Surely, before you had kids you heard people say that being a mom is and will be the hardest job you will ever do. After you became a mom you quickly realized they were right. It cannot be compared to any full-time job, even one with over-time, because as a mom you literally are never relieved of your duty; there is no time card to swipe out. There are no weekends, evenings, lunch hours and so on, only 24/7 around the clock care.
Now, I don’t want it to sound like I do not enjoy being a mom and that it wasn’t the greatest decision I have made, because it was. I merely want to stress how important it is for moms and/or stay-at-home dads to schedule “mom holidays” or mini-vacations as it were.
People who love their jobs look forward to their vacation time, so why shouldn’t you.
You should not feel guilty! Really, a refreshed parent is a good parent.
Look at what children benefit from most in life – a happy parent who wants to spend time with them. Another very important thing in their young lives is to see a good relationship between their parents. So whether you are going to take a day for yourself or spend an intimate weekend with your spouse, make sure to work it into your busy life.
Now, as I was saying before you probably expected it would be hard to raise a child and realized that it would be taking most of your time, but you may not have realized just how much of that time. You may have never realized that taking a mom holiday for yourself would be such an important issue. Children become your alarm clock from day one with the midnight feedings, and early risings. Then, when you think it is clear to sleep once they have been weened, they begin the “I want to sleep with you!” story. There goes your comfortable night’s sleep! You may get them to finally sleep in their own bed and then you go through potty training, wiping puke off the walls, etc – all in the middle of the night.
Now that you are without sleep, let’s add on the fact that you can no longer use a restroom or shower alone for the next few years. Every time you try to have a conversation with someone, be it on the phone or in real life, they have to talk too – something to make sure that conversation stops. If you sit down there is something that they will need right away, and to their particular specifications.
You will ask them a million times to eat their meals and they will ask you a million times for a cookie instead.
You will have to pause any movie or TV show 50 times just to get to the end of a 2 hour movie in 4 hours. You spend countless hours teaching them how to speak correctly, the alphabet, numbers, and manners to see only a little progress each day due to their lack of attention span. You will no longer be watching the shows and movies of your choice without falling asleep because you must watch your shows after you have been tortured for hours by their favorite sing-a-longs. Think you are going to sneak any kind of delicacy without them knowing, guess again.
All of these points are not made to make parenting sound like the worst job in the world – only the hardest and most self-sacrificing. That is why it is so important for us moms to take some time off.
Being a parent is not to be taken lightly and neither should the rejuvenation time that you need.
Whether you get a friend to watch them for just a couple hours while you get a haircut or wander the mall in a relaxed fashion, it is for the benefit of the whole family. Another old saying is “when the mom is happy the rest of the house is happy.” When you feel better your family will notice and this will make for an all-around pleasant environment.
Both parents should make time a couple hours each week to just rejuvenate whether alone or together. Going on dates together doesn’t have to be costly either. Do what you did before you had kids. Go to a park, go to a movie, pick out clothes or things for your home, as long as you are away from the kids enjoying your time, you can count that as a mom holiday.
We have to realize that by making a little time for ourselves we are not bad people, but in fact that could help us be the opposite. We can all be better people and better parents with a little refreshment. Obviously, as with all things, balance and timing are essential in order for this to be a positive. Going out too late or too often or too long may prove to be unhealthy instead and will not be beneficial. Your children have to feel secure and good about you’re making time for you and know that you will be back soon and happy to see them.
Having children is a decision I would not change, it is a wonderful and astounding gift to be a parent. Nothing else compares to seeing the joy on your child’s face, especially when you’re the one who put it there. So just remember that having children shouldn’t be a burden or unpleasant experience (overall), make a little time for yourself and take some “mom holidays” and the whole family will benefit!