I remember when I first became a mom, I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of parenting information out there. There are so many different opinions, do’s and don’t’s, rules and “guidelines” on how to be a devoted, loving and protective mom, it’s a wonder we all don’t spontaneously combust.
Taking time away from the kids however seems to break some unwritten rule for moms. As mothers, we shouldn’t want to take time away from our kids, and feeling that way makes us some sort of outlaws.
What’s up with that?!
The truth is that while there is certainly no shortage of high and mighty opinions out there on how to be a good mom, it can be our own inner critic that turns those opinions into our very own, personal, negative self-talk.
Well, screw that, ladies. It’s time to take control of that inner critic and kick these outdated mommy myths to the curb:
Myth # 1
Taking Time Away From Your Kids Means You’re Selfish.
We all want the best for our kids and we’re the ones in charge of that, right? But when we need to deviate from that priority to look after ourselves, that critical voice inside each of us starts to chime in:
“All your kid wants to do is play with you, and you’re going to have a cup of coffee instead. Selfish much?”
Sound familiar? I’ve totally been there, babe.
How much fun do you think you’ll be to play with if you’re hanging by a thread? About as much fun as a toddler tantrum in a grocery store, thank you very much. And make no mistake, your kids will see that.
You see, there’s a big difference between selfishness and self-compassion. Taking moments to treat yourself well, recharge and replenish your energy stores is essential to being the best mom you can be for your kids. And make no mistake, your kids will see that.
So grab that coffee if you need it. You enjoy every last drop of it and then get right back into play time.
Myth # 2
Looking After Your Own Needs Makes You A Bad Mother.
In my house, if I don’t get up ahead of my kids in the morning, the chances of me having a shower decrease by a power of ten.
So if I hear Baby G start to cry for me while I’m brushing my teeth, or drying my hair, or even putting my underwear on, do I immediately drop everything to tend to what he needs?
No. I finish what I’m doing.
Why? One, because if I don’t finish my makeup, I might forget to do the other eye. Two, I end up changing a bum with a toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, dripping foam all over my kid, wearing only my undies and my head in a towel. *shudder* Sorry for the visual.
It kinda sets a tone for the day, know what I mean? And eventually it does catch up with me.
So take the shower if you need it, smooth on your body lotion, or finish your makeup. Your self-care routine might be interrupted, sure, but it’ll get done and the tone for the day will be set. You’ll be fully functional, and if you can’t function, you can’t “mom”.
So take that, Myth #2. And, honestly, there are so many other ways we can be branded “bad moms”, let’s just keep taking care of ourselves out of it, ok?
Struggling to carve out time for yourself? Download my Daily Self Care Checklist!
Myth # 3
You Don’t Really Love Your Kids If You’re Spending Time Away From Them.
Now, as a new mom, no doubt this myth has entered your mind. It can be excruciating having a night away from your child for the first time. Been there too, mama.
Remember, staying in touch with your per-mom self is an imperative part of your self-care regimen. An evening among adults who call you by your name, instead of “Mommy”, Conversations that revolve around grown-up issues, instead of kids cartoons…I know, mind blown, right?
Even if all you do is talk about your kids, it’s refreshing to get it out into the open. It’ll reduce your stress levels, keep you socializing, and keep you connected to the people and things that actually helped make you the fantastic, rockstar mom that you are.
So when your inner critic shoves its two cents in your face about what you should be doing instead of taking care of yourself, shut that “Negative Nelly” down.
You’re taking time out to recharge your batteries so you can get right back into the Mommy game. Replenishing your Mommy Momentum is essential if you’re going to win at this parenting gig and still keep yourself and your sanity in tact.
Know a mom who keeps getting tripped up by these mom myths? Share this post and encourage her to shut them down and get her Mom game up and running again.