Burned-out, overwhelmed, exhausted – these are just some of the feelings that modern moms can easily identify with.
In fact, these feelings are so common, it’s become accepted that moms are supposed to feel this way.
But one mom’s blog post says what is likely on every mom’s mind – we need a real solution.
Café Mom recently reported on an essay by blogger Rebekah Svensson, and it’s an opinion we can all get behind.
We’ve all heard of the supposed “magic cure-all” for moms called “me time.”
A hot shower without the kids banging on the door… an hour or two to read a book in a quiet house… a day at the salon or spa… while Dad or Grandma watch the kids.
Yes, these things are nice, but the idea of “me time” has gotten out of hand. With all that modern moms do every day, with all that we’re responsible for at every moment, a small blip of time to ourselves is far from the solution to our chronic stress and exhaustion.
Svensson gets downright irate in her blog – and it’s exactly how most of us are feeling. “Me time” is just a quick escape, and then – without a real solution – we’re thrown back into reality.
Laundry, dishes, work, the kids’ constant needs – without real help, we will never be fully fulfilled or emotionally healthy.
With Svensson’s rallying cry of “basic human care is not a luxury!,” everyone who knows and loves a frazzled mother needs to step in and help – and this begins at home.
There’s still a stereotype in our culture, no matter how many hours a woman works at her career. Women still overwhelmingly do the majority of housework and childcare.
It’s called the “second shift,” and studies and polls have proven that things are not changing anywhere near as quickly as mothers need them to.
If mothers are the ones handling everything, being everything to everyone, then the entire family loses out.
Burnout becomes chronic, depression sets in, and we lose much of the joy that we should be reaping by being wives and mothers.
By ridding our culture of the idea that “me time” – consisting of only a few hours at a time – can repair all of our accumulated stress in the blink of an eye, we can start working toward what mothers really need to stay healthy and balanced.
Shared – completely shared – childcare and household responsibilities – on a permanent basis. This means cooking, cleaning, making appointments, packing lunches, driving kids to school – everything.
Kids can learn to help with age-appropriate chores. Even the smallest help can make a big difference.
And husbands and fathers, if they don’t already, need to embrace the idea of marriage as a complete partnership. Even if mom doesn’t work outside the home, she still needs time for her health, hobbies, and outings with friends.
Sleep and quiet, and time for self-care is of the utmost importance. While we love our children more than anything in the world, we all need time alone to think and restore our spirits.
It may help to think of running your household as a business – the most important business you’ll ever be involved in.
No one can function at work without a break 24 hours a day, but that’s exactly what many moms do.
Just like every employee in a business, every family member can share the load. Some families have weekly “meetings” where they plan out the week, divide up the must-dos, and make sure no one is taking on too much while someone else does too little.
Each family is unique and will have a different approach to making sure there is balance within the family unit, but one thing is certain.
When women feel like they have to do it all, all the time, failure is almost guaranteed. Sure, the kids may be healthy and the bills paid. Everyone will eat and have clean clothes.
But when a woman’s spirit is broken from continuous burnout, so much can be lost.
So let’s get rid of the idea of “me time” as being some kind of restorative cure.
Real and continued physical help with all the responsibilities and real emotional support are the only way to be successful in the long-term. The kids will benefit, the marriage will benefit, and the whole family will be healthier when mom is able to take care of herself.
No woman should have to beg, or even ask, for this help. Above all, no woman should feel ashamed for asking for help with her personal responsibilities.
Sadly, this is the way it is for millions of moms. But if we stop and offer real solutions instead of the trendy “me time,” we can take burnout, stress, and exhaustion out of our everyday vocabulary.
(h/t Mommy Underground)