Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Me" Time Isn't Selfish

When my kids were really little, babies and toddlers, I felt the need to be with them at all times. Reading, playing, coloring, crafting, doing everything with, and for, them myself. I even had a hard time letting my husband take over bathing or feeding, thinking that it made me a better mom, a better person, if I met their needs myself. I didn't even like for him to take them anywhere in the car without me: what if he didn't buckle them tightly? if he let them eat junk food? if he drove too fast?

But now that they are a bit older, I see that I do NOT have to be "on" all the time. Right now, the girls are watching a movie, and I'm sitting with them, writing, reading, drinking coffee. I am present with them, available to them, but I don't WANT to watch Cinderella for the 935th time. I've realized that it's ok to let my husband take them swimming while I take a nap (or clean bathrooms, which is more likely), that it's ok to send them back upstairs when they wake up too early in the morning, that they can figure out how to shove Barbie's feet into her go-go boots. (Or just find some sneakers. The girl's got more shoes than Imelda Marcos!) I am entitled to finish a cup of coffee before it gets cold, and Barbie's fashion crisis can just wait a few minutes!

As my kids got older, and as I approached 40, I got tired of constantly meeting everyone else's needs and ignoring mine. (Why are you asking me for a drink while I'm IN THE POTTY???) So now, if I'm on the treadmill and someone wants a snack, she can wait until I am done - or get it herself. I have the right to be healthy and happy, and taking care of myself allows me to take better care of my family.

Slacker Mom lets my kids be more independent and less dependent on me. She lets me take some time for myself, feel good about doing something for me for a change. So if my kids are watching TV for an hour instead of reading or doing a science experiment, it won't hurt them. Not every moment must be spent "enriching" their little lives. Did our moms do so much for us, or did they just let us get on with it?

Slacker Mom's ok to take a few minutes to read the paper, watch the news, drink your coffee, or catch up with a friend on the phone. If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. So be happy and do something for you this morning!

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