Desperately need me time, but feel guilty taking it?

Colleen - posted on 04/03/2012 ( 26 moms have responded )

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I've been trying to take time for myself and have tried scheduling it in (signed up for a writer's group, arranged for a babysitter to come once a week and for my husband to watch my 2 year old on Tuesday evenings) But I always feel so guilty about leaving her, or about going to do something fun when a million things need to get done at home, that I end up staying home anyways. When I actually try to keep the plans, something usually comes up so that I HAVE to cancel. Last week my only goal was to keep a dental appt. to get MY TOOTH PULLED and I even had to cancel that!!! My daughter was sick. The more tired and frustrated I get, the more I give up and give in to what my daughter and husband need/want vs. what I need.



Do you feel the guilt too, and how do you get over it?

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The guilt comes from this stupid societal idea that when a woman becomes a mother she has to completely abandon all of her hopes, dreams, and desires to dedicate her entire life and self to raising her child(ren).



I do not feel guilt for taking time for myself to enjoy my own pleasures because I know that societal view is stupid and I don't care if "they" think I'm being selfish by spending the afternoon at that spa while my son plays golf with his dad. It is very good for my son's relationship with his father and his confidence to have one on one time with his father. He gets one on one time with me every day, why should dad get jipped?



Another reason I don't feel guilty is that I know how crappy I feel when I am neglected, unfulfilled, and stressed out. That in turn makes me snappy and irritable toward my family, which hurts their feelings a lot more than spending a couple of hours a week without me. Yelling at them is something to feel guilty about; I do not need to feel guilty about taking time for myself to give them independence, a closer relationship, and keep my stress levels down so that we are all happy.

Valerie - posted on 04/10/2012

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I agree with Kelly, about the guilt coming from a society that says we have to be supermoms all the time, but the way you get over it is by realizing you NEED time for yourself otherwise, eventually, you go insane. I know it’s not the being around the kids that makes you go insane, it’s not having the time to recharge the nice, caring, mommy batteries that makes you want to pull your hair out. Years ago I used to hate how my friend always acted like she wanted to get away from her daughter, like her little girl was a burden. I couldn’t help thinking how terrible that was, because at the time I only had my oldest who was 2 and I loved him so much, that I never wanted to be away from him like that. At the time, I didn’t need breaks from him, he was a wonderful child who NEVER had the "terrible 2's". I absolutely loved being a mommy. Now its different, now I have 3 kids instead of one, the youngest being 6mo. They just require so much from you, that at some point, you run out of anything to give. I began feeling guilty about yelling at my kids all the time, even when they weren't even doing anything wrong. I was yelling because I was always with them and I never had time to myself between working and the stress of trying to keep the house clean, or even just KNOWING that the house needed to be clean and I could never get to it because there was always something I had to do with the kids that kept me from tending to the house. I was so stressed out, that being a mommy became a real drag, a burden even. I realized I NEEDED a break, just to recharge because I knew I wasn't the same loving mommy I used to be. Now I have somebody who watches them for a few hours on my day off, just so I can run errands, or do extra cleaning, or even just go back to bed and catch up on sleep. I have found that having that one day once a week has made me a totally different person! I can now laugh with the kids, and chase them around and play with them without wishing they could go play by themselves for a while. I love being able to ENJOY being with my kids again, and I know they love having mommy back too. So even if you're not at the point where I was, don't wait til you get there to have some "me" time. Do it now. That goes for every mom out there ; )

Karen - posted on 04/19/2012

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Ok , yes it's totally normal to feel guilty but if you don't take some time for yourself you will go nuts! Start off small, just run out to the store for an hour. DO it while hubby is home. Then go on from there. Trust me even an hour to the store or getting your nails done helps.
ALso take care of your teeth! Yes sometimes you have to cancel but trust me teeth issues suck! So reschedule that appt!

Dallas - posted on 04/21/2012

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House and home is like a black hole, there are always going to be milions things to do. What is going to go away are years of your life spent doing things around the house. It does not have to be perfect, and your child would much rather have happy mom, then a spottles house. It is good for your child to spend some time without you and with the nanny. Why would you feel guilty leaving her with nanny for an hour or two?



It seems that you have money for a babysiter, and that you have support from your husband, It seems that problem is you.



I am all for tugh love :) sorry if it was little much



start small, and find something you really enjoy, baby steps like with everything else

User - posted on 04/09/2012

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Take the time!! Your child will benefit from a happier, healthier and more balanced you. Besides, kids need time away from their parents so that they won't end up with separation anxiety issues later in life.

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Stacey - posted on 04/18/2012

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i used to feel guilty when we just had one kiddo, but I worked part time and was gone from my baby 5 hours a day, making/designing jewelry and watching shows on hulu. It was a killer job, and I felt like I had "me time" while I was working, so I rarely took "me time" outside of that. It got to the point though, once I started staying at home with DS, that I really needed it but wouldn't take it for myself. I felt like I was the only one who could comfort DS and felt uncomfortable leaving him for very long. Then I got pregnant again. I still didn't take me time seriously until DS was weaned and sleeping in his own bed(2 years old). I also suffered from post partum depression for quite some time. Once baby 2 came along, she was an excellent sleeper, and just an easy easy baby all around, and that made it so much easier to have me time. I regularly take it now. I say regularly, which means about once every two weeks, but I have family nearby and if I get desperate, I leave the kids with the grandparents and go run errands alone(that counts too!) DH works long hours and then has a mountain of work to do when he gets home too(yard work, projects around the house), so he's only really my relief when I go out on the weekend for a few hours. My point is, don't feel guilty. I wish I had taken me time more seriously when DS was young. I feel like me being stressed, touched-out and overwhelmed all the time was detrimental to our marriage, and my relationship with DS! If your daughter takes naps, forgo chores, and take some time to yourself, and try and get out of the house as often as seems resaonable!

Lilah - posted on 04/18/2012

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yes, yes, and yes.... I think any "caring/loving"mom will feel that same way, I too have cancel many of things, still do....however we as moms have to take time for ourselves so we can better take care of our families. I know its easier said then done, trust me, I still haven't taken time for just ME..... but its a necessary thing we have to do. I'd hate to snap on my kids one day all because I need a break. The key here is to start slowly....baby steps! Thats what I'm currently trying..... start with a half hr, upgrade to an hr....and so on, til whatever time frame works for u. 'example' while getting brows waxed....I'd hurry back when done, but now I stroll, window shop and take the long way back. Those extra few mins u steal away while doing basic things will open u up to new possibles... and much "TIME" needed for yourself.

Jessica - posted on 04/13/2012

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One thing that I do that helps a lot is I keep an ongoing list as well as an up to date calendar.

Patty - posted on 04/12/2012

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just remember it,s ok to take time for you. i bowl on a league on sunday nights. it,s a good way to relieve stress too.

Patty - posted on 04/12/2012

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why do you feel guilty for???????? you need to have time for yourself. it healthy and it,ll make you a better mom. do i feel guilty for taking some time for myself???? no!

Sal - posted on 04/10/2012

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ohhh i'm so glad i'm not the only one to cancelled a dentist appointment because of kids this week!!!!! don't feel bad for taking a me time when you can because as you well know it is the first thing to go when budget or time is tight....also i find it important to find something for you that you can do at home for free in the 10 mins you find (a chapter of a book, piant you toe nails, fav crappy tv show) ....that way when you do miss your planned 'me' time like your writers group, you aren't completly burnt out....

Danielle - posted on 04/06/2012

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Oh and I do the ymca thing too I put the kids in the nursery or play area and I hit the stair stepper then the hot tub then I wrap a towel around me and round up the kids and we hit the indoor swimming pool itafter that we hit the showers and they put their pas and slippers on I pack in the back packs when we get home we eat dinner I usually do in the slow cooker on these days and they hit the sack EVERYONE loves the ymca days and they sleep so good

Danielle - posted on 04/06/2012

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Lol your struggling with the age old mommy syndrome but look if you don't have down time every once in awhile your not going to be the best mom or wife you can be you need to let off steam and be a woman I go to applebees to sing kareoke with my girlfriend on friday nights at 9 after my kids are asleep and my hubby plays his video games and keeps an ear out for them.

Amanda - posted on 04/05/2012

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Amen sister!



I hate being without my daughter or without my husband but I signed up for a college class on tuesdays and thursdays. Tuesdays the princess goes with my in laws since daddy is at work and thursdays she hangs out with daddy because daddy works about an hour away from work so with drive time and work hes gone from 5 pm to almost 8 am 4 days a week and then he sleeps until 3 pm so the princess and I never see him...I've actually skipped class a couple times on thursdays just because I miss him and having family days so terribly that it breaks my heart to be without them...

Laural - posted on 04/05/2012

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Stop feeling guilty. You have a 24/7 job and you are entitled to a break. More than that, your husband needs the chance to babysit -- to see how HARD your childcare job actually is. We women make it look too easy, so that guys think we sit around eating bon bons all day. Give him a good dose of reality so he will appreciate, even more, the hard work you do.



It is important to be able to get away and recharge. You will wear yourself out if you don't take a break every so often.

Jessica - posted on 04/04/2012

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No. I do not feel guilty. Taking time for yourself will only make you a better mother. Taking time for a support group or picking a movie at the theater is healthy and important, even watching the news or taking a nap. Please join me and take time for yourself.

Audra - posted on 04/04/2012

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Do you feel guilty because you're leaving the house when it isn't clean?

Janelle - posted on 04/04/2012

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You know the saying 'if mamma ain't happy, nobody's happy!" it is very true. you will be a better wife, mother and person if you do something for yourself even if it's only 1 hour a month.

Rebekah - posted on 04/04/2012

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I have learned that I can not be the mother I want to be without taking time for myself. The best decision I have made for my entire family was to join our local YMCA. I go every weekday, leave the kids in the Y-play (which they love), and then have an hour and a half of "me time." Somedays I just take a shower and surf the internet, and other days I work-out. They need the time away from me and I need the time away from them. Win-win!

Carrie - posted on 04/04/2012

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You need to just do it. If you do not take care of yourself you will not take care of anyone well. With time you will not feel as guilty, but just do it for yourself and your family!!

Sarah - posted on 04/04/2012

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Nope... I may think about them and miss them a bit when I am away... only a little bit... but I never feel guilty. If you don't get some time to yourself you are going to go insane. That doesn't help anyone. You need time to collect yourself and an outlet to put your energies into that aren't cleaning, feeding, or entertaining kids. It isn't healthy to devote every minute of every day to other people. you need to to take care of yourself as well. You need to nurture yourself as well as others and if you can't take care of yourself how can you care for others. Take a class, go for a weekly cup of coffee and a walk through Target for a couple of hours, hide in the car with your laptop and a DVD... never feel guilty for needed me-time. You are just as important as everyone else in your life... more so since they would fall apart without you... you know they would... just look at the kitchen sink when you come home after leaving the kids with Dad... they can't watch kids and do dishes... I am convinced. ;)

Bonnie - posted on 04/04/2012

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No. Just go and do it. You need it to keep your sanity. It's only fair to you. Once you do it a few times, you won't feel guilty and you will feel much better.

Kimberly - posted on 04/04/2012

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Colleen you will always feel some sort of guilt when leave your daughter but there does come a time when you do need to leave her even if it for only an hour. Getting your tooth pulled would be one of them! If your nervous or worried about leaving her start off small, leave her with your house been for an hour and go grab a coffee, then maybe grab lunch with a girlfriend, and slowly build up the time you are away from her. No one exspects you to be super mom, we all need breaks from time to time and it is good for both of you. You get a quick recharge and your husband gets to spend one on one time with your daughter without you being there so they can sort each other out. I had a really hard time leaving my daughter to start with but now I have no worries leaving her with dad or other family as I know she is healthy and safe and loving the new play mates for the moment. And I feel great when I come back could I've had time for my mind to unwind and just relax and enjoy me for even 30 mins. I even like doing the shopping as a break!!!! My husband actually tells me to go do something when he is home or just says he's taking her to the park and will but the kettle on for me. Its hard but start small and everyone will benifit from it, a happy mom makes a happy home!!!!

Stifler's - posted on 04/04/2012

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No! haha. I just go, knowing my husband gets all day at work with no kids then gets to sleep the whole night.

Havefaith09michaia11 - posted on 04/03/2012

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Yes I know what you mean. I have two kids and the yungest just turned one and is still being nursed and is going though a stage that is not fun. He wants me or to be heled all the time.



I go to a ladies care group with my church on Mondays, a discovery group on weds and take the kids to a play group if I can on seduled days. At first I had to take the kids with me for my husband was working then I only had to take my yungest because of the nursing. Now I can go on my own to the two top ones. I do fell guity some times because I know my yungest has been craby but its so worth it even if that means some things like dishes plile up on me the next day. I also go to the store with just one of the kids or by my self most time. Sometimes its as a family.



I have also seduled some time after the kids are put to bed to scrapbook or work on the quilt I'm making my daughter and some quiet time for some one on one time with God when my hubby comes home. I see it as if I'm not rested and my heart is not right then I'm going to not be the best mommy. I am going to snap faster and more agitated by not getting a break. It has happened too.



My advice is start small and work your way up. Talk to your husband about it and see what he thinks. You could always just make some you time during nap time if she takes them.



For me the benefits out weigh the guilt.

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