guest blog post: why i need a break from my child, why some moms don’t, and why that’s ok


Welcome to this week’s edition of #TakeOverTuesday! Today we are joined by Lauren, who is a reading teacher, wife and mom to an adorable little lady, Teagan! Lauren’s post really spoke to me, as a new mom trying to find what works for me and our family, with balancing my need for some ME time with my competing desire to be with my husband and daughter 24/7. There really is no right answer here! For me it is a day-by-day decision about what feels right and what will work for our family. I hope you enjoy Lauren’s post as much as I did!

By Lauren @takingintheseitz

Hey there! I’m Lauren, blogger over at Taking In The Seitz. I’m so happy to be guest posting here and hope to share a little of my perspective for you!

A pregnant mother begins making plans to visit a bachelorette party 4 months after her second baby is born. It’s a two day, overnight trip and daddy will be home with the babe, and 3 year old toddler. Her first baby was sleeping through the night then, so she assumes this one will too. And if not, her husband should be able to handle it. Mama needs a night off!

A first time mom, with a 10 month old, refuses to go on a date night with her husband and neighbor friends because she doesn’t trust anyone to stay with the baby. What if the baby wakes up and the sitter doesn’t know what to do to get him back to sleep? She doesn’t think she’ll be able to relax enough to enjoy herself and doesn’t want to waste the money. Maybe some other time.

A single mom with a 6 and 9 year old spends three nights a week at the gym, for about an hour and a half each time. While she’s gone, the high school neighbor girl gets dinner ready, feeds the kids, and gets them in the bath. When she gets home, they read a family book and then it’s off to bed. She used to workout twice a day before children, and now this is her only time getting it in. She shouldn’t have to give up her interests because she’s a mom, right?

A mother of three, who works outside the home while her children are in school, keeps turning down invites with her kids’ friends’ parents. Things like PTO meetings on Tuesdays, Book Club on every other Sunday, Mom’s Night Out the last Saturday of the month, play dates on Friday nights and a weekend away over the holiday weekend. Her time with them is limited and as much as these events appeal to her, her kids are only young once and she’ll never get these years back. Weekends are for family time, and she’s often too tired during the week to make plans.

Sound familiar to anyone? Chances are you have heard one of these stories among your groups of friends. And maybe you’ve judged them for their decisions. Or perhaps, one of these moms is you, and you’ve heard from your friends and family how you just need to deal with the situation. Motherhood can be a tough game, and it doesn’t help having to listen to the commentary on how to play it.  I recently searched for articles on the topic of stay at home vs work outside the home moms. I was shocked at the ones I found, and the reasons for why one is better than the other. One the pro work side, one actually listed “You’ll raise stronger kids” and “You’ll be happier”. And on the pro SAHM side, it legitimately said “Your kids will be smarter” and “No one ever regrets staying home with their kids”. Seriously? No wonder the so called “mommy wars” continue to be fueled. Among these are the following pieces of conflicting demands women receive from those around them.

  • Spend time with your kids, but not too much-they need to learn to be on their own.
  • Don’t leave them for too long-don’t you have responsibilities? Don’t forget, you’re a mother now. You should be giving up your interests for time with your family.
  • Working outside the home will damage your kids-how could you let someone else raise your child?
  • Don’t you want to model to your children that women can do anything, and that includes having a family AND working.
  • You need to be a better role model by showing them that you care about {insert hobby/cause/job/interest}. You shouldn’t lose yourself just because you had kids.
  • Why did she have kids so early? She is going to regret not living her life before having kids.
  • Whoa, she’s over 30 and doesn’t have kids yet? She better get started-shes’ running out of time.

I guess I find myself shocked that we haven’t realized as a society as a whole that it’s none of our business what anyone does within the family unit. Is it because our family’s lives are on display, through social media, that we feel entitled to insert our opinion. Is it also because anyone and everyone can publish their opinion on a public forum, which of course is then taken as fact, because, #ireaditontheinternet.

I know myself well enough to know that I am a better mom, wife, and when working,   better teacher, when I take time for myself. I learned early in my career to set boundaries with time, because any teacher can attest to the fact that your list is never done. It’s the same for motherhood, and I find my previous boundaries helping me in this area now as a mom. The to-do list is forever long. It will keep growing, and we sometimes just have to stop and give ourselves some time to recharge. But for everyone, this looks differently. For some, it’s a wine night with the neighborhood moms. For others, its a date night with your oldest child or a family movie night in on Friday. It might mean a weekly date night with your partner or a daily date with your personal trainer. It might mean staying home, and it might mean working.

What I am getting at is that it’s ok to do what works for you, for your family. We need to support each other in this, free from judgement. So whether you are the mom who leaves for a weekend at 4 months post-partum or still hasn’t been away from your kids since their births 2 and 4 years ago, remember that whatever decision you make, you must make it for you and you alone. And the next time you get an opportunity to judge another mom for her choices, choose grace instead.


Comments

  1. PREACH! Yes, this is all so true. Personally, I haven’t left my toddler with anyone except her dad or (much) older sibs. But. I want to. I know that I’m crazy. I used to leave the other two with grandparents (no longer an option for distance/age/illness reasons) all the time. I WILL leave her with a trusted babysitter someday.
    I blame my anxiety. And I am SO JEALOUS of my friends that get sitters all the time. But I don’t judge them (except maybe positively), and perhaps more importantly, I don’t judge myself (too harshly).

    • Delicately Balancing Life

      Good for you for not judging yourself or other mamas! We all have to do what feels right for us. xoxoxo

  2. I love the tone of this! We are all different, but we are all moms. That’s something HUGE that we all have in common, and it’s something to be celebrated.
    Every family is different, and different things work best for each of us. That’s beautiful, not something to bicker about. <3

    • Delicately Balancing Life

      Ain’t nobody got time for bickering, lol! We need to lift each other up and celebrate each mom for staying true to herself! xoxoxo

  3. Ah so much love for this post. First of all, love Lauren and her babe! And all these reasons she listed are so important and essential for moms as well as our children to learn. Thanks for putting this together.

  4. Awe I love Lauren & this post! so very true…

  5. Yes! I love this “choose grace instead” such a powerful message. We can all use a little more grace. Great post, mama! <3

  6. Oh that’s really cool and interesting topic that Lauren has raised. I also want some time to spent with my friends. Not all the time I fullfill my wish but sometimes I left my kids with their grandparents who are good enough that can take care of my kids. But still i used to call them many times to confirm whether they are alright or doing any trouble for their grandparents.

  7. This is a great post and so so relatable! I felt like I was reading about myself at one point!! 😀

  8. Very true and I love the post

  9. I love this! I think many moms or people in general can get caught judging even for a split second! It’s so great that she’s laying it out with some scenarios to show that you must do whatever works for you, and how you choose to find me time is so much more complex than a specific list. Thank you for sharing Lauren’s perspective! ❤️

  10. Amen to all of this! Super great and HONEST post!

  11. Love this!! I’ve done both and each has its pros and cons for my family, but all that matters is that you find what works for your family!!

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