Monday, November 20, 2017

Is tonight Book Club?! - Embracing the "S" in selfish.

We have all been there, "mommy, mommy, mommy"

You've go one kid running around the house like mad man not listening to word you are saying and the other on your hip screaming that she wants marshmallows instead of chicken for dinner. Stressed out and ready to go out with a couple of girlfriends and just relax!

Here is Megan with This Anchored Life to explain a little more!

As moms, we know the exact definition of what it means to be selfless. In fact, if you look in the dictionary you’d probably find a picture of a mom next to the word. Being selfless is one of those things that mothers are praised for. “Oh, look at that up every ounce of her free time to fulfill the needs of all her children.” But you know what word is not praised when it comes to moms? Selfish. Being a mom and being selfish are in no way synonymous. In fact, a selfish mom is usually one of the big 5. That’s what I refer to as the top five things moms are regularly shamed for. That blog post is coming soon.

Here’s the deal. I have been through a lot of crap in my life that was really tough. Marriage, divorce, the passing of loved ones. But being a parent, besides the obvious of being the greatest blessing, is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. In my life.


I mean, to start, we are essentially responsible for the well being of another human for 18 years. Does no one else contemplate how big of a task this is? Feeding, cleaning, grooming, and determining whether that cough is the result of a mild cold or the start of tuberculosis. It’s  is a lot to handle. It is absolutely shocking to me that more moms aren’t committed to a psychiatric ward each year. Every time I hit my breaking point, I am positive that this will be the one that ends up with me in a padded room whispering under my breath about the t-ball team snacks I still have to put together.

And while I do use humor to talk about this, I do not take mental health lightly. In fact, that’s actually exactly why I wanted to write about this. And I’m not even referring to full blown depression...I’m just talking about the day to day sanity that we as moms cling to. I think the general population thinks that if you made it safely past the postpartum threat in those early days, then you’re set up for a stress free course until your kids move out of the house. Wrong. Simple day to day tasks like cooking, cleaning, diaper changing, grocery shopping, playdate planning, crafting, errand running, party planning, potty training, chauffeuring, Halloween costume creating, feeding, and for many moms, working a full time job are like small pebbles in a river. The river being your sanity. I’m exhausted just typing it and I don’t even do half of that “good mom” crap that I’m jealous of my mom friends for doing. Their tball team snacks have toys and a theme. Meanwhile I’m over here frantically looking through plastic tubs in my pantry to see if have at least 12 bags of gummies and enough granola bars and peanut butter crackers for each player.

It’s exhausting. And slowly, those tiny pebbles in the river create a huge dam, as the flow of your sanity desperately tries to make it through the spaces between those pebbles. You see where I went with that?        

So what’s my big solution to this? What’s my grand plan for saving moms and their sanity? It goes back to that nasty word I mentioned in the beginning.

Plain and simple. Be selfish.

Now I am certainly not talking about the kind of selfish that you were, say, in college. You know, where it didn’t matter if you ended up sleeping on someone’s bathroom floor until 2pm the next day, because you certainly weren’t driving anyone to soccer or ballet. I’m talking about taking care of yourself. And gasp, here’s the kicker...taking care yourself, before taking care of others.

Because for me, if I am not in a good place mentally, it is almost impossible for me to do my job as a mom to the best of my ability. Being selfish in moderation has pretty much saved me from losing my marbles on more than one occasion. And now, I don’t just make it a point to be selfish on occasion, I make it a priority.

One of the ways I do that is through what I like to call “book club”. Only my book club doesn’t involve any books and the only thing resembling a club is that we gather as a group in the same location. You get the idea. But it isn’t just book club. It’s making it a point to walk mindlessly around Target for an hour with my best friends. Or locking myself away and taking a ridiculously long, hot bubble bath with those expensive bath bombs that disappear in the water within seven seconds. Or seeing a movie with my husband. Or saving up for a babysitter so I can have a night out on the town dancing until my feet hurt. Or having a glass of champagne on the patio in complete silence. Or putting my kids on tablets for an hour or two so I can lose myself in my writing.    

At the end of the day, I am ALL in for my kids a majority of the time. But I am unwilling to let my sanity escape by the wayside for a running record of room mom moments. It makes me sad that a mother’s worth is often measured by her ability to take care of her children, instead of her ability to take care of her children AND herself. Choosing to spend time away from my children from time to time doesn’t mean I don’t love them any less than the next mom. It means I know myself well enough to know that taking small breaks to focus on myself is what MAKES me a better mom.

I remember a time when I said yes to everything. Yes to every request at work. Yes to favors for friends. Yes to my kids for every activity. I think there is even a book about how powerful yes can be. But you know what else is powerful sometimes? Saying no, and saving a few of those yes answers for yourself.    

So the next time you’re getting close to your wits end, find a few mom friends who are in the same boat and set a book club date. Preferable at a bar. Or a restaurant. That has a bar.

Thank you Megan!! Make sure to check her out over at This Anchored Life. Follow her on Facebook too!