No one tells you, that when you become a mom, you will forever feel guilty doing anything and everything. Including anything for yourself. Like peeing with the door closed. Napping while your kid does. Going to the gym. Having lunch with a friend. Shopping for yourself. Leaving dishes in the sink. Cleaning. Or God forbid, taking a full day to do whatever you want, without your child.
Doesn't matter what the task is, you're going to feel guilty.
It's been 14 months since my daughter was born, and I can honestly say that the guilt is still alive and well. But at what point do you give in to the guilt, and do something for yourself? Like weekly? Or monthly? Or quarterly?
I've spent the last year surrounded by some amazing first time (and second time) moms who have really helped me to find the balance and the courage to embrace the guilt, and be sure I take time for myself. As a mother, there are expectations put on us whether we realize it or not. We're expected to be caring for our child 24/7. Always thinking of them, and putting them first. Making sure their lunch is packed for daycare. Their clothes are clean. There's no snots dripping down their face. Their poop fumes don't take over the room aromas. They're learning. They're talking. It just never ends.
But at what point and when do you take a day, hour, or any time for yourself?
How do you balance time for yourself so that you can be a better parent?
I don't know the answer to these questions. I wish I did. But I do know that it's important to surround yourself with like minded moms. It's important to find yourself a few moms near by that you can call at 7am and ask for advice on sending your kid to daycare that day, runny nose and all. The mom you call when you're kid is still sleeping after 8am and they'll applaud you, instead of scorn you. The mom who shows up with wine in her purse for your weekly bitchfest. The mom who's been through it, and will let you know all will be okay. The mom who always has something baking in the oven, and doesn't make you feel bad for your bag of Goldfish, again.
We're moms, but we don't need to feel bad for taking a few hours a week to hang out with other moms. We don't need to feel bad about going to the gym when our kid is in bed. We don't need to feel guilty for buying new pants (because mom bodies are totally different than pre-mom bodies). There's always going to be guilt, but don't let it rule your life. Take a night a week to do something YOU want to do. Get a work out in. Buy yourself a new pair of jeans. Go to yoga, clear your head.
After all, a sane parent is a happy parent. So slap that guilt face and tell it to fuck off. Ain't nobody got time for that shit.