Someone wise I know wrote:
"Had I let myself believe that the only way I could be a good parent was to sacrifice every moment to them... I would have been a grump all weekend and I think that rather than remember the field trip, they would remember the grumpy cranky mommy who never wanted to do fun stuff like let them drag all their toys out back for a wedding or edge the front yard with scissors. I have no doubt that they will always remember me teaching them to gently blow on a bee if it alights on a flower that's too close to them so it will fly away. Those are the moments that childhood and parenting magic are made of... but we have to be present in our minds and bodies in order to make them with our children." Should I have gone on the field trip? I don't know!!!! But I do know that if we don't take care of ourselves (even if you don't have a psycho job like I do) then we cannot take care of our children. Everyone uses this analogy to death... but they do it because it's true and it works: You have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first if you want to be able to get it on your child! If you try to do it the other way around, chances are you'll just pass out. Or worse, you'll leave your child to try and put it on you... and children are not supposed to be taking care of their parents!!" mimz-n-mum
I wish I could have expressed exactly this so eloquently. It's so stupid that as Mom's we are made to feel like there is something wrong with us for taking time to ourselves. I find that even now after years of being a two household family and having plenty of time to adjust to the fact that I don't have my children 24/7, I still feel the guilt. However it is because our family is as it is that I can be the kind of parent I want to be for my children. I have built in me time which allows me to keep them as my focus whenever they are with me. Now more than ever with a supportive partner I find so much more joy in my time spent with them. It doesn't feel like everything else is fighting for my attention. Yes work is work, and the household chores are still there. Work will wait till Monday and the two of us can tackle the chores later (oh, calling me on my lie.... OK, Judy will tackle the chores later!) I think the biggest thing we can do to dispel this belief is to support others in taking time for themselves. When you hear a Mom going at lightening speed, ask her what she has planned for herself. The more we talk about what it's really like to be a Mom and what we think parenting is about the more chance we have to fight the mainstream bullshit that tells us we're bad Mom's who never do enough for our kids.