Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Take Care of YOU

Kit: "You should go for him. You look hot tonight. Don't take less than $100. Call me when you're through. Take care of you."

Vivian: "Take care of you."


The July 2009 issue of Self magazine has Jillian Michaels on the cover. Something she said in her interview struck me. Hard.

"We, as women, put ourselves down and judge each other. It's like, 'My ass is fatter!' 'Oh, no, you should see my muffin top!' That's all bull. It's OK to put yourself first. Selfish isn't a dirty word. If we were all selfish, it would mean we would take care of ourselves and be able to give back to our loved ones. [Being selfless] is not a good example to set for your kids.

Would you treat your kids the way you treat yourself?

Would you deprive them of playtime and adequate sleep? Would you not make their doctors' appointments? Would you pick them apart and tell them they're ugly?


Pretty strong, huh?

As for me, I deal with the Mommy Guilt constantly. From the time I wake up until the time my head hits the pillow at night:

"I should have read with Middle/Eldest."
"I was probably the only mother who didn't go to the parent-teacher conference."
"I don't have time to do that."
"I'm not there enough."
"I can't do it because I'll be at work."
"He can't go because we can't take him."
"I'm not good enough."

When I do manage to have time to myself (usually in the form of exercise or a Girls Night Out), the guilt is ever-present (both in my brain and through subtle hints from Hubby). I'm not at home. Not spending time with the boyz. We can't afford it. I don't deserve it.

Hubby, in his transition to Mr. Mom, has been completely selfless. He hasn't golfed this year and has even foregone a golf weekend. He didn't bring his clubs to Myrtle. He doesn't buy anything for himself. He (says he) doesn't have time to exercise or work on his resume. Basically, he gets up, gets himself ready, gets the boyz ready, and goes to work. Picks up the boyz, comes home, cooks dinner, plays with the boyz, watches TV, and goes to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat 5 days of the week.

So he doesn't "get it" when I start getting antsy.


For me, I think it all comes down to balance.

And working full-time is not allowing me to have balance.

But I have to work full-time.

Therefore, I don't feel balanced.

It's a vicious cycle. With no end in sight. For either myself or Hubby.


AZ Mommy said...

I absolutely HATE the mommy guilt. If we go to my Dad's and I play Rock Star with my sister Hubby gets annoyed with me. It's annoying. He just doesn't get that I need time to recharge and not be a mommy for just 30 freaking minutes you know?!! ACK
How come Dad's don't get the Daddy guilt? They are just big poo poo heads. LOL

Unknown said...

Maybe you should set up a "play-date" for your hubby. Maybe a golf outing with some of his buddies. That way he will remember how nice it is to have a moment away and won't make you feel guilty for needing/taking one. I simply ignore hubby when he starts that crap. He still does it, but he knows I don't give a shit. I would have freaked out and left him years ago if I never got time to myself! And I NEVER feel guilty about "annie-time"

Becky @ Our Sweet Peas said...

Ahh, mommy guilt it is so annoying. I agree we need some time to decompress but I also think there are defniitely times when we have to be selfless unfortunately. I am not saying it is right (AT ALL) but it seems to be true.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Ohhh, the mommy guilt! I like Annie Duncan's suggestion of a "play date," except I think you should make it a play date for both of you! :) You don't even have to spend any money, except maybe for a sitter. Take a picnic to a park, go on a walk, get out of the house together for a couple of hours. Take a break. :)

Amy said...

I SO get this. When I talk about staying home my husband snorts and says I'd go crazy not working and hate it.

In a sense, he is right. But I would adjust -- I would make that work and I'd not regret it.

Andrea Proulx said...

Mommy Guilt hits me real hard each and every day. I'm lucky enough to be a work at home mom, but I actually feel like a worse mom because of it. I am working, so my children are forced to entertain themselves. It hurts to be here but to not be able to be here!

I absolutely love Jillian Michaels, by the way. She's one awesome woman.

Suburb Sierra said...

Must be the moon. Or the weather. Or the season...but I have been wallowing in "I'm not good enough" lately. I cried real tears over my kitchen sink yesterday because I could not get my daughter to open her mouth at the dentist for a cleaning. 6 1/2 and she's only had her teeth cleaned once and somehow that all falls on my shoulders because I can't convince her that a cleaning isn't going to hurt and that she needs to trust me. Moms. We're a crazy bunch.

Night Owl Mama said...

I worked full time for most of my oldests childhood. MAJOR guilt. Now Im home and their in school what did i miss. Just the youngers years and all the major 1sts. ITs hard. Hugs.

Michele R said...

I admit I don't know much about Jillian Michaels other than seeing her on the Biggest Loser. Does she work for other people 40+ hours a week with a long commute? Does she have people taking care of her as she works (yes). Is she married with 3 young children? Married for 10 years? Is her job sedentary? Does her spouse (if she has one) work for other people M-F as well? Probably not. But I get it. The children part gets easier as they get older and can be left alone at times. But the working for the paycheck thing? Sheesh, don't even get me started on that never-ending road. You are strong and you can do it and your kids have great role models.

Allison said...

Mommy guilt is a full time job in itself - I have it too - I think we all have it. I wish we could ditch it.

By the way - love the reference to pretty of my favorite movies......(akem , my daughter's name is Vivian. lol)

Alex Elliot said...

Excellent post! I think along Jillian's lines we never really allow ourselves to just say "Parenting is hard!" Seriously, it seems like we spend a lot of time talking about how much worse it could be without really acknowledging that it's tough. If our kids we're doing something that was putting them on an emotional roller coaster, interfering with their sleep and exercise we would be the first to say that it was hard work.

Serenityville said...

Hey, this is a GREAT post. Even without kids, I feel for you, and want to tuck you into bed for a nice long nap with some chocolate and tell you that you are an AWESOME mom and you do an aMAzing job. You're right, you HAVE to take care of yourself before you can give to others, or you-will-lose-it. If hubby can muscle down and plow thru, good on him (you go dad!) but don't compare yourselves. Everybody is different, has different needs, handles situations and stress different, and aren't you the one who always gets up in the middle of the night? ;) Love you both

Sus said...

Isn't it funny how everyone's always telling you they grow up so fast, but it sure seems to be taking forever, given that vicious cycle you're talking about? Ugh. I just keep looking for glimpses of sunshine from the trenches - and they're usually there if i look closely enough.

Small Town Small Times said...

Mommy guilt: Even though we know we have it and even though we tell each other not to have it, it never ceases. Never ever.

So here's what I did: Because I felt so guilty, I quit my job and became a stay-at-home mom and then I complained the whole time because I suck at it which in turn makes me feel guilty every single day...meanwhile, I never went back to work because I felt too guilty about that, too.

Never ceases. Never ever.


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