One Friday in January, I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and feeling “down”. I had already committed to helping a friend with a wedding, and didn’t want to let her down, but yet struggled to even get ready.
I had just barely survived my first Thanksgiving/Christmas as a frugal blogger. My youngest was just getting over an ear infection and virus, which had left very little time for me to get anything done since she wanted to be held and rocked. I had mounds of laundry to fold, dishes to wash, floors to vacuum, emails to answer, and the list just kept growing.
To top it off, I felt guilty. I was leaving to go help her out while my husband was at home with the girls trying to help me out. My husband assured me it was OK that I went and that I already had already committed to helping her. Since I don’t like to break commitments, I got ready and went to meet one of my closest friends.
Once I got to the location of the wedding venue, and got started helping, I felt so much better. It was odd that helping set out decorations was so cathartic. It was quiet. I didn’t hear any crying. I could set out dishes without a toddler on my hip, or stopping twenty times to go help my five year old. I was able to talk to my friend, and get to know two other friends better. We ended up all being able to go out for Mexican afterwards, and got to spend even more time catching up.
As much I had dreaded going from all the guilt and lists of things I had, it was exactly what I needed to do. It was in that moment that I realized that mom guilt had kept me from doing some things I probably needed to do for my sanity. I thought about how many times I had declined invitations to go out with friends because I didn’t think I needed to spend the money, felt bad about leaving the girls with a sitter, or even took the girls with me for an outing because I felt bad not including them. That only led to more stress on my end.
In reality, as moms, and women in general, it’s good to let go of the guilt and to-do lists to spend some time with friends. We are constantly “giving” of ourselves. Our time, energy, and love is spent on our kids and spouse. I know I don’t expect my kids to be able to help fill my “tank” back up when it’s been depleted from long days of motherhood; however, it’s exhausting and we all need a little time away to do something for ourselves to “fill the tank” back up. If not, it has been my experience that running on fumes only leads to frustration, melt downs, chaos, and tears.
I can’t tell you how much more energized, loving, and fulfilled I came back to my girls after the weekend of the wedding because I had gotten to “step-away” for just a little bit. As odd as it sounds, it was like a “mini-vacation” to me. I got to have adult conversation with three other stay-at-home moms who were in the same boat as me. They also needed some time away from their spouses, kids, school work, and house work. They were exhausted, overwhelmed, and just needed a tiny “break” away. In other words, we all needed to put down our “to-do” lists and enjoy some girl time. 🙂
It’s not bad to have a little time away. In fact, my mom has told me for years that taking a little time for yourself keeps you sane. Which in turn, makes you a better mom, wife, and friend, along with whatever other hats you wear. Since this night, I have taken a little more time to spend with good friends.
Moms, I challenge you to let go of the mom guilt. Take a little time for yourselves. Get up with some of your other mom friends, and plan a night out. I can just about guarantee you that your friends will feel the same way. 🙂 You will come back feeling energized, and loved. I know it did me.