by Robyn Jones – B.Sc. (Psych), Goonellabah, Australia
Your child is having a ‘sensitive’ day, they want more cuddles than usual or they cry at the drop of a hat. You haven’t had any time to yourself so far…. and you need to go to the toilet.
What do you do?
1. Go to the toilet with the door wide open, making yourself constantly available to your child, in case they need you…
2. Go to the toilet with the door closed and take a moment for you… It’s just you in the bathroom. Ahhh… A moment of solace. A moment when you are the only person you need to look after. A moment to breathe your own breath.
How many mums actually take the second option? And if we do, what do we do when there is a crying child on the other side of the door?
Do we still take a moment for ourselves or make ourselves physically available to our child mid stream?
What I do most of the time is seize the moment to have some down time! Some time to just be a woman and not a mother, as I have learnt these moments can be a precious commodity during days like these. The only reason I would open that toilet door is if my child was getting to the point of hysteria (which I must say is very infrequent!).
Could this be called harsh, insensitive…even selfish?
I am sure there are some people who would answer yes to this, but I am wondering how many of us mums are really able to put firm boundaries in place with our children to have some ‘me time’, even if it is just a few moments in the toilet?
The truth is that being a mother can be challenging and the 24/7ness of it all can never fully be prepared for. It is a job filled with lots of pooey nappies, sleepless nights, worry, anxiety, copious amounts of joy and warm innocent cuddles.
So it is important for us mums to remember that before we had children we were WOMEN.
We need to factor in time for ourselves to just be women. This may mean we get up a little earlier than usual and have a peaceful, uninterrupted shower or bath.
It may mean that we organise a babysitter and go for a walk, a walk that does not include pushing a pram or a nurturing treatment such as a facial.
Something that screams I AM A WOMAN in this moment and not just a mother!
And in order to do this we need firm boundaries with our children and our partners. Boundaries that say I completely deserve time for me to feel myself to be the delicate, sexy woman that I am inside (underneath the sleep deprivation, snot, vomit and poo).
I have found that the more consistent I am in allowing myself this time the more I am able to handle the strains and stress that can come with being a mother (and everything else that we do). Because as mums we generally have more than one job, we may also be a wife, a daughter, a lover and a sister. For me I am also a writer, counsellor, and baker…
But first and foremost we are WOMEN!
Let’s celebrate this fact by taking a moment for ourselves everyday to feel the precious women that we are – even if that is just by going to the toilet by ourselves!
What do you do to celebrate yourself as a woman? Please share in the comments below.
Original article published on the Mouths of Mums website on September 29, 2015.