Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hang on.....I'm having a moment

Sometimes all I want is just a minute.

Well, that's a lie. I want more than a minute. I'd like 5, 10, 45 minutes, or hey - how about a whole afternoon? A whole day? A weekend? That's probably pushing it...

My life has a tendency to spin a bit out of control at times, just as I'm sure yours does from time to time. Things pile up, the stress continues to mount, and I reach a point where I have a hard time just carrying on as usual.

Sometimes it just gets to be too much, and if I could just have a minute (and by minute I mean at least a couple of hours), I could function oh-so-much better.

Do you ever have those times in your life where you feel like so much is going on that you don't have the ability to just sit? Just be? Just think and ponder and reflect and get back to basics?

That's what kind of time I'm having.

I try to wind down every night by reading a book before bed. It relaxes me, it distracts my mind, makes my eyes tired, and helps me get a restful night's sleep. But even that doesn't give me what I ultimately need, and the majority of the time, I don't make what I need a priority.

I think it has to do with the fact that there are these unspoken expectations that go along with being a wife and a mother and, in general, a woman in today's world. I think we're finally making some progress as it is becoming more acceptable to take care of ourselves, but that is not how it's been for women in our society.

You can talk about women's liberation until you're blue in the face, but the fact is - we are still followed around with these expectations that we are supposed to do certain things and be a certain way.

Cook dinner. Take care of your babies. Listen. Nurture. Behave. Don't be bitchy. Don't be rude. Volunteer. Don't lose your temper. Don't confront. Say yes. Go there. Be there. Do this. Do that.

It's so sad that for many of us, it's like pulling teeth just to say no to something. We're plagued by this guilt, and for those of us that are moms, we all suffer from Mommy Guilt in its many forms.


For not spending enough time with our kids.
For not feeding them organic or fresh food.
For giving them pre-packaged, microwave it in 30 seconds lunches.
For plopping them in front of the TV so we can have some silence.
For wanting to get away.
For using formula instead of breast feeding.
For getting mad at them.
For yelling at them.

We're scared...

Of being judged.
Of not being perfect.
Of not being as good as those other moms who appear have it all together.
That we really can't handle all that comes our way.

But, that's not how it's supposed to be.

We shouldn't plague ourselves with guilt. We shouldn't be scared of failing or of being judged or of falling short of the mark.

We are humans. We are moms. And we are doing the best that we can.

But, if there's one thing we suck at, it's taking care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves without the guilt......

.....Realizing that just because we want to get away from our kids and our spouses and our homes and our responsibilities - THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE BAD MOMS.

We can't be on our game if we're burning the candle at both ends and constantly on edge about something because we've just had it up to HERE and feel like we're going to crack. We have so much on our plates as women - I don't care if you have kids, work outside the home, are married, are single, whatever. The mere fact that we are women automatically means that we have a tremendous amount of responsibility, stress, and unrealistic expectations.

We all just need a minute. A minute to breathe, to think, to be ALONE and not be bothered.

I've felt the need for my own little minute coming for quite a while now, and the events of the past couple weeks, with my husband being out of work and both of our stress levels being through the roof, have only made that more clear to me.

I have so much on my mind. I feel so overwhelmed. And I am still stressed out about everything that has happened. But, I came home to past due bills, piles of laundry, not a clean pair of underwear in sight, and a kitchen full of dirty dishes. I couldn't just melt down. I had things to tend to.

So, hmmm...have a much-needed cry fest and let everything out, or gee - get our bill payments out in order to avoid late fees and annoying calls at 8:45 p.m. from the idiots at the bank, electric company, credit card holders.......Let's go ahead and just make that payment. The breakdown can wait for another day...

I want to be able to just sit and think. I want some time to myself where I don't feel the need to accomplish chores and run errands and be productive.

And one day, I'm going to have my minute -- I'll a free woman. Maybe I'll get a spa pedicure at a fancy little spa where they have huge cushy chairs that you sink way down into. They'll have big copper bowls with marbles in the bottom, bubbles galore, and rose petals on top of the bubbles where your toes soak and soak and soak. There's scrubbing and massaging and hot paraffin wax dips. And beautimous toes, freshly painted in what I'm guessing will be a deep, sparkly red.

Who knows what will come after that. All I know is there will be no washing of clothes or dishes, no paying of bills, no naptimes (unless I decide I want a nap), no crying, and no stress.

I don't have a plan. And that's how I want it. No strings. No real plans. Just time. Time to chill out, to let things sink in, to cry if I want to, and to get myself back together - back where I feel like I can handle things again and where I feel more at peace.

What would YOU do with a minute


Your Mama said...

Tell you that I love you and that you should come see me and let me give you a massage and a nice ice cold Coke! :)

Mark and Emily said...

I read this post when you first published it and it's my favorite post of all time! Let me tell you why...It got me thinking (yikes!)...I decided that I was going to try and recognize the little things that I do for myself during the day. The truth is most days I barely have a minute to brush my teeth and maybe take a shower. But other days it's painting my toes, eating a healthy dinner, putting on deodorant, going to the mall, etc.

Thanks for helping me to become more aware of when I do have a minute, or 22 seconds to myself!!!

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