Do you ever feel guilty when you buy yourself a two dollar bottle of nail polish? How about when you take the long way home from a quick ride to the store just to get some extra quiet time, and when you get home the kids ask, “what took you so long?” does this make you feel like you did something wrong? I am here to tell you that you shouldn’t feel an ounce of guilt!
Moms always seem to give, give, and give some more until we’re running on empty. The truth of the matter is; if you don’t take time to yourself on a regular basis, you’re going to end up feeling deprived and downright exhausted. What good are you to yourself, friends and your family if you’re too tired and irritable to do the things you need to do each day?
Here are a few tips to help you overcome feeling guilty for setting aside time for yourself:
• When your family is getting too demanding and starts questioning you as to why you aren’t at their beckon call every second of the day; simply explain to them that you’re taking time out for a bit and that mom’s need time to themselves too. You can do this by setting a day and time do to something nice for yourself and simply explain to your family what your plans are. Let them know when you are leaving and when they can expect you to be back. They will be so happy to have a relaxed, happy mom upon your return.
• Ask your husband, significant other, friend or a trusted sitter to watch your kids for a while ant then schedule a time to go meet call your friend for an afternoon of window shopping, lunch or perhaps a movie. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty while you’re doing this. Keep in mind that you deserve the time. When you arrive back at home, don’t get all tense and think, “Maybe I should have stayed home and cleaned the toilet instead.” Let your children see how happy you are that you took time out for yourself then reward your children for their behavior while you were away.
• The next time you find yourself feeling guilty when you haven’t done anything wrong, ask yourself, “is this illegal?” or “is this going to hurt someone else?” If the answer is no, then just don’t worry about it and try to enjoy yourself. You’re more than just a mom, you’re still Y-O-U; and you deserve attention too.
• Don’t think you’re being selfish. This is the number one thing that sidetracks a lot of moms. We have no problem going out and getting a little something for the kids, husband, or friends, but when it comes to making a purchase for ourselves, as small as a shirt on the clearance rack for a few dollars, we hesitate and put it back. If you can afford to get yourself a little something then go ahead and do it. Even if all you can purchase is a new tube of lip stick, a new book or a small accessory, it will make you feel better about yourself.
• Be sure you are expressing your true thoughts and feelings to your loved ones. For instance, if you are asked what you want for your birthday and you say, “Well, I don’t really need anything” and secretly, you are expecting your family to read your mind, 9 times out of 10 you’ll end up feeling disappointed in the outcome. When your family is really trying to be nice and do something kind for you, let them! Don’t feel guilty for asking for that shiny new bracelet you saw in the mall, or a trip to a day spa for that massage that you’ve always wanted. You deserve it!
The most important things in a mother’s life, her children, are also the most influential. Children are just like sponges and everything Mom does they will, at some point in time in their lives, mimic and/or reflect upon. If your children see you constantly suppressing your needs and not speaking out and taking the time that you deserve, they will be more inclined to follow those patterns as they grown into adulthood. What you do today can determine the kind of life your child will lead tomorrow.
Life is short and motherhood goes by quickly, enjoy it to the best of your ability. A guilt free mom is a happy mom!