I am a mom. Which means that my brain, emotions and actions are no longer 95% about me, but 95% about her and everyone else. It also means that I suffer from “mommy guilt,” and thus, I now neglect self care. I feel like this affects most moms and it makes me sad! Unfortunately, I don’t have all of the answers and this is really just a quick blog about my recent revelation on the subject.
Let me give you a quick background recap into my situation
My husband and I just celebrated six years of marriage and holy shit – there has been a lot of rocky road (not the yummy) kind along the way. We have dealt with so many major issues in our short marriage: baby-mama drama, lost jobs, house floods, loss of a parent and alcohol addiction.
After having our daughter, Moseley Rose, 2 years ago, my husbands addiction to alcohol sent him to several emergency rooms, several jails, several detox centers, several rehabs, and several sober living homes. I legally separated from him when Moseley was only 6 months old and became a single mom.
I am proud to say that Chris will celebrate 16 months of sobriety tomorrow. And, like I said earlier, we just celebrated six years of marriage. He’s been back home since February and we’ve been working on healing all of the broken pieces – kind of.
Have you heard of the term “matrescence?” It is basically the transition into parenthood, for a woman, men do not experience this, but 100% of women do. Here is a great article from TheEveryMom regarding the subject – enjoy.
This is when your brain tells you that you are supposed to do everything and be everything for everyone – including your grown ass husband.
And you know what, we are only human – we make mistakes.
I am not saying that doing everything for your child is wrong, I mean, they are babies at some point and do actually need you to do everything for them. But, if you are lucky enough to be partnered, this isn’t your burden to bear 100% of the time.
What I am saying is that the mommy expectations that I have set for myself were only hurting me and my marriage. And that shit has to stop.
Self Care: His & Hers
Before I had my daughter self care was just my daily life, even after I was married. I had no problem doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. I would have a night out with the girls whenever I wanted. I’d head over to TJ Maxx on a whim. And my favorite, I would take a long, hot bath several nights a week. When I look back, I have a fond appreciation for those times, but I wouldn’t trade my daughter for them (matrescence).
Since self care was basically my lifestyle, it is amazing to me that is has completely fled from my nature and has become such a foreign concept. Now my definition of self care is the :45 that I spend at Burn Boot Camp six days a week. To be clear, that is enough self care time for this girl.
Chris has no problem hitting the golf course, or running errands, or seeing friends – he asks me if it’s cool and I say yes. Chris has no problem leaving the room to go do something that he needs to do – like go to the bathroom, or watch something besides Cocomelon. But, when is he going to let me have a break? When is he going to let me leave the room (by myself) for some me time?
Is the answer to these questions obvious to you? It wasn’t to me, until this weekend.
Mom, You Worry About Yourself.
I love that soundbite that comes up on my IG Reels, it is a little girls voice and she says, “You worry about yourself.” I love that little girl – she is a genius.
It is not my husbands job to give me a break, or permission to go do something, it is my job. My husbands job is to be my partner and her other parent. Now that he is sober, he is fully capable of doing all of the things for her that she needs.
This revelation, while it may seem obvious, has changed my perspective on parenting and being a partner in my marriage. It is up to me to own my self care. It is up to me to work with my husband on how to make sure that I am getting what I need.
If you had told me prior to having my daughter that this would be something I would experience, I would straight up laugh in your face. But, this is where I am and this shit has to stop.
This is something that I take VERY seriously. It is beyond important to me to stay true and honor my commitments, whatever they may be. So, in order to keep myself on the right track to regaining some semblance of self-care, I am going to make a commitment to myself:
I am going to make myself a priority, I am going to do what I want, when it works for my family. When it is “my time,” I am going to be present and engaged. I will kick my mom guilt to the curb when it is “my time,” and I will enjoy myself.
Feel free to use this commitment for yourself, if you need it. It is my new mantra and it will keep me focused.
This is part of my story, part of my journey. I share it because this has had such an impact on me and I am excited about how this is going to change my life. Hopefully it has enlightened you, or at least entertained you.
As a general rule, I try to be as open and honest as I can – about everything. I want to share my story with you, so that you feel comfortable sharing your story with me. We all have things in our lives that we are not proud of, things that we struggle with, feelings and emotions that seem wrong. But, you are not alone and you are not the only one who has ill-feelings about watching Cocomelon, again.
You got this momma.