Mommy Guilt. Ugh. I was out horseback riding this morning with one of my best friends. She has two lovely little boys, whom she adores, and puts ahead of anything for herself. Sound familiar? It sure does to me! As we rode along the quiet hills, through the sun-dappled trees, we chatted about how neither of us has really spent money on clothes for ourselves for say…10 years or so. We both love hot yoga, but cringe at the thought of spending $135.00 a month (a month!) on classes…but have no problem spending double that on karate or gymnastics for our beautiful children. She is an avid horse lover and rider…but this was the first time out in a year for her. The pants I’m wearing right now as I type this are at least 5 years old…are missing a button, and have seen much better days. Meanwhile I broke the bank for new backpacks, lunchkits, outfits etc for back to school. I have squeezed the budget to make space for gymnastics, swimming, brownies and girl guides.
Do you feel this? When you take time away for yourself, whether it be a spa day, a girls weekend away, or locking yourself in the bathroom whilst they pound on the door- do you just do it and not think twice- or do you remind yourself while doing it- “I deserve time to myself, I deserve time to myself, I deserve time to myself.” Before we had children, we just did things for ourselves, cause….well, cause we did. Now- to give ourselves something, we feel like we have to justify it- even if it is just to ourselves.
My horseback ride this morning was a huge indulgence- I go back to work on Monday and this was a wonderful and spontaneous idea, and it got me to thinking- about how as mothers we need to remember that we still count as human beings- being a mom isn’t our whole identity, and a happy, well-balanced woman who has time to explore what makes her happy? Makes everyone else in the household happy. The guilt may be something that just shows up the moment you give birth- but lets not make it define us.