Time for me .. I hear this lament so often from fellow moms. Moms who work outside the home, moms who work from home and moms whose work is now their family. Time for me - we don't have it and we feel guilty when we take it, rushed and crunched between things we do for our families.
Recently I read an article about a wide reaching study, think of all the money we spend on all these surveys to tell us exactly how we should be as mothers/the impact our choices have as mothers/ the "we want it all" ...blah blah blah all basically just adding to the pressure we put on ourselves, that concluded that we too often have created our own worst enemy. We all try, based on those other surveys/social media/media/"they", to be these have it all women and also these mothers that never existed. That's right a model that never existed, not for mothers and not for fathers either. This ever present, child entertainer, constant need filler who works out, looks sharp, can cook a gourmet meal or at least order one and put it out and who has a successful career. If you are like this well good for you .. I have to work hard and give up something at every turn.
She never existed and she shouldn't have to. The article about the study described that in their findings mothers in the 50s, 60s, 70s and even early 80s at home or working outside let their kids make independent choices, did not constantly worry if they attended every game, nor did they organize every activity. These mothers loved their children but spent almost no time compared to today wondering about her skills at motherhood. If she did not work she did housekeeping, cooking and while she loved her family she did not hover as much and missed plenty of events often with no guilt. Of course am sure there were exceptions to this generalizations but it is the memory I and most people have of our time growing up from my generation to even my mother's one. The mother we are trying to be mostly exists as fiction in movies, books and articles. Is this to make women feel like their sole purpose is motherhood? What happens to women who choose not have children then? Or enjoy their careers?
Time for me ... I just had to hold it in to write this blog, which takes me about 15 -20 minutes, as my children somehow now need to talk to me. I had to hold it in to not say "go away" because I feel since I got home from work, cleaned up dinner, checked homework (husband did feed them) that I should not want this 15-30 min for myself. I do need this time. I need time to miss a baseball game or a few because I do not like watching and their dad is there. I need time to paint and do whatever I want to do without feeling like I have to explain it to someone or even to myself. I make time for them - I am present when I am with them - and most of my free time is spent with them unless they have other plans.
Time for me because sooner or later I needed to take a page from a friend of mine and write some goals that are just for me - goals for this year and for a few years forward that need me to focus some time on me. I feel a little twinge of guilt when I go watch a tv show in another room - and I shouldn't. I am this very independent person and one of the things I want my kids to be is same. I love them and being a mom but at some point we all need time for ourselves to do that - not in a crunch, not with looking at the watch, not with multitasking but just because we feel like it.
We should be the best for our kids but that means also leading lives that show them that taking care of your needs, that you are your own person and that your needs are as important as anyone else's in your life is something they too should aspire to have. Yes while writing this my husband had to know what I was doing, one son had a question and the other suddenly needed to kiss me. I love the kiss but my response was "thank you sweets but can I have a few minutes? " Maybe I should just have said ... "kiss me now, ask your question and then I need some time for me".
Time, time, time, see what's become of me.
While I looked around for my possibilities,
I was so hard to please.....Simon & Garfunkel (or the Bangles)