-month-old spending 3 nights in the hospital have only made that more clear to me.

I have so much on my mind. I feel so overwhelmed. And I am still shook up about everything that happened. But, I came home to past due bills, piles of laundry, not a clean pair of underwear in sight, and a kitchen full of dirty dishes. I couldn't just melt down. I had things to tend to.

So, hmmm...have a much-needed cry fest and let everything out, or gee - get our house payment in the mail yesterday to avoid late fees and annoying calls at 8:45 p.m. from the idiots at the bank? Let's go ahead and just make that payment. The breakdown can wait for another day...

I want to be able to just sit and think. I want some time to myself where I don't feel the need to accomplish chores and run errands and be productive.

And Friday, I'm going to have my minute.

I've got to play the mom card first thing in the morning to take Kaylee to a follow-up appointment, but after that...I'm a free woman.

I'm getting a spa pedicure at a fancy little spa (thank you Colin and Sarah!) where they have huge cushy chairs that you sink way down into. They have big copper bowls with marbles in the bottom, bubbles galore, and rose petals on top of the bubbles where your toes soak and soak and soak. There's scrubbing and massaging and hot paraffin wax dips. And beautimous toes, freshly painted in what I'm guessing will be a deep, sparkly red.

Who knows what will come after that. All I know is there will be no washing of clothes or dishes, no paying of bills, no poopy diapers, no naptimes (unless I decide I want a nap), no crying from people whose name is not Sera, and no stress.

I don't have a plan. And that's how I want it. No strings. No real plans. Just time. Time to chill out, to let things sink in, to cry if I want to, and to get myself back together - back where I feel like I can handle things again and where I feel more at peace.

What would YOU do with a minute?

*This post is a part of Mama Kat's brainchild - Writer's Workshop - taking place every Thursday over at Mama's Losin' It.


Lisa Anne said...

The only time I get a free moment is when i'm in the bathroom. and yes I take my laptop in there to blog. Otherwise al I hear is mommy, mommy, mommy. I just ignore it when I'm in the bathroom. I never feel guilty for MY TIME. I learned that from my doctor, you need your time cause if you're not happy your family won't be happy!

Nori D said...

I concur with EVERYTHING! I'm scared, feel guilty, always overwhelmed. Bleh, It's not easy being a mom...

Great post, maybe 'cause its along the same lines of what I wrote lol.

Beth said...

Amen sister! You enjoy that pedicure.

heidi said...

AMEN Sistah!!! If we could bottle mommy guilt it would be the most powerful Weapon of Mass Destruction ever invented, I'm sure of it. Enjoy your FUN day on Friday!

Linda @ My Trendy Tykes said...

Good for you! Take that moment girl.

Great post.

Allyson said...

Well said my friend. You worded it perfectly! I'm so glad I'm not alone. :)

Molly said...

How lovely! I am glad you are getting a break. Tomorrow night is girls night out here. Phew!

Anonymous said...

I think I need to go to the movies. Alone.

Wendy said...

Have an amazing day, I'll be thinking of you (while I sit here jealous, changing diapers!).

Mama Kat said...

Thank God for the "moments" we get when our kids choose to sleep during their designated nap times. There are a lot of expectations on us though, being moms is definitely not as easy as our moms made it look is it!?!

Jenners said...

I'm so glad you are taking a moment ... after what you've been through, you need it. It is critical to take moments and not burn yourself until there is nothing left. And every day I just pick one or two things I must do and the rest can go to hell in a handbasket. Be well!