Inner life of Moms

Monday, March 19, 2007

Elizabeth tagged me for a Meme about Real Moms....

I was thinking about this on my way to and from class yesterday. The snow storm was coming, but hadn't yet gotten to Montreal. The weather turned from Spring like ( meaning I only needed a fleece to walk around) to bone chilling, hat, mitten, heavy overcoat kind of weather. I needed to stop at the McGill Library to grab one last book for some light reading, while cursing the fact that I seem to have lost ANOTHER right hand glove leaving me with LOTS of single left hand gloves....

(Oh, I laugh at my little joke! The book is "Private Speech: From Social Interaction to Self-regulation", and I will read it after I finish the "Neo-Vygotskian Approach to Child Development". God damn, but am I a barrel of laughs to talk with!)

At any rate, I actually let out a squeal of excitement when I found the book - on the right place on the shelf...and that is when it struck me.

Real moms keep a private life. Now I don't mean going to the bathroom alone - we all gave that up upon conception. Nor am I referring to the unfettered sex of the pre-child days, or the ability to spontaneously decide to "meet friends" without a maneuver worthy of the diplomatic talks between the Arabs and Israeli's.

No, what I mean is a private life, inside your mind. Maybe it is reading ridiculously titled books while working on a degree. Maybe it is reading thriller novels when the kids are tucked into bed, or recording a favorite tv show to watch later - when you are alone. Can I suggest sneaking off to a mid-day matinée ( the way I got to Pan's Labyrinth a few weeks ago)? Or going to a coffee house to read the paper with a hot cup of coffee for 30 minutes? Or a hot bath with good smelling bath salts? Or blog?

I know we all hear "You have to take care of yourself, so you can take care of your family"....but I would not even tack that second part on to the statement. You aren't taking care of yourself in ORDER to take care of your family - You need to take care of yourself so you can nurture YOU.

At each point in my life when I did not have the energy or health to nurture Me, I was certainly in no position to give anything to anyone else. That made me a grumpy, resentful Dawn. She did not have the patience to deal with homework, food, laundry, cat litter or any other damn thing that was being thrown at me. She was, quite simply, a bitch. And not in the "empowerment" way that I am happily bitchy at times.

Maybe it is the way I am built, but I can't imagine giving over everything to my child. My need to keep an inner self, inner thoughts, inner privacy is fundamental to keeping me balanced. When I forget this, begin to sacrifice for spouse and child to the exclusion of Dawn? It has never ended well.

I remind you all to carve out time for you. I know - it can be nearly impossible. It is easier to say than to do. Putting in a another load of laundry can wait. The dishes will still be there, I swear. Give yourself a half hour to read the book, watch the show. Save up the half hours to go to a movie by yourself.

Real Moms nurture their souls.

19 Baleful Regards:

Fraulein N said...

I love your take on motherhood. If I have kids, that's the kind of mother I want to be.

Ash said...

positively the best post I've read all morning.
Major Kudos.

Bethany said...

So true.

Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

Awesome post, I was just missing those private moments the other day. Between my working and my husband's work schedule and having a two year old, taking an online class, family obligations, etc...it's hard to make time for yourself. But, reading your post, I realize now why I can be such a bitch sometimes...I need to concentrate on making some time for myself I guess. Thanks, I think I needed this today!

Lisa said...

Stands up and claps. Amen sista!

Anonymous said...

That made me exhale, and I'm not a mom. Thanks for the reminder. Good karma being sent your way....

beth said...

Well said. Clapping loudly.

Elizabeth said...

That was EXCELLENT. I knew you would come up with something thought-provoking.

Nurturing my own self is why I stay up until 2:00 a.m. blogging after everyone else has gone to bed! It's pretty much the only thing I do that is just for ME.

ayasud said...

Wow, is this universe ever a funny place... I so needed that today. Like SO neeed that.

Anonymous said...

I know most moms can't do this, but I am speaking to the childless women. Take "Me" days. I do it at least twice a month and it's exhilarating. I look forward to these moments and I plan ahead. I guess the moms can have "me" moments. Everyone knows when I have my serious "me" days because I sometimes turn off my cellphone. It is absolutely necessary to pamper yourself.

Meghan said...

Well put, Annie Leibowitz of fruit. ALOF for short.

wordgirl said...

Preach it, my sister. You speak the truth.

Mitzi Green said...

does this mean i can stop feeling guilty for spending an hour at the gym and leaving my husband and child to fend for themselves? say it ain't so!

kim said...

Inside my head is the only place they can't find me.

E. said...

Amen!

TB said...

It's so, so great to hear you say that and know that you are doing it. I can tell from the way you're writing these days, even if you're busier than you've ever been.

Judith said...

From the first day we see our little bundle of joy, happiness begins. From time to time, we are a bit overwhelmed, but we can take the time to refresh, get some beauty sleep, take care of ourselves (good for the self esteem you know!) and we come out there ready to go again.

Anonymous said...

When the kids are away in college we miss them tremendously and relive all the growing up days, the joy and happiness. But they will be back soon! Always do, like magic.

mothergoosemouse said...

Extremely important - I completely agree. It makes us better parents.

 
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