When your kids are little, your time is not your own.
It is common for them to even follow you into the bathroom or the bathtub…unarguably, a time typically known as “me” time for a mama.
We love them to pieces but come 8pm, we are BEEEYOND over the motherhood thing.
When they call out from their beds for just one more hug, we want to strangle our adorable little one rather than give in to the “just one more hug” request.
You have fed, bathed, schlepped to school, gymnastics, the park and played Barbies when all you really wanted to do was…ANYTHING else and this makes you feel a little guilty.
Because it is a luxury to be able to do all those things with your little one when so many other moms work at an outside J-O-B, missing theirs.
And the moms working outside the home, missing their kids, may also be enjoying elements of their their time away.
It’s hard to be with your kids all day AND it’s hard to be away from them.
There is nothing wrong with WANTING to have “me” time when you have kids.
There is a balance.
I teach that conscious parenting is about present engagement with our kids more often than not.
However, don’t misunderstand the concept and think it’s all about quantity over quality.
Becoming a parent is not supposed to equal becoming a martyr.
The balance is important.
If you feel BEEEYOND done with your kids by the end of the day, I think that’s pretty normal if you’ve been “doing” for them all day long with no time left for you.
AND I invite you to check in with yourself and look at the quality vs. quantity of your interactions.
Are you physically with your child all day but mentally checked out?
15 minutes a day of true presence between you and your child will build a more connected relationship than 15 hours of being together while texting with friends and checking out social media while your kids beg for another round of the hottest new Ipad game.
This is not to say I’m anti-technology.
But let’s be honest – hanging out together for countless hours “no-cializing” with your faces buried in separate screens does not count as quality time.
It can take practice to learn how to have P.E.T. (Present Engaged Time) with your kids – big and small ones.
I discuss this tool in my book, The Parent Gap, out in print Aug. 2017.
YOU can be the parent you always swore to yourself you’d be.
YOU can create your connected fantasy family while also being a mom that has her own life.
Motherhood does not have to be martyrdom.
If you want to learn how to take action, the time is now to act.
The days may feel long but the years are short.
Your kids WILL get older and need you less.
Especially if you stop doing EVERYTHING for them now and teach them to step up to the plate.
Kids are super capable of pitching in.
Their confidence increases exponentially when they are taught to be valuable family members by contributing to the household needs and doing chores.
As a mom, when you put everyone before yourself, your energy will often feel depleted at the end of the day.
And you miss out on the delicious snuggly moments when they want just one more hug.
You have been over-giving and overdoing all day long and now your toast.
You want that hug about as much as a poke in the eye.
Even the request sounds piercing to your ears like fingernails on a chalkboard.
Personally, I would rather preserve my energy by teaching my kids to wake themselves up, make their own beds, help unload the groceries, set the table, help with the dishes and unpack THEIR own backpacks.
There are some lessons from the past worth preserving like teaching our kids to contribute to the family tasks rather than expecting to be waited on by US!
I have overheard some of the best intended and well meaning parents of teenagers, commiserating about their entitled and ungrateful kids.
Scratching their heads and wondering how on earth this happened?
Your kids will benefit greatly when you take your life back and learn conscious parenting tools so you can have a life too while treasuring those affectionate bedtime requests…even if they are stall tactics.
Who cares what the motivation is – take the hugs however you can get em!