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Enjoying Your Time Without The Kids, Guilt-Free

After spending hours, days, weeks, months and years of tending to the needs of children, parents can start to lose the wind in their sail. Raising children full-time can be exhausting, to say the least. Some days are better than others, but most days present new challenges to overcome. As a Parent Coach, a Wife and a Mother, I fully understand the different emotions that so many parents experience, and why. I am a loving parent who adores my son. I appreciate the different adventures that raising him bring. Absolutely no one or nothing can bring me joy the way my baby does. From his bright smile, to his enthusiastic nature, to his energetic spirit, my lovely bundle of joy has brought me more happiness than I could have ever imagined. Conversely, with all of his love and enthusiastic energy, MAMA GETS TIRED!

I recently came to the realization that I had not taken much time away from my son since his birth. With the exception of a few appointments, my regular trips to the grocery store and a few dates with babe, my son and I have been inseparable. Don’t get me wrong-being with him is always a joyous experience. My baby’s presence is infectious. He always gets me through life’s most difficult times. Still, the fact remained that I was not spending enough time away from him. Through this realization, I decided that it was time for some major self-reflection and shift in focus. I needed to examine my state of being so I could get to the root of my parental challenge, which was mother/child separation. Why had I gone so long without taking a break from my son? Did I not trust him with a caretaker? Was I nervous that an emergency would arise in my absence? Was I just not ready to separate from my baby? NOPE. None of the above, Alex. I simply FORGOT to take care of myself.

As a full-time mother and entrepreneur, finding personal time can be a challenge, albeit extremely important. Lack of self-care can lead to neglect, frustration and resentment- none of which I enjoyed. It was time to take personal inventory in order to begin living a fuller life. This past weekend, my husband and I decided it was time to go on our first “baecation”, since having our son. He encouraged me to prioritize my own happiness, and this time I happily obliged. My husband helped me to realize how much I had been outsourcing the best parts of myself to everyone else. Man, was I exhausted! I love seeing the beautiful smile of my baby boy and tending to his every need. I take pleasure in providing for my husband’s needs, too. I also love coaching parents and serving my community. Still, it was time I became more considerate of my own needs.

It makes me feel good when my man knows what is best for our family. I appreciate it when he demonstrates authority out of necessity for his loved ones. I could not have been happier at the outcome of our impromptu getaway. We were able to drive freely without any interruptions or distractions. Cruising to the sounds of loud music without being concerned with busting our baby’s ear drums was refreshing. The absence of a crying baby, who HATED being confined in his carseat was more than I could have asked for. There was no baby in sight, no anxiety to meet his needs, and it felt great! I was comforted knowing that my son was in good hands. My husband helped me to remember how much my happiness mattered. Through experiencing this parenting challenge, I was able to search within myself in order to regain control of my life. I said yes to extreme self-care, and the rest is gravy, Baby.

Somethings I learned about waiting too long to step away from mommy duties are:

SELF-CARE IS KEY
Let’s face it. Parents, especially mothers give everything to everyone, ALL.THE.TIME. It’s no wonder folks think we are crazy! Parents will greatly benefit by consistently building relationships with themselves and with one another other. This can be done by engaging in daily self-care practices. These practices can include making time every night for a warm bath, engaging in quiet time throughout the day, taking daily walks, breathing deeply or simply expressing appreciation for ourselves.

AVOID BECOMING ACCUSTOMED TO THE BURN OUT
Taking periodic breaks from my son will help to renew my energy. Asking others to step in and help before becoming overwhelmed will help to keep my stress levels down. By maintaining open lines of communication with my husband, my family and friends, I will be able to maintain the level of support I need when it is time to take a mommy break.

CHANGE THE SCENERY
Monotony can definitely set in after starting a family. While predictability can be reassuring, it can definitely take the fire out of a relationship. Sometimes, parents need to take risks with one another. Ditch the schedule and just go with it. During our drive out of town, my husband and I immediately felt more connected to one another. The change of pace left us both feeling thankful for the other person.

LET GO OF THE MOMMY GUILT
I decided not to become consumed with the opinions of those who disagree with my self-care practices. PERIOD. Parents, you do not have to explain to others, your need to take a break from your children. No one works a job 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. WHY SHOULD YOU? Take a break, Parents. TAKE LOTS OF THEM! Taking care of a family does NOT equate to losing sight of your individual needs and self-worth. So long as the needs of your loved ones are consistently being met, feel free to do whatever makes you happy.

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