As parents, we understand that we have made a lifelong commitment to being responsible for another human being. We understand that we must meet their needs physically, emotionally, and financially at whatever expense is necessary. There’s no true rule book to being a parent, at least not that I’ve been made aware of. Each child is different, the timing is different, and parenting styles/preferences all differ as well. People assume that you’ll raise your children or follow a similar path like how you were raised by your parents/family. People assume that once you make that commitment to bring a child into this world that your whole life will cater to the child. People assume that your children should be stuck to your hips like glue in order to protect them and guide them along the right paths. Here’s the thing…..THOSE ARE ASSUMPTIONS!
I believe it is an important topic to talk about. Me being a mother of two I am often shamed for having the COURAGE to say out loud, “I need a break”. Everyone knows like most parents I would literally put my life on the line for my children. They are motivators in life in general. There’s not a thing in the world that I wouldn’t do for them. Since becoming a mom 7 almost 8 years ago I can say my entire life and existence has been to be the best mother I can be. When I was tired, frustrated, and out of patience I feel like I had to KEEP A SMILE on my face and push through it….why? Because that’s what we as parents do. Well guess what….that is not healthy!
It took me hearing my therapist (yes, I go to therapy) tell me that it is NORMAL to have those feelings of exhaustion both physically and emotionally. It is normal to take HEALTHY BREAKS from any human being (mother, cousin, child, or friend). There’s this concept of understanding we cannot pour out of an empty cup! Let me say that again, we cannot pour out of an EMPTY cup. We must reflect on what we need for ourselves before we can pour into others and that includes our kids! In a recent news article published by Fox 5 (2019), they shared that a recent study revealed on average, moms work 98 hours a week, which is the equivalent to two full-time jobs plus overtime (Whew chile!). Additionally, the article mentions self-care for moms isn’t optional and is an important part of being a good mother.
Okay, so we have the experiences, we’ve reflected on our own feelings, and have recent studies that supports the mom’s claim of needing a break. The real question is now what will you do about it? Take that break Sis! Develop those family, friend, and community supports to have your moments of solitude, whether its an hour, 1 day, or a weekend, take time away to fill your own bucket and be proud to say you are taking care of yourself. Believe it or not taking a break from your child(ren) teaches them the importance of balance as an individual and within their family roles. Doing so does NOT mean you love your children any less or that you wouldn’t trade them for the world. Doing so DOES MEAN you care enough to be healthier you (physically, mentally, and emotionally) for them! I’m not going to judge you and I could care less who judges me.
P.S. I’m currently on the countdown till my next kids free weekend (*inserts shoulder shrug here*)
Atiyya Thompson, pHriends pHounder