We are in the middle of eating supper and my oldest daughter asks me for a bite of my food. My immediate answer is no. But, really my immediate answer is always “no” and quite frankly I don’t feel guilty about it. Why would I give you a bite of my supper when you have a hard enough time finishing YOUR OWN supper. Mommy is also trying to lose the baby weight from the third one of you, so the small amount of food that I do have, I want to myself (yes, that bite of cucumber makes a huge difference). AND….most importantly, what is the difference between my cucumber and your cucumber? I am all for sacrificing luxuries for my babies. In fact, I think we sacrifice so much of ourselves as parental units that when it comes to being selfish, we can afford to cut ourselves some slack. I have most definitely sacrificed my body (that goes without saying), my time, my love of reading, my personal bubble, my bathroom breaks, my hot coffee, any sort of privacy and quiet in daylight hours and my trendy wardrobe (however, my new love for athletic wear isn’t terrible), so if I want to have a dang Snickers (mini version, of course) with my cold coffee in full view of my children, I’m going to do it and absolutely tell them that they can’t because it will ruin their supper!
We need to stay grounded for our children and in order to do that we need to keep true to ourselves.
Keep true to the person that initially spawned those adorable little age suckers that are the loves of our lives! Between my husband and I, communication has been the savior of our sanities. We are far from perfecting our marital/parenting ways, but we do let each other know when space is more of a requirement than an elective. Sometimes Facebook, Pinterest and a good book is a tad more appealing than canoodling and conversing in depth about the day’s activities. However, we intensely value our Friday night “big kid” movie nights (Mommy juice included), monthly date nights (with or without our dear friends), and we try to encourage each other’s pre kiddos passions (although, I think backpacking across Europe may be out for a loooooong, loooooong time). Even a brisk walk around the block to clear the mind is a refreshing reset. Without some sort of sanity saver our babes don’t get the Mommy they need and deserve. I can tell ya, there’s a huge difference between morning/early afternoon Mommy and night time Mommy. Night time Mommy doesn’t have the patience for shenanigans and without some sort of recharge before that, Monster Mommy enters the scene and we are officially at the point of no return! I will never forget what our pediatrician once told us and it has immensely freed my mind of guilt about taking a time out.
If they’re in a safe place, kiss their head and walk away to catch your cool.
I have found there is also a valuable lesson for our children in not sharing every ounce of our being with them and that is, they, too, can say no. They do not have to share a toy that is theirs or that they are currently playing with. They do not have to share hugs or kisses if they don’t feel comfortable. They do not have to share their snack with the little dude sitting next to them at the lunch table. Their space is theirs. Their time is theirs. They are their own tiny beings and it is wildly important for them to know that nobody can take that from them (except for Mommy and Daddy). SO….take that yoga class, go on that overnight date, pencil in a monthly night out or do whatever it is that you need to do to keep a piece of you sacred. Find your time, require your time.
It’s a necessity, not an alternative.