March is gone. Over. Done. But…since I missed part of it being sick I have some left over me-time / me-month thoughts I wanted to give my readers. I put the word out that I would like some guest posts for this “me-time” idea – so it wasn’t all about ‘me’. One of those guests posts follows by Michelle McKinney. You can find more of her writing over on her blog…http://livelikeurdying.wordpress.com/
Here’s her guest post… about moms taking some me-time:
It seems like sacrilege to ask that question if you’re a wife and mother. But it can largely depend on who your mother role models were.
For some odd reason, I’ve never felt guilty about focusing on myself on a consistent basis. I believe it is a combination of self preservation, following by example, and/or just plain selfishness.
So what’s this about self-preservation anyway? You know -- the instinct for individual preservation and the innate desire to stay alive.
I have three kids -- 18, 15, and 10. I’ve always carved time out for myself. As soon as I could, I’d take them as babies to the gym with me. I refused to join a gym that didn’t have regular day-care and related kids’ activities.
Or I would have monthly dinners with my women friends. These would all be women with children also. This is something I’ve done with them for about a decade now. I trained my family early (including my spouse) to be accustomed to Mom having her own activities.
Obviously when they were small I would only take an hour or two to myself. That would include lunch with a friend, getting my nails or hair done, or just going for a drive. I recall when my husband was traveling for many days when my children were very small. By the time he returned, I literally walked out of the house (in my pajamas no doubt) and drove to a restaurant. I didn’t get out; I just sat outside watching people walk in and out for about an hour. Then I returned feeling far less like a caged animal.
And let’s talk about the importance of having “best girlfriends”. You think your husband is one of your girlfriends? Think again. I know plenty of women who are lucky enough to consider their spouse as a best friend. But the enormous error of not cultivating female friendships will eventually cost you. Men are wonderful, but marriages are always tested. The social decision to not cultivate one or two best friendships with women will leave you on an island alone when you’re dying to talk to someone openly. You cannot just suddenly find someone to share with when a crisis occurs. Who will you trust? And who will trust you in return? I know it’s very unlikely that I would share my business with you unless we had an established friendship history.
Following by example. Some of this admittedly comes with difficulty for some women. I know because I have talked to them. I’ve seen them walking up and down the neighborhood with their dogs, or small kids like zombies because they NEVER take a break. A couple to their own physical detriment. One is now physically ill with a mysterious and undefined malady. I’m pretty convinced it is stress related due to feeling trapped and isolated. She doesn’t have to choose to be restrained and suppressed by her life. I think sometimes women can get lost in their own dizzying lives and cannot figure out how to change the situation. It’s okay to make those changes and still be a good mother. I try to talk to her when I can. It feels like the thing to do. And again, this is a woman without girlfriends. Huge mistake.
Pure selfishness. Okay so I was sort of kidding here. But not totally. I figure many moms just feel plain selfish going to lunch with friends and leaving their children with a reliable person. Well, I’m here to ask you: Why? Do you really believe you don’t deserve to be a good friend to yourself?? Now, if you leave your kids with an ax murderer, different story entirely.
The fact of the matter is you’d better add yourself to the weekly “to do” list or prepare to have someone step over your dead body some day. And then what good are you to anyone? You won’t be a good wife, good friend, good mother, good anybody.
Motherhood is a privilege certainly. But motherhood is not martyrdom. Why choose to suffer when you do not have to? Where is that written? It’s not going to win you any awards or brownie points. Your kids won’t be more self assured than another mother who takes “me time”.
Make certain your kids are fed and well cared for. And then take care of yourself!
Written especially for SOLO dot MOM
About the Author:
Michelle McKinney is from Andover, MA. She is a working wife/mother of three: ages 18, 15, and 10 and blogger at http://livelikeurdying.wordpress.com. She is in process of getting her Masters in Technical Writing at Northeastern University, Boston, MA.with a Bachelor's in Public Relations.
Find yourself… keeping it real.
Photo Credit: www.sxc.hu: loleia/702652