Sometimes I feel very un-motherly. I don’t really do mom guilt, for example. I don’t feel guilty that I work. I don’t feel guilty that I miss some school events (because there are so many and I really can’t take half a day off work to go listen to 2 minutes of 8-year olds playing recorders as loud as they can). I don’t really miss my kids when they’re away for weeks (e.g. camps or summertime with my mom). I have a normal than higher level of anxiety when they’re away but that’s more to do with ‘what if they get injured’, rather than ‘I really want to have them around’.
I also have not signed them up for any sport that requires me to just to stand around and watch them. Very un-motherly of me. I just cannot bear it though – just to stand around and do nothing. So the kids do rock climbing classes instead on weekends and we climb while they climb. They do swimming once a week at school and once a week with us but then they just sort of jump around and try to drown each other while we swim laps. I figure it’s still good for their confidence in water though. #topparenting
I know a lot of mothers struggle with taking time for themselves. They are very good at putting everyone before themselves and therefore there are a lot of campaigns out there to encourage women to take more time for ‘self care’.
Every time I hear about it I think how good I am at self care but lately I’m starting to maybe get a bit of this mom guilt going on because I’m starting to think that maybe I’ve crossed the line from being good at self care to just being a total selfish douchebag.
I seriously don’t know. I seriously think it’s possible.
I don’t do laundry. I don’t clean. I cook very little. My husband does a lot around the house.
I do the kids packed lunches in the evenings (although MrB usually finishes in the morning by reheating the main bit and putting into thermoses). I get the kids into the bath and hassle them about brushing their teeth (that takes a long time!). I read a book to the little one for at least 30 minutes before bedtime. I tuck the big one into bed most nights and that requires a few hugs and a discussion on a topic that can be anything from racism to puberty to Lego. I only take them to school and pick them up once a week. I only go to their sport matches if they are on Wednesdays as it’s my day off from work.
Other than that – I exercise a lot and I sleep a lot (meaning instead of the 6 hours I used to get for years due to parenting/insomnia/bad planning, I now get 7-8 and more on weekends). I think MrB understands that these things are for the benefit of my brain but I don’t think he’d every honestly tell me if he feels that I’m being too selfish and always prioritising my exercise over housework/parenting/otherthingshedratherbedoing.
I often get comments about how dedicated I am to running and CrossFit but whereas I do love both sports a lot, a huge part of in all this is that it’s just a coping mechanism for me. When my body’s exhausted my brain jabbers a bit less and tells me a little less loudly of all the horrible things that might/could/possibly will happen. Such is life with anxiety. Some people drown anxiety with alcohol. I drown it with physically exhausting myself. I just don’t know if I’m making others suffer while putting myself first…
How are you with self care? Have you found the balance between taking care of yourself but not being totally self-absorbed?