Being a Better Mom: Scheduling Time for Me

There are times when I feel like the worst mom in the world. I’m short tempered, the house is a mess and the kids sing a constant chorus of, “Mom, mommy, mama, ma” until my head is ready to explode. My husband comes home and sees my stress-out state, automatically telling me I should get out of the house and do something, like go grocery shopping.

Um. What? Go grocery shopping? I must have heard him wrong because it sounded a lot like he just suggested I run out in the cold and the dark to do a household chore as a way to unwind.
It’s not that he’s trying to be a jerk. I’m sure there are plenty of husbands out there that really think their wives love mopping, folding laundry and cooking. They think their wives get some kind of euphoric experience from battling the grocery store, meal planning and trying to get enough food to feed everyone in the house without going over budget.

I’m going to be really clear here in hopes that my husband reads this or that anyone’s husband reads this:

Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, doing laundry, food shopping and clipping coupons are part of a mom’s “job”. It’s no different than when you go to work and sit through meetings, listen to criticism from your boss, commute into work or deal with unreasonable customers. It’s a job. It’s something you do because it has to be done, but regardless of how much you like your job, it’s not relaxing in any way.

Now imagine, dear husbands, if you could NEVER LEAVE YOUR JOB. Ever. You woke up and you were at work. You went to sleep and you were at work. Your boss calls you in the middle of the night to do tasks that really should be able to wait until the morning.

You’d go crazy, wouldn’t you? Now imagine if on top of being at work every hour of every day, you couldn’t even escape for lunch. No, your lunch hour consisted of doing more work and meeting with your coworkers while they shot down your proposals.

I have to stop there and take a deep breath. Thinking about the chaos that awaits me for the rest of the day is a bit much.

Instead of letting the situation overcome me, I’m trying to plan some “mommy time” for myself so I can get away from the chaos. I’m not talking like a trip to Vegas or a weekend at the beach with the girls, I’m talking about an hour, a bubble bath, a book and a good pair of ear plugs. I’m talking about a locked bedroom door in the summer so I can steal a nap while the husband takes the kids outside to play. Little breaks. Just an hour, once a week would be so helpful.

I used to take time for myself, before Baby #3 came along. I had a ritual where I’d soak in a hot bath and read a book every Tuesday night. Then the baby was born and he started flipping out whenever he couldn’t see me. My ritual mommy time was no more. Now that baby boy is getting older, I think it’s important to bring that back for my own sanity. For me at least, the key to being a better mom is taking care of myself so I can take care of the littles.

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