My good friend Karen eloquently pointed out that this Mommy War judgment goes both ways. And it needs to stop IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. Because we are ALL “working” moms whether we receive monetary compensation or not. So it’s ridiculous to continue this back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and round and round and round of who is better than whom. BECAUSE NEITHER GROUP IS BETTER.
Now, on to the main point of today’s blog.
I won’t deny that I was a bit heated when I pounded yesterday’s post out on the keyboard.
That issue is kind of near and dear to my heart, if you couldn’t tell.
Part of my Mom Guilt comes from the worry that someone else is “raising my son.” That someone else is teaching him things that I should be teaching him. That someone else is seeing his firsts.
That’s kind of a big deal, y’all. A big deal with a big, complicated, messy answer. So I stand by everything I said in yesterday’s post or on Twitter or in comments in other places regarding why moms who work out of the home are allowed to resent their jobs sometimes.
But the issue of Mom Guilt keeps cropping up. As in, why don’t we feel guilty when we take our “me” time? Why aren’t we thinking about how we could be spending that time with our child?
Well, I do feel guilty. Obviously, I feel guilty. I shouldn’t and can’t speak for other moms, but taking time for myself isn’t just some carefree, everyone-else-be-damned thing that comes so naturally to me.
The first time you’re away from your child is as stressful as anticipating the good ol’ nightmare that is postpartum sex. And yes, I had a c-section. But y’all. I was terrified. I am pretty sure that if we’d taken moisture readings in the Sahara, that desert would’ve rated higher than I did. If you know what I mean.
It. Was. Terrifying.
But you do it. And then you’re all “Hey…that wasn’t so bad.” And maybe sometime later, after you’ve had a glass of wine or three, you try it again.
So eventually, you think “Wow…I should do this more often.” And hopefully you manage to fit it into your schedule on a sort-of-maybe regularish basis.
You follow me?
I remember the first time I left the house by myself. I went to the store to buy some paint to make Joshua’s one-month onesie. I remember feeling completely off kilter without Joshua. Completely weird. But he was at home asleep. Was I supposed to wait until he woke up for his 11:00 p.m. feeding and take him with me? Of course not.
The first time I went “away” from him was for a bachelorette party. He was just over three months old. I tried to back out at least a half dozen times but the bride was my friend. I was in the wedding. She wanted me to be there with her the same way she’d been there with me.
I pumped in the car on the drive down, arrived at midnight, pumped at the condo, slept, pumped again, took a nap, pumped again, celebrated my friend’s last hurrah, leaked through my shirt at the bar, pumped again, and then got up the next morning to drive home. And I pumped in the car on the drive back, too.
So yeah, I was acutely aware of the fact that I was not with my son for the duration of that entire trip.
And the first “night out” I had without him, all by myself? I’m 97% certain he was over a year old. And he was asleep the whole time.
I’ve received exactly ONE pedicure in the 592 days of his life. And I planned it so that it would start when he was napping and if it ran long he would only be awake for just a small amount of time before I returned.
Any time I’ve ever not been with him…any time I’ve ever been out having “me” time (which is not nearly as glorious as it sounds since it often involves going to the grocery store sans baby and after he is in bed when no one is at the grocery store to stare at the fact that my hair is unwashed and there are spit stains on my shoulder that do not belong to me–How glamourous!) I am always thinking of him.
I am incapable of not thinking of him.
And are you sensing a trend that the majority of my “me” time occurs when he is asleep?
Y’all, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’d venture to say that the rest of the moms who felt attacked yesterday because of their decision to occasionally go get a pedicure or a glass of wine with girlfriends feel the same way.
It’s not like we cease to be mothers the moment we are out of reach of our children.
We are still mothers. We will always BE mothers.
But sometimes we need a teensy break. A chance to have adult conversation and not sing “Don’t Bite Your Friends” or read But Not the Hippopotamus for the 48202232th time that day.
Isn’t this the reason that programs like Mom’s Morning Out began? So that SAHMs could have some “me” time??
How is this even something that people feel is up for debate?
I seriously fail to see how there’s anything wrong with the notion that moms–ALL moms–need time to just be women. So maybe I need some enlightening.
So. Enlighten me.