It seems to be very hard for moms to admit they need time away from their children. Or time away from their spouse. And when we do admit it, we tend to carry some guilt over it.
It could be on a daily basis or only every once in awhile. The guilt is the same.
Working moms feel bad that they aren't the stay-at-home mom types (or simply can't be), and the stay-at-home mom types feel bad for not having a paying job. Maybe not all the time, but the twingy feelings pop up here and there and we find ourselves questioning our decisions.
And people wonder why the "mommy wars" are such a sore subject!
These are not small issues. But one that shouldn't be such a difficult issue is the desire for some time to yourself. Really, who doesn't need that sometimes? My friend JHo calls it "Zen Jen" time. I once stole that phrase from her even though she still calls me Jenni. JHo strategically plans to take a day or two off work, when her husband and kids will still be otherwise occupied, and spends the time doing whatever she wants to. It's genius!
When I was younger I had no desire to do anything alone. I couldn't understand people who didn't mind, or even liked, going out to eat by themselves. Or shopping or to a movie or even just spend time at home alone. Why would you want to do that? Don't you feel lonely? Don't you worry that you look like a loser who doesn't have any friends?
I was clingy. I met my husband when I was 20 and I drove him nuts with wanting us to be together 24/7 and my feelings got hurt when he wanted to go off and do something without me. I felt jealous of his best friend, who didn't even live anywhere near us. Thankfully, while Mark didn't like this particular aspect of my personality, he did like the rest and chose to stick it out until I grew out of it.
Now I know those feelings I had didn't have anything to do with anyone else. It was all about insecurity, a lack of confidence in myself. A lack of knowledge of myself. Over the years I've learned a lot. I've learned that people get along with each other better when they don't spend too much time together, and when they get to have time to think and absorb and ponder the goings-on in their lives. And to do the things that make them happy.
Unfortunately, I didn't really learn this until I was married and become a mother. And then it's a little more difficult to find the time for yourself. Good job, me!
Now I know I'm a better mom and wife when I get some time away, out with my friends or just home alone for awhile. Oh how I love being home alone! I can either leave it quiet or I can play MY favorite music and sing out loud to it. I can choose to get some chores done without anyone in my way, or I can just do whatever. I know, I know, you're probably thinking I shouldn't do chores. But let me tell you. I can do them so much faster when everyone is gone, and then it still frees up time to do other things later. Although, this summer, I'm all about the slacking!
I love my family to the moon and back. But sometimes....sometimes I just want to be alone. Or to go out and do something with friends. It's not selfish, either. It's good for everyone involved. My dad tells me that when my grandfather was asked how does he keep his wife happy, a housewife with 5 kids, my grandfather replied that you have to get her out of the house at least once a week. My grandfather was a smart man.