Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mommy Needs a Break! From Guilt, from Diapers, From Everything!

After my daughter's birthday party last week, I was completely exhausted and then we had to go to a wedding and two more birthday parties that weekend.  By Sunday night, I looked like death warmed over and I was seriously on edge.  Every time I heard crying of any kind, I had to resist pulling out my hair and screaming, "STOP IT!!!" 

Monday morning came too quickly and it was time to go back to work and I looked at my schedule and realized that I had an overnight trip planned for Tuesday.  I don't have to travel for work often, but every time I do, I am racked with guilt.  I worry that the kids won't sleep well, that they'll fight for the baby-sitter or my parents, or that Hubby will be awake all night before he has to go operate on humans the next day.  The irony is that they always do fine, but the list of why I worry goes on and on and it's all I can think about.  But then something funny happens...I get to my hotel and it hits me that I'm alone and can do whatever the heck I want and I am suddenly thrilled beyond belief.  Then I feel guilty again for being so happy to be alone so I punish myself by working all evening on my computer and going to bed early.
Intellectually I know that feeling guilty is a stupid waste of time.  I can't change the fact that I have to go out of town.  My worry doesn't help anyone and I know deep down that sometimes I lash out when I'm feeling guilty and it's no wonder.  There is well-documented evidence that guilt and depression are a bad idea:
So, knowing all this, I decided to embrace my out-of-town trip.  After my business meetings, I made an appointment to get my disgustingly scraggly hair cut.  I got a pedicure on my poor callused feet.  I rented The Bachelor Pad on my iPad and I watched the entire thing.  I ate cookies.  And I didn't feel one bit guilty about it.

The next day when it was time to go home, I noticed something very interesting.  I was absolutely thrilled to see my kids.  My irritation and exhaustion were gone.  We had a wonderful evening together and I realized that I had just learned a very important lesson in how to be a better Mom: take a break.  Not just from kids but from guilt.  Of course, my situation of being out of town is unique and rare, but we can all find a way to get a pedicure, read a book, get a massage, whatever makes us happy, because we work hard and our kids deserve a happy mommy.

I want to say thank you so much to all of you readers!!!  Because of you, my book keeps climbing in the ranks on Amazon and it feels so wonderful to know that we are helping some Moms out there!!  If you haven't checked into it yet, I would love it if you would.  It has a unique perspective because I co-wrote it with former Kindergarten teacher, Susan Case, and we bring you hundreds of ways to keep your kids busy and we even tackle this subject of Mommy Guilt!  I would love it if you would check it out!

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  1. I used to fell guilty but I no longer do because I am a better person when I take a break. I go every 2 weeks to get mani and pedi and I always go and get my hair colored every 6 weeks.

  2. I am going to be buying your book girly

  3. I used to feel guilty about being away from the boys, but I've noticed I tend to be much happier and actually enjoy them when I've had a little break!!

  4. I love that you linked to very current published research. Thanks!
    -Katie G.

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