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January 13, 2012 / MrsH

No time off for moms…

This is nothing new to anyone who has parented for a while, but this week I’ve felt increasingly pissy at the fact that I can not just take a day off.  I’ve had this cold pestering me for over a week now. You know the kind, where you have a slight headache and sore throat, and feel all around “under the weather,” your day looks overwhelming, but any single task is still totally doable?  So I move through my day and my kids forget that I’m feeling terrible, and I forget, until suddenly I can’t stand one more noise or sight or smell, and explode or need to whine (hopefully after having removed myself from said kids’ earshot!).

Sometimes I wonder: “who am I to complain?”  I can let the kids watch tv for an hour while I take a nap.  They’re old enough now to even occasionally play independently while I rest.  We cuddle up on the couch and read.  I don’t do the housework I usually try to keep up with so diligently (try being the operative word here).  But after a week of this, my house is wrecked, I’m exhausted, and the kids antsy.  I’m extra touch- and sound-sensitive but the toddler wants to be in my lap non-stop.  The night-waking doesn’t break, and MrH’s workload isn’t reduced.  My body screams: LET ME STAY IN BED!! every morning.

When the kids are sick, their activities (and sometimes those of their siblings) are canceled and we take a rest.  When I’m sick, the kids whine and complain about missing their friends and being bored.

So I look back in my journals, trying to remember “to what end?” are we doing this?  What do we hope to instill in our children?  What experiences do we want them to have?  I’m reminded that my kids can actually help out: unloading the dishwasher, taking out trash, sweeping a floor.  I’m reminded that Missie can play with her friend for the afternoon.  That I can nap with Sweetpea.  And that Buddy is  perfectly happy watching tv all afternoon, and gets PE and recess at school.  I’d rather be a happy mama than a stressed and sick mama.  I’d rather teach my kids that I am important too, that I matter, and that I have feelings.  I want to model ways that I can take care of myself and that I’m worth it.  These alternatives aren’t for the everyday, but for today, it works.  Today, I can take a little extra time and rest, while teaching my kids that I’m valuable.  And tomorrow?  Eh, tomorrow’s the weekend.  MrH, I’m calling in sick!


One Comment

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  1. Alicia C. / Jan 14 2012 12:16 am

    This is the kind of revelation that all parents need! We can’t do it all and our children need to grow up realizing that taking time for themselves is important. I don’t want my kids growing into parents who feel exhausted, frustrated, and guilty when they feel they need “me” time.

    I’d love if you’d consider linking it up at this week’s Mindful Parenting Collaboration. We’re at topic 5 – taking time for yourself. This post is just perfect for the subject.

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