The Selfish Mommy

During my husband’s vacation a few weeks ago, I drove down to Norton, MA for an overnight  girls’ day out with my good friend Heather. While I was hanging with Heather and visiting places we used to hang out when I lived in Rhode Island, I had a tiny epiphany. I don’t feel like myself anymore.

What does that even mean?

I was sitting in the passenger seat of Heather’s rocking hard-top Jeep and I was thinking to myself: “I don’t think I’ve been living for me for more than 5 years.”

That sounds so selfish. But it’s true. I have been living for my kids. They always come first. That’s a given and I won’t ever change that. Parents have been making sacrifices for their kids for generations. The good parents, at least. My problem is that I have been putting my kids first and my husband second but forgetting to even put me in the lineup.

I’ll admit that I’m a pretty selfish person. It’s probably why being a mom has driven me a little crazy. Because I have to share everything I have and all that I am all the time, 24/7, with 2 other people. Three other people if you count my husband (which I won’t since he doesn’t generally make me feel like he’s sucking my life’s energy from me on a daily basis).

Sometimes I don’t want to share the couch cushion I’m sitting on with someone else’s butt cheeks. I don’t always want an audience when I’m on the toilet or in the shower or getting dressed. When I shuffle out of bed in the morning, I don’t always feel like making breakfast, or answering random questions or breaking up sibling fights.

The Peppermint Patty I just stuffed in my mouth whole because a kid walked into the kitchen? Yeah, I’m not sharing it. Too bad kid. Not this time!

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I guiltily admit that when I am sharing my time, my husband’s attention, my food, and my stuff I feel a tiny bit resentful. Not all the time. But every once and a while I’ll think, “can’t this just be for me?”

I chose to stay home with my kids and I don’t regret it. I love them. And while I can imagine life without them I think it would feel empty and meaningless now that I know what life is like with them in it. So why do I feel so guilty that I want my own life? Why does American society make moms feel like Mommy Dearest if they do something for themselves without thinking of their children first?

I feel like I’ve woken up after a really long sleep and I’m in the mood to be productive. I have all these things I want to be working on, but don’t have the time. Because I need to spend that time parenting my kids. I spend all my time parenting my kids. 95% of the time, that’s okay with me. When I’m not pulling my hair out in frustration, I enjoy being with them. They’re funny and cute and give really good hugs.

Though, I can’t lie. I’m very excited that summer camp starts tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “The Selfish Mommy

  1. I don’t think it makes anyone a bad mother for feeling that way. I feel like that at least once a day. I hate the fact that my family, i.e. sister, husband, mother, aunts and uncles, make me feel that way when they have no idea how much of me I put into my kids. We all deserve some of us for ourselves right? Thanks for posting about this.

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