I've been a mom now for a long time. I've been through all the stages of motherhood, you know the exhausted from staying up with a crying baby; frustrated from answering the 101 "why" questions from a toddler; puzzled by the things you say as a parent that you thought you never would say; anxiety over a teen out with friends. I've been through everything (well in my mind it's everything, but I know there are going to be more to come).
I read articles, blogs, and Pinterest posts about the importance of mommy time, taking time for yourself. And in the motherhood of my life the only quiet mommy time I get is the 30 seconds I get to use the bathroom before the kids realize I am in there. Once in a blue moon I may get an evening out with a friend for drinks and dinner. But that's totally it. I have to honestly say I am the worse person when it comes to mommy time.
I have friends who go on weekend long trips with their girlfriends. Friends who schedule mommy lunches or dinners once a month, if not weekly. Mom friends who get together for wine nights, book clubs and bible studies.
Is time alone, or time with friends best for us as mommies? Do we need to have this time with friends or by ourselves to be the best person, mom that we can be? What does this time alone or with friends make us the best we can be?
I've read articles about the importance of destressing. The importance of regrouping ourselves. I don't get this alone time much, especially since my hubby works so much. But I find the weeks when I don't have my alone mommy time, I get ugly! I mean frustrated, angry at stupid things, agitated at the small things. All this makes me realize I do need the time.
Let's talk girl time, you know all those mommy night's out, weekends away, lunches, wine nights and book clubs (do they really read the books and talk about it, or just use that as an excuse???). When I do get my dinner's out with friends, I find that after the dinner's I feel so much better. I feel refreshed. Do you find that you can talk with your friends about things you can't talk to family, including your husband. I love my husband, we have been friends for over 20 years, and he is truly my best friend, so I tell him everything, but I can't complain about his underwear and dirty socks on the floor to him, right?!? I also feel so much better, because let's be honest, our friends complain to us and it makes us feel better about ourselves and our relationships, I know you're thinking it, I just said it!
As mom's we give ourselves to everyone all day, everyday. From the minute we wake up in the mornings (usually to a crying or talking child) to the minute we hit the pillows (and if you are anything like me, your mind races all night long too) we are at the beckon call of everyone. As we continue this throughout the weeks, and the weeks turn into months, we start to burn out. The time away from giving ourselves is the time we need to refuel ourselves so that we can go back to giving ourselves to our families again.
Over the time of being a mom, I have felt all the emotions of coming with being a mom. I've had the excitement of mommy nights, I've had the excitement of being with friends, I've gone through the guilt trip of leaving my kids for the evening/weekend, I've also had the anxiety over complaining/spilling the beans to friends. But despite all these emotions I also have learned that I need that time away, whether it's 30 minutes or 3 days. I need that time to know that all the emotions of stress, joy, and anxiety of being a housewife and mother is normal. And that I am not alone in this roller coaster of life called motherhood.
There will be a time in my life when my kids are gone, my husband will still be working and I will have all the time to go to the bathroom by myself. I won't have the stress and the anxiety of being a mom. The friendships I hold so dear now in my life I will look forward to the days when we get coffee together, shopping dates and weeks instead of weekends away with no soccer practices, pickup lines or meals to make. My girl's nights now aren't just to keep my current sanity but building foundations for my future.
So call your girlfriends, plan your next night out or weekend away and get your stress level down! Your mommy time is important, and so needed! Enjoy!