#Momlife: Is it Time for Book Club?

Today’s feature post is from Megan, of This Anchored Life. Megan writes about #momlife in a relatable  and humorous way. When the opportunity to collaborate arose, I was really glad to see what Megan had to offer.  As much of my blog focuses on some of the struggles of motherhood, it also aims to provide inspiration and motivation. I loved what Megan had to offer. Read on to discover her Book Club, and why you need it too!

img_0921As moms, we know the exact definition of what it means to be selfless. In fact, if you look in the dictionary, you’d probably find a picture of a mom next to the word. Being selfless is one of those things that mothers are praised for. “Oh, look at that mom…giving up every ounce of her free time to fulfill the needs of all her children.” But you know what word is not praised when it comes to moms? Selfish. Being a mom and being selfish are in no way synonymous. In fact, a selfish mom is usually one of the big 5. That’s what I refer to as the top five things moms are regularly shamed for. That blog post is coming soon.

Here’s the deal. I have been through a lot of crap in my life that was really tough; Marriage, divorce, the passing of loved ones. But being a parent, besides the obvious of being the greatest blessing, is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. In my life.

Ever.

I mean, to start, we are essentially responsible for the well-being of another human for 18 years. Does no one else contemplate how big of a task this is? Feeding, cleaning, grooming, and determining whether that cough is the result of a mild cold or the start of tuberculosis. It is a lot to handle. It is absolutely shocking to me that more moms aren’t committed to a psychiatric ward each year. Every time I hit my breaking point, I am positive that this will be the one that ends up with me in a padded room whispering under my breath about the t-ball team snacks I still have to put together.

And while I do use humor to talk about this, I do not take mental health lightly. In fact, that’s actually exactly why I wanted to write about this. And I’m not even referring to full blown depression…I’m just talking about the day to day sanity that we as moms cling to. I think the general population thinks that if you made it safely past the postpartum threat in those early days, then you’re set up for a stress free course until your kids move out of the house. Wrong. Simple day to day tasks like cooking, cleaning, diaper changing, grocery shopping, playdate planning, crafting, errand running, party planning, potty training, chauffeuring, Halloween costume creating, feeding, and for many moms, working a full time job are like small pebbles in a river. The river being your sanity. I’m exhausted just typing it and I don’t even do half of that “good mom” crap that I’m jealous of my mom friends for doing. Their t-ball team snacks have toys and a theme. Meanwhile,  I’m over here frantically looking through plastic tubs in my pantry to see if I have at least 12 bags of gummies and enough granola bars and peanut butter crackers for each player.

It’s exhausting. And slowly, those tiny pebbles in the river create a huge dam, as the flow of your sanity desperately tries to make it through the spaces between those pebbles. You see where I went with that?        

So what’s my big solution to this? What’s my grand plan for saving moms and their sanity? It goes back to that nasty word I mentioned in the beginning.

Plain and simple. Be selfish.

Now, I am certainly not talking about the kind of selfish that you were, say, in college. You know, where it didn’t matter if you ended up sleeping on someone’s bathroom floor until 2pm the next day, because you certainly weren’t driving anyone to soccer or ballet. I’m talking about taking care of yourself. And gasp, here’s the kicker…taking care yourself, before taking care of others.

Because for me, if I am not in a good place mentally, it is almost impossible for me to do my job as a mom to the best of my ability. Being selfish in moderation has pretty much saved me from losing my marbles on more than one occasion. And now, I don’t just make it a point to be selfish on occasion, I make it a priority.

One of the ways I do that is through what I like to call “book club”. Only my book club doesn’t involve any books and the only thing resembling a club is that we gather as a group in the same location. You get the idea. But it isn’t just book club. It’s making it a point to walk mindlessly around Target for an hour with my best friends. Or locking myself away and taking a ridiculously long, hot bubble bath with those expensive bath bombs that disappear in the water within seven seconds. Or seeing a movie with my husband. Or saving up for a babysitter so I can have a night out on the town dancing until my feet hurt. Or having a glass of champagne on the patio in complete silence. Or putting my kids on tablets for an hour or two so I can lose myself in my writing.    

bookclub

At the end of the day, I am ALL in for my kids a majority of the time. But I am unwilling to let my sanity escape by the wayside for a running record of  mom moments. It makes me sad that a mother’s worth is often measured by her ability to take care of her children, instead of her ability to take care of her children AND herself. Choosing to spend time away from my children from time to time doesn’t mean I don’t love them any less than the next mom. It means I know myself well enough to know that taking small breaks to focus on myself is what MAKES me a better mom.

I remember a time when I said yes to everything. Yes to every request at work. Yes to favors for friends. Yes to my kids for every activity. I think there is even a book about how powerful yes can be. But you know what else is powerful sometimes? Saying no, and saving a few of those yes answers for yourself.    

So the next time you’re getting close to your wits end, find a few mom friends who are in the same boat and set a book club date. Preferably at a bar. Or a restaurant. That has a bar.

This material was posted with the permission of This Anchored Life. 

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Megan is a fire wife, mom of three little humans, entrepreneur, foodie, and dreamer. Check out her amazing blog at This Anchored Life! 

15 thoughts on “#Momlife: Is it Time for Book Club?

  1. I agree with this post. I love it and am trying to do more for me and put me first. I think if i do that i can be a better mum and wife.

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  2. This post is great! It’s totally true – if we can’t help ourselves and take care of us, we can’t take care of them. I feel like when I invest in myself, even if it’s a few extra minutes in the morning to swipe on mascara or take a shower when I know I have limited time, I feel better prepared. I am more confident and able to feel okay about helping others rather than upset that I didn’t have time for myself.

    Tiffany | http://tiffanystaples.com

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  3. This is so true, sometimes we sacrifice so much looking after everyone else that we neglect ourselves. It’s so important to look after ourselves first and foremost to be able to give your best to others.

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  4. Great words. Mothers should be praised for taking care of both themselves and their children. If we are not our best, we can’t take care of others to the best of our abilities.

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