The Importance of Doing Things Without Your Children
It’s important to remember that doing things without your children from time to time doesn’t make you a bad mother.
There’s no doubt that life changes radically with the arrival of a new baby. Any woman who has experienced motherhood can testify to the fear, doubt and the need to protect your child at all costs. However, on occasion, we forget that we aren’t just mothers. We’re also women.
The role of mothers in society
Throughout our entire lives, we incorporate beliefs into our mental repertoire, often without even realizing it. The messages we receive from the media, the people around us and our families… All of these things leave their mark on us and influence the way we see the world.
It’s true that the collective mentality is shifting. However, we come from a very patriarchal concept of family and the role of women, and it’s still present today.
Society imposes certain roles that practically turn into demands when it comes to mothers. Society expects mothers to be hardworking and independent, but also selfless and self-sacrificing.
In fact, it’s almost as if mothers were expected to deny their existence as women upon the arrival of a child. These concepts are just as unfair as they are contradicting.
Guilt when it comes to doing things without your children
It’s true that mothers play a fundamental role in both the physical and emotional development of their children. They’re the main providers of love, nutrition and protection.
However, this concept has led to public criticism of moms who take on other roles besides motherhood. Women who decide to take time to care for themselves and grow as human beings often suffer judgement.
Given this reality, many women feel a suffocating sense of guilt when they decide to step out for an hour to practice yoga or drink coffee and leave their children with someone else. They feel negligent and irresponsible for delegating or sharing any sort of responsibility when it comes to their children… even if it’s with their father.
It’s time to break away from these demands that are so far from the truth. There’s no reason why mothers should have to live an isolated life. Being a mom doesn’t mean denying or repressing the human being you were before. Rather, it should be enriching.
Why is it good to do things without your children?
It’s likely that your work day and other obligations leave you with little time to share with your kids. And it’s also possible that, on many occasions, you’ve felt that you should spend the little time you have left with them, and not on yourself.
However, it’s important for moms to find a balance between the different areas of their lives. An excessive dedication to motherhood can lead to unpleasant consequences.
First of all, over time, it’s common for that lack of personal time to lead to feelings of frustration and resentment. Likewise, these feelings can negatively affect your relationship with your children and even your partner. You may feel, in a way, that they’ve taken away your freedom.
At the same time, forgetting about yourself lowers your self-esteem and can contribute to emotional difficulties. Furthermore, and of course, your children need to see you happy, prosperous and satisfied in the different areas of your life.
Don’t forget that you’re their main role model and that they’ll learn what life should be like from you.
Lastly, you should keep in mind that, one day, your children will grow up and make lives of their own. What will happen, then, if you’ve spent years basing your entire identity on caring for your children? You might feel a sense of loss and emptiness that could even lead to depression.
Always remember that it’s best for your children to see their parents happy, content and emotionally mature.
Finding a balance between being a mother and being a woman
- Take back your time and your space. Despite your busy schedule, make a point to find moments to be alone and dedicate to yourself. Take a bath, read a book, go for a walk… Do something that you enjoy and that makes you feel happy.
- Delegate tasks. You’re under no obligation to take care of everything on your own. Let your loved ones support you, and learn to relinquish some responsibilities.
- Care for your relationship with your partner. When your little ones are asleep, take advantage of the time to talk with your partner and spend quality time together.
- Nourish your friendships, your hobbies and your personal interests. Dedicate time to these parts of your life and enjoy them whenever you can. They’re just as much a part of who you are as motherhood is.