Sometime before Spring of 2009 (That’s a transition point in my life I reference a lot for boring reasons) I was the kind of person that rarely – if ever – did things without my kids. I would scoff…literally scoff…at people harped on the value of Me Time. Whereas I, on the other hand, couldn’t even go to the grocery store without the kids and not feel guilty. So, when a woman would discuss the need to exercise, or get her hair done, or have a Girl’s Night Out – I would just assume, somewhere in the back of my mind, they didn’t like being a Mom as much as I did.
I KNOW! That’s a HORRIBLE thing to think!
But we all do that, right? We all – subconsciously at least – justify NOT choosing what other people choose in ways that make US feel better. Not intentionally, not deliberately, but we do it.
I’ve realized lately that I get a lot of Me Time now, or at least time without the kids, and I don’t feel ONE OUNCE OF GUILT about it! I’m not sure when that change happened, or how, or why, but it seems part of my Mommy Guilt issues have subsided. I used to feel like I had to REALLY justify leaving Donnie with the kids before doing it. It had to be an outside demand of my time that I had no control over. I would never just DECIDE to leave him with the kids without a reason outside my power.
But now? I leave him with the kids often. If I have a run for my half-marathon training I have to do? I do it. Before, when I was training, I would just skip the runs if I couldn’t do them in the mornings before the kids woke up, or after the kids went to bed. Now? I know they’re too important so I do them at night. I schedule meetings at whatever time I can instead of trying to find time when the kids didn’t need me. I even try to make plans with friends once in awhile.
And not ONE BIT OF GUILT.
You have no idea how much I wish I could pinpoint something specific that freed me from that guilt. It’s not me NEEDING to get away from my kids, I’m still not there or anything, but I don’t feel guilty for leaving them with their Dad anymore. Which was RIDICULOUS to begin with. I knew it was ridiculous, but that didn’t stop me from feeling it. But now? Gone. Last night E and I went running and left the little ones with Donnie, and that’s when it occurred to me. The old me? Would have waited until they were in bed so I didn’t have to deal with the Mommy Guilt of leaving them when they were awake.
So, last night it hit me: I’M CURED!
I just don’t know how. And I still suffer the Mommy Guilt in other areas (I keep forgetting stuff associated school, like Picture Day!) but it seems I’ve gotten over the irrational guilt that plagued me when leaving the kids with their OTHER parents. And I’m so glad I’ve gotten over this because they seem to not care anymore, when they used to act sad when I left. So, it’s good for me, and good for Donnie. He gets time with the kids with them being HAPPY instead of crying because I’m gone.
So, does this help YOU in any way if you suffer from that guilt? No. Because I can’t pinpoint a cure. I’m sorry. But it’s great for ME! So…YAY!