What is it about being a mother that makes us feel guilty about doing nothing? LIke all of a sudden, we feel this need to constantly be doing something. Maybe it’s because we miss that feeling of actually having something to show for our time, a by-product of the many hours we have spent working tirelessly. We genuinely and desperately miss that feeling of time well-spent.
All it takes is a couple of kids to screw this wonderful mentality for you. AMARITE??
And there is no better time than the good ol’ winter holidays to test this theory to the max. With three kids at home (and mostly inside!) to keep entertained, fed, stimulated and ALIVE, it’s really quite the feat. It feels like a never-ending game of catch up. NEVER-ENDING being the operative word. Nothing can leave you feeling more defeated that that moment when the hubs finally walks through the door at 6 pm, and realising that the house looks exactly the same as when he left at 7.30 am. If not worse.
There is still a mound of dirty dishes by the sink, despite doing three loads of dishes and scrubbing yesterday’s pots. The counters are still soaking in some kind of sticky residue that resembles edible slime ( I don’t remember baking today? Freak that child, where is he I told him NO!”) There are still toys all over the lounge floor, or any surface for that matter, despite having spent a good 179 minutes sorting and packing them away in plastic containers you thought would make things easier. Beds are still a mess from excitable (Read: cabin fever induced) children (read: ferals) who have used your beautifully-made bed as a camping site, for the 4th time. The cushions are still all over the lounge floor despite having calmly (or like a psycho through gritted teeth perhaps) placed them back on the couch in hope of restoring just a smidgen of Feng Shuey to your home. Screw it.
There is still more bread and cracker crumbs on the floor than an entire loaf of bread, despite having hauled the vacuum cleaner out several times and used the broom too many times you have blisters on your palms. The ironing baskets are still overflowing because well, five people mean five bodies to clothe every day and because your nanny is on leave (bless her cotton socks for all she does for us!) you simply don’t know where to start.
Yup, not much to show for our time. Except perhaps the smiles on our kid’s faces and the fact that by some miracle the kids haven’t killed each other. Always a bonus.
But it a strange phenomenon, even when we are given time off, even when things can wait, we just can’t sit still. We struggle to just do nothing and relax, to switch off. we have lost the ability to chill. Like proper chill.
So this last weekend was a game-changer for me. I was given the entire day off on Saturday. From start to finish! (Don’t worry I hear the gasps!) Yup, my hubs literally told me I wasn’t to do a single thing all day! Shame in all fairness, I think three weeks of holidays were starting to take their toll on my sanity, and he began to fear not only for my life but his own. *evil wink.
I wondered what I would do if I weren’t seeing to kids all day and sweeping floors and making food and putting babies down for naps? What would I do with 12 whole hours of time to myself? I thought of all the possibilities; movies, lunch, mani and pedi, massage.
I thought long and hard about all my options. I mean I didn’t want to waste this opportunity folks! And what I ended up doing my dear friends, far exceeded any expectations of any of these things! And the best new, It didn’t cost a cent. Okay. the ACTUAL best thing is that I didn’t even have to leave the house. (Not unless walking from my couch to my neighbor’s couch counts?)
I literally spent the entire day at home with a friend in my pj’s! We spent the better part of the day watching movies, eating a home-cooked (Masterchef worthy!) meal made by our husbands, drinking wine and taking naps! I swear, if I told you it was one of the best days I’ve had in ages, would that make me sad? Or would you just secretly hate me? He even put the kids to sleep that night while I carried on watching more movies. It was just what the doctor ordered.
And since this memorable day, it has opened my eyes to a whole new future that awaits, my friends. I realized that although it’s hard for me to relinquish control, to stop and do nothing, its so SOOOOOO important. We are told the same thing over and over, how it’s so vital to take time out as moms, but do we ever listen? More so, do we ask for the time off? Do our husbands fulfill their part of the bargain and give us the time off to recuperate? It shouldn’t be a hard thing to ask. And for the most part, I’m sure many would do it with a smile on their faces. (For those that sulk and give you a long story about how it’s you that wanted kids in the first place, or how he works too or how he has a game to watch at noon……. send me their numbers, leave me to do the talking!)
In all seriousness, I advise you strongly to start cashing in. Cashing in on all those long hours of hard and tiresome work. Ask your husband to take the kids out for a bit on a Saturday morning so you can lie in bed and binge watch your favorite series, ask him to put the baby down for a nap and head out for an afternoon movie or early dinner with the girls. Stop feeling guilty and do something every so often that feeds your souls and leaves you feeling happy and recuperated. We do so much for our families and we need time off to be the best moms we can be. I know I’m starting this week a better mom beacise of it, and my kids get to see that too which only teaches them gratitude, empathy, and respect. It also teaches boys one of the greatest lessons a father can ever teach his sons, to be good husbands!
So now that I’ve planted the seed…. what’s going to be the way you spend your day off? What would be your ultimate day off?? And if you tell me you would rather spend it with your gorgeous kids, I’ll give you a virtual slap across the face. Nobody wants to hear that shit.
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