Challenge to Toddler Moms: Take Care of YouBeth Anne Ballance
I have noticed over the internets a certain “type” of momma and I think I’ve got her kind of figured out.
She’s a mommy martyr. She takes pride in how little she cares for herself, immersing into her children’s pure existences, sacrificing everything she held dear in the name of motherhood. She holds her head high at her lack of “alone time” and brags how she can’t possibly get a manicure when there are babies to care for. My gosh, the woman hasn’t even peed in peace in ten years, BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT BECAUSE SHE LOVES HER CHILDREN LIKE A GOOD MOTHER.
Can I be honest? Nobody likes this momma.
But you know what? We’ve all been her.
I know that I have been her, in those moments where I’m dog-tired after work and driving an hour with a screaming toddler, only to come home and fix dinner. My husband says he’s tired and clicks on the television and steaming mad, I don’t ask for help. I just stir the pasta more violently.
Have you done that? Yeah, I thought so.
Or how I go for six months with split ends and bad hair color, feeling my self-esteem dip each day but somehow rationalizing that it’s okay because I’m a mom and there are more important things than hair.
oh, wait. I’m doing that, too, and according to a lot of my internet friends? They’re guilty of this martyrdom.
Or when your partner goes to play soccer/golf/tennis/videos/etc on the weekends when you’ve been knee-deep in babies all week, but you say “yes” with a sigh and wonder why it’s been eight months since you saw a movie.
I have a good buddy that felt like that. We dragged her to see those sparkly Twilight vampires a few weekends ago and she’s the one that came out of the theater sparkling.
And there’s the quick, easy solution to this plague of martyrdom: Mommas, TAKE A BREAK.
Peeing in peace doesn’t make you a bad mom even when the kid is banging on the door. Handing the baby off to see a movie once in a while doesn’t make you a bad mom. Complaining about lack of naps or early wake-ups does not make you a bad mom.
Mothering is a hard gig all around, so don’t make it harder on yourself.
Here’s my challenge to you this week: do ONE thing for yourself. Stop in the coffee shop on the way to work one morning, or force yourself to not think about the latest tantrum while you shower, or go for a 10-minute walk after you put the babies to bed. It does not have to be huge or expensive, but it does need to be for YOU and only you.
Let me know what your one thing is – I would love to hear it!
p.s. my plan is to attend a fitness class with a friend of mine on friday. the mommy martyr in me tells me that I should not waste that hour that I could be with my son, but I need an hour to work my muscles & unwind so I can be the best momma ever over the holiday weekend.