Before I got pregnant, I heard people say this to new moms all the time. I am probably even guilty of saying it myself, although before having a child, I was only blindly repeating what I heard others say. Since having Evie, I've heard this more times that I could count, "You have to make time for yourself."
On the surface, obviously, they are right. Making time for yourself as a new mom is important. You want to be as refreshed and un-frustrated as possible. Caring for a newborn/infant/toddler is one of the most taxing jobs on the planet, and it would be hard to find someone who disagrees with that.
But....why is it so EFFING hard to make time for yourself?!?!?!!?!?
Whenever anyone suggests that I "take some time for myself," I immediately feel that twinge of guilt. I hear that obnoxious voice in my head saying, "That would be selfish. You don't really NEED to go shopping/get a pedicure/zone out in front of the TV/use the restroom without interruption." (That last one may be an exaggeration, but some days....) It all seems so superficial!!
I try to look at the glass as half-full. In doing this, I often feel that there are many people who have it much harder than I do. Single parents, women whose husbands are deployed, parents with babies that have exceptional needs...I have it so easy compared to them, and I should be grateful for what I have. I should quit complaining and do my job.
Nonetheless, I still have to take care of myself. Lately it's been especially difficult. Returning to school after spending my whole summer with Evie has been hard. M is very supportive of giving me any time that I need; I'm just terrible at actually taking that time for me. I feel bad enough leaving her at daycare each day, so to even think about doing something without her on the weekends makes me feel like a terrible mom. Saturday, I went shopping with my sister for a few hours, and it's the first time I've gone anywhere (besides work) without Evie in over a month.
I know that I'm not the only mom to feel this way. I know I'm not alone. I just wish that I could believe that doing something for myself didn't make me selfish.