For those of you who do not know that much about me, I have an extremely active 2 year-old boy and am due with number two in 59 days (August 9). I am a stay-at-home mother and, sadly, am admitting to being a sufferer of “mommy guilt” and, as a result, may have cause my own meltdown at a birthday party for a 1 year-old. Awesome. I have always been a bit of an over-achiever, though I have mellowed-out over the years. I am less of a perfectionist than I used to be and can tap into my coping “tool box” when I really need to (read: I have seen MANY therapists). However, I do keep a TON to myself and my bitch-fests with my girlfriends seem to be few and far between. This is a pretty good recipe for a meltdown, but I digress…
I’ve been mulling over a topic for a new blog post for the last week or so, and today decided that my overwhelming feeling of laziness would be a good one. I know for certain that I am not the only parent who feels this way, I need an outlet, and I am fully aware that I am being ridiculous and could seriously use some affirmation from others. This morning, I got out of bed at almost 9 a.m. (when my son started stirring), skipped the gym, and now, at 11:30 a.m. I still have not showered. After my meltdown this weekend I don’t feel as guilty about this, but there is still part of me that is screaming, “Get off your ASS and do something productive!” At this very moment, my little one is telling me, very fervently, that he wants to go outside. Cue the, “you are being a bad mom by sitting in front of this computer and not letting your child be active and curious outside.” Ugh. Exhausting.
Prior to becoming pregnant a second time, my house was pretty much spotless, I spent hours in the garden, and there was never any question of what I was doing all day. To be fair, I don’t think anyone ever questions what I do all day, but I do wonder sometimes. Now, I feel like I’m sleeping in a lot more, cleaning less, and needing to take breaks more. Let me stop you right there, I do know that this is perfectly normal for a person who is so near pushing a baby out of her lady parts, but that perfectionist part of me is still telling me to quit whining and get shit done. Writing that is pretty laughable when I think about it logically. Over the last few months I have planned an executed a camping trip, organized two BBQ’s at my house, started the book for the book club I organize, started learning how to sew training pants, started a new knitting project, de-cluttered my house, and continued to keep up with caring for our son, stocking the house, preventing us from living in our own filth, cooking meals from scratch, oh, and growing a human. Not to mention the parties and ceremonies that I have traveled to as of late.
My husband would NEVER say anything other than I am a terrific wife and mother, but I still feel guilty sitting down to watch a TV show when I know he is at work. When I first became a SAHM, I often felt like my husband resented me because I was on some sort of extended vacation while he was out dealing with the pressure of being the sole supporter of our growing family. He quickly corrected this train of thought, but it is always present because I do have more freedom to care for myself, even if I am not taking the opportunities quite like I should. Notice how I have even turned self-care into a “should”? Truthfully, self-care is a “should” and I spent a great deal of time working with other helping professionals over the years to learn to do this all so important task. It is so unfortunate that I (and undoubtedly most everyone) should need to hear from someone else, that it is OK to slow down and take it easy. Even knowing the science behind the effects of stress and worry on the body, I struggle to let go and take care of myself.
For real, I CANNOT be the only one who feels or behaves this way. How have you become able to say “enough is enough”? Are you still trying to learn how to do this?