Mama Guilt

I am at the end of my rope. I get this way sometimes, usually about once a month (no, not THAT time of the month, people), where I just NEED A BREAK. I need to be on my schedule, not in charge of entertaining anyone, in a quiet place and to do something for me. I don’t want to sound like a martyr and I HATE when SAHMs act like one. Like the whole world would end if they didn’t do everything. The moms that list off all the things they do each day just to get sympathy/props for their miraculous work ethic. The ones that act like their husbands would probably starve the kids to death and dress them in garbage bags if left to their own devices.

You know the ones. You might be one. Think about it.

Anyway, I try really hard not to fall into that trap. Especially to Paul, because he not only works a job 40 hours a week, he does tons around here. I am admittedly quite lazy with housework, although I have gotten a tiny bit better. I try to cook most of the meals, but he does the dishes EVERY NIGHT and MORNING, he straightens up, he gives Declan a bath and puts him down every night, takes out the trash, etc. So I’m really not going to look at him and complain that I do SO MUCH around here and I just HAVE to have a break. Because when is his break??

Now granted, I do think, as lame as it sounds, that having a 25-minute commute to and from work each day counts as a little bit of a break. He would probably disagree, but I would give a lot of money to have 50 minutes alone in the car every day. I’d give a lot of money to have 50 minutes alone in the bathroom every day. Hell, 25 would do it. OK, I’d like to just pee alone every time I go. But I know that he and I value alone time, and we take it where we can get it. I just don’t get it very often.

It’s really the alone time I crave more than a “break.” Like, I don’t need a spa day once a month (I sure as hell wouldn’t complain about one, though) and I don’t need a big fancy date night or anything like that (we are pretty good about getting those, which is awesome). I just want time alone in the house to do whatever I want on my terms. Even if it’s cleaning. I want to clean NOT during nap time. Because I want to turn the music up loud and I can’t do that when Little Bit is sleeping!

I always know when it’s “time” for a break. I get edgy and irritable (well, more so than normal), my patience runs way short, and overall, I’m just a real joy to be around. So I’ll tell Paul that I’m going to be checking out, either mentally or physically, and I need him to take over and leave me alone. Which, luckily, he complies with. Today is one of those days. I knew yesterday that Break Time was imminent. He was more than happy to take the reins with Declan all morning, and now that Declan is down, I’m all dressed and ready to go to Barnes and Noble and a few other places ALONE. Heaven.

And of course, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for not doing something fun as a family today. I feel guilty that I’ve been sitting in the bedroom alone watching “Teen Mom” while my husband and son are snuggling on the couch. I feel guilty that Paul worked all week and has taken Declan all morning and will probably have him for a while this afternoon while I’m sipping coffee and thumbing through books. I feel guilty that I haven’t been very fun today. I feel guilty for not being able to be a good mom and wife all the time.

And this guilt takes away from some of this me time. So while I have the chance to be gone for hours, I know I’ll not be quite as leisurely as I could be. I know I won’t thumb through every book at B&N that piques my interest. I know when I go run my other errands, I’ll get in and out quickly, no dawdling. But I also know that once all that is over, I’ll come back fully charged and ready to be the best mom and wife I can be. And I don’t feel guilty about that.


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5 responses to “Mama Guilt

  1. Katie

    You shouldn’t feel guilty! Of course, I’m like the worst ever when it comes to that. Plus, I never, ever take a break to be alone. Right now, I am woking on schoolwork, and thinking about all the housework I need to be doing. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t multi-tasking…

  2. Amanda

    Totally normal!! I am not a SAHM but work part-time (27 hours a weeek) and am home the rest of the time while Sam works full time…and I beleive that even though SAHM’s don’t work outside the home, they definitely do work – and it’s often more difficult than other jobs that “working” moms do…There’s absolutely NO WAY that I could be at home all the time with Emma and I really envy moms that can (I don’t mean financially able to do so, I mean mentally capable of doing so….LOL) I think it takes a special kind of person to stay at home with their children and you most certainly deserve a break! Not only deserve it, but need it! Even just being at home part-time and working part-time I still need ME time and a break every now and then. Anyway…this was supposed to be just a short comment to say go have fun during your break time!!

  3. Misty

    I am the same way about leaving to do things alone, but hurrying back. It makes the trip completely pointless for me! I’m always anxious that Devan needs a break (because I know I would like one) and the dawdling, strolling, gawking, etc…never gets done. Plus, when I go out to shop for myself, I just end up buying things for Jalen. Still, I’m not going to NOT go!

  4. Paulie

    I can’t remember what peeing alone means. I tell Jennifer all the time that at a time during the day both she and I are SAHPs. She works evenings and I work days. She’ll sometimes ask for alone time to go driving and I am more than happy to comply. I know how important it is.

    The guilt is normal and the need for some type of independence is real too. Just balance it. Make the most out of life. The time with the little one and the time without.

  5. Shellie

    you are so right! the alone time is definitely necessary, yet guilt-riddled. sigh.

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