Mommy is a Person, Too

Posted on
Categories Balance, Household and Family ManagementTags 3 Comments

Did you see this article, “Mommy Is A Person”, circulating on social media recently?  After seeing a couple of friends post links, notated by words like, “AMEN!” in all caps, I decided to see what the fuss was about.

I can’t personally identify with all the examples the author cites as part of her “personhood”…it’s just not feasible for my husband and me to have a date night once a week, or to get 8 hours of sleep every night…but it did serve as a good reminder of something I try to model for my girls.

Until my girls were about 18 months old, I attended to their every single need.  My schedule was completely dictated by their schedule.  I rationalized that they slept so much in a 24-hour period that I needed to be concentrated fully on them when they were awake.

They had my undivided attention, or – if not – the undivided attention of my husband.  I remember how odd it felt one Saturday when my husband was sick.  On week days I cooked supper ahead of time, while the girls were sleeping, but I was in a quandary when Hubby couldn’t play with the girls that particular afternoon and I had a meal to make.  It was such a strange feeling to have my girls playing – by themselves – for a full hour while I made dinner.

Once the girls dropped down to one nap a day, I decided I could (and should) start to peel myself away from them a bit.  I wrote a blog post entitled, “There’s No Such Thing as the Kitchen Fairy”.  That was my move to making breakfast after the girls got up…rather than having it waiting on them, as I had always done.

Over the next few months, I continued to establish time for the girls to spend apart from me during the day.  In addition to meal prep, I eventually instituted “coffee time” for Mommy.  For 45 minutes or so during the morning, Mommy sits down with her coffee (and usually her computer), while the girls play.

It took a little getting used to, but I now see it as a really good thing.

Mommy is always Mommy, but she is a person, too.  Mommy loves more than anything to spend time with her babies, but there are other things she likes to do, as well.

Mommy likes to drink her coffee and edit pictures and journal (and blog!).

Sometimes while Daddy hangs out with the girls, Mommy likes to read a book, or go for a walk by herself.

Once a month, Mommy likes to get her toenails painted.

Mommy occasionally likes to meet one of her friends for coffee on a Saturday afternoon.

Mommy belongs to a Mothers of Multiples group.  She has a monthly meeting during which she learns new things and connects with other moms.

Recently I’ve instituted the policy that we don’t begin eating until everyone is seated at the table.  I’d gotten into the habit of serving the girls first, and sometimes they (and occasionally Hubby) would be half finished with their meals by the time I made it to the table.  Mommy is a person, and she enjoys eating a hot meal, in relative peace, just like everyone else.

Although it was at first hard to work up to, having established this “space” is a real positive.  In particular, the time away is a way to reenergize…to refresh…and to have a chance to miss my babies for a little while.

It’s also an opportunity to model for my girls that being well-rounded, that taking care of ourselves, is a very valuable part of life.

How do you take care of yourself?  How do you show your kids that “Mommy is a person, too”?

MandyE is mom to 4 ½-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Selfish

Posted on
Categories Mommy IssuesTags , , , , 7 Comments

I’m a choir geek. I started singing when I was 5, and managed to find a choir to sing in from then on. When I was pregnant with my twins, though, I just didn’t have the energy to make it through evening rehearsals, so I stopped singing. For the first few years of their lives, I was too busy to even think about singing anything other than nursery rhymes.

Tonight, I attended my first choir rehearsal in 6 years. A college friend told me about auditions, and I figured I’d give it a shot. The chorale will be performing Carmina Burana with the Las Cruces Orchestra this season. Singing again was amazing. There’s something about a group of people creating art simultaneously that is transcendent. Still, I couldn’t help feeling guilty about not being home to tuck M and J into bed. I’m sure they loved having Daddy to themselves and didn’t even think to miss me. It’s hard, though, not to feel selfish pursuing an interest that has nothing at all to do with my family.

Do you pursue any activities without your kids? Do you feel guilty too? Does the guilt pass?

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

The Little Things

Posted on
Categories Family, Mommy IssuesTags , 9 Comments

Is this what my life has come to?

I went to the dentist this week. And ENJOYED it.  

Think about it: guilt-free time off of my feet. Somebody asking me how I am doing. Am I okay?  What flavor of polish would I like. I can even catch up on my celebrity gossip with the latest People magazine.

As a working MoM, I always feel like I am not spending enough time with my kids. I am constantly making myself sick about worried about whether or not they are getting enough individual attention and whether or not I am there enough for them. So, taking any time for myself – when the children are still awake – usually comes at a high price: guilt. I have come to think of my time in the office as my “time off”.

I am blessed with a husband who knows that I consider going to work to be time off and he tries to force me to take “me” time and relax now and then. But unless I leave the house (which I usually feel too guilty to do), I can’t stop myself from responding to crying or “helping” him when he is tending to a child.

But, send me some place like the dentist and there is NO CHANCE of hearing crying. No chance of that nagging feeling to correct something that is happening. And best of all: I have to be there. This is not playtime. So I don’t feel guilty for being so relaxed reclining in that chair, feet up, music playing.

I can’t believe I am at the point where going to the dentist is something I look forward to and enjoy.  But I will take it! Other things that can make me blissfully happy at this point include: finishing an entire meal (with utensils) while sitting down at a table, drinking a cup of HOT coffee, and getting through the day without having to change my clothes more than once.  Ah…the little things!

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone