Having been a mom for close to 13 years and served as lead mom for a local moms group for almost as long, I empathize with the guilt that some moms experience with going out for just one night, even if it’s just for a few hours.
I understand how women dream about being moms then feel let down or unfilled by days full of poop-filled diapers, or even losing a child or never being able to conceive at all.
It’s o.k. to be sad. It’s perfectly fine to feel less than perfect, because each of us knows that motherhood is far from perfection. When did life ever promise a perfect ending?
As moms, we try our best every day to provide just the simple basics for our family. Sometimes we scream and “have a moment”. Other days, we lose it often and other days we get it right. We’ll barely survive one day just to do it all again tomorrow. We secretly pray for a better tomorrow to be a viewed as a hero instead of a villain by our children.
Motherhood can be elation and depression all at once.
As any mother veteran will tell you, for a small window of time each day, it is absolutely essential to do something for yourself before you lose yourself in the chaos of motherhood. Find what makes you happy and hold onto it and enjoy every fleeting moment.
My happy “me time” is running, blogging and the occasional MNO with my mommy friends. The other night, some friends and I took a break from our maddening mommy worlds and entered the world of four moms in different places of motherhood: the mommy blogger of three young children, a pastor’s wife and mother of a teenage, the best friend and mommy of toddler twins and the very young SIL single mom of an infant. Each faked motherhood and struggled just as much as the next, but one thing was certain. They all needed a break.
The movie mirrored my mommy friends (SAHMs and WAHMs) and me. We laughed over the silly idiosyncrasies and cried over the similarities to our own fears of failing our children. With the addition of a pastor’s wife there was a faith-based aspect to the plot, but not the focus of the film.
Motherhood is a beautiful mess. God loves your beautiful mess. So why can’t you love you?
The important message to take away from the movie is to remember you are not alone. Despite loving our husbands and our children unconditionally, we occasionally have this sad, twisted empty emotion inside us. Every mom everywhere has felt that emotion one point and no matter how laced-up , buttoned-up and beautiful someone’s life may appear on the outside, they’ve felt it on the inside too.
To all the moms, when that emptiness hits, just remember you are never alone. When your husband travels and you’re trapped under a pile of dirty laundry, dirty dishes and dirty diapers, you are never alone. You may need to call a rescue party to find you, but a true friend will definitely deliver the life line you need. Let them lift your spirits and lift you out of the funk you feel.
If you feel depressed, call someone. Plan a dinner date or a coffee chat to reconnect to another adult. Join a book club, wine club or a women’s bible study. Take a moment for you and be o.k. with it. Remove the guilt. Your family needs you to be happy just as much as they need to be happy.
And just remember, it’s not babysitting when you leave your kids with their dad. That’s called being a parent. His job is important too.
And while we’re talking about Dad’s role in the chaos of parenthood, husbands should never, ever, ever travel on Mother’s Day. (Shame on you, Sean!) That’s the mother of all days for a mom to take a break; so Dad, be there and be present for Mom.
Disclosure: I was inspired to share a motherhood reflection post after hosting a National Mom’s Nite Out 2014 MOMS’ NIGHT OUT Mommy Party movie viewing party which is now playing in theaters everywhere. For tickets and show times, visit MOMS’ NIGHT OUT online. Follow MOMS’ NIGHT OUT on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Visit the MOMS’s NIGHT OUT YouTube channel for trailers, interviews and other fun videos.