I remember talking to a mom a couple of months ago who has two older sons. She was complaining about how she didn’t get her nap in that day and honestly, I wanted to reach out and slap her! But, I controlled myself and muttered mean things under my breath as I walked away from that conversation. You see, I have not had a nap in probably two years. Ever since my now 4-year-old daughter refused to take naps as soon as she turned 2. The conversation inside of my head went something like this, “What the heck lady! You’re complaining about not getting your daily nap today?!? How about not getting that peaceful restful nap for 2 years? Come on! You Suck.”
Now, I know my attitude was not the greatest. Ok, I was the one who sucked that day (that probably would have been a good time to grab a pen and paper and begin writing the things I’m thankful for). But really, something I did come away from that conversation with was an excuse that worked for me. Out of that conversation, I realized that it had been so long since I had taken a nap and that I was literally jealous of this lady. Something was not right. I knew something in my life had to change.
One of the most difficult things for me to do as a mom is take care of myself. With a husband, 4 children, a puppy, 2 pregnant goats, a llama, and 12 chickens running around, I kind of have my plate full. I do not have time to take a nap, and I tend to feel guilty when I do take some extra time for myself.
Guilty. I think this is a very common feeling for moms. A mom may feel guilty because she is so tired and worn out that the only energy she has for that particular day is to feed her kids when they’re hungry. Or, a mom may feel guilty because she left her baby to cry in their crib a bit longer than normal because she just needed to sit in silence. Some moms feel guilty leaving their kids with a babysitter. Other moms feel guilty because they can never find a babysitter, so they’re always bailing out on plans at the last minute.
There are a lot of moms out there who are dying inside because they are so tired. They walk around in their sweat pants and T-shirts all day, just getting by, themselves. A mom needs to be able to have it be ok to take a shower. A mom needs it to be ok to sleep in late one morning. A mom needs it to be ok to be able to go out alone or with a friend to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or a good book (by ALONE I mean “without kids”). Dads listen to me: your wife needs you to give her the ok to go out and be a woman! She will be a much better wife and mom when she takes the time to take care of herself.
By “taking care of yourself”, I don’t mean stop taking care of you family. I’m talking here to the moms who have a hard time putting down their children so they can have their own basic needs met. I’m also speaking to the moms who are so overwhelmed with mommy-hood, that they don’t know how to make time for themselves to get out of the house ALONE. I’m speaking to the moms out there who do not feel beautiful because their lives are so wrapped around their children, they do not make time to feel beautiful. These are the moms I want to reach and encourage...because I have been there, and I have learned that my default is to go back there.