Value Yourself?

It’s been a crazy busy week here at the Pickle Farm, and it ends with me spending an entire day, child free.

I’m going to the problogger event tomorrow, and for the first time I am not taking any children with me.

My logical brain says that I deserve this day to myself.

My emotional brain is busy second guessing myself and heaping on the guilt.

Why is that?

I know that me leaving for an entire day means juggling things and putting people out. I know that it is easier for me to manage the kid and house stuff because I do it every day. I know that it will stress everyone out a little because things will be different. I know that I’d never left any of my big kids when they were as little as Noey.

I also know that people are happy to step up and help. I know that my husband and my Mum are more than capable of looking after my kids and managing all the day to day stuff. I know that a little change now and then never killed anyone. I know that Noey is not my big kids, and that he will be loved and perfectly happy without me.

So why the niggling guilt?

I feel quite strongly that it is important for my husband to hang out with his mates nearly every Friday night. It is important for him to take time out to ride his bike and do stuff for himself. I support him 100% in those endeavours.

Why don’t I support that for myself?
Why do feel that time for myself is not valuable?

It’s kind of crazy.

I’m not rabid feminist so I won’t even begin to dig up all the possible women’s lib issues that could be lurking beneath all this. I am much more interested in individuals finding self worth in whatever they choose to do, and doing it with love and compassion.

I don’t often feel the need to take lots of time out to be alone, I am mostly content with a good long soak in the bath now and then. I am pretty content with my lot. I am happy with the role I play in our family. I love being a Mum and I am good at it. I don’t love the house work so much, but I do feel proud of the contribution I make to our family, and to society as a whole. I value what I do, but somehow I don’t value myself enough to take a day off without feeling guilty.

But I’m going, guilt or no guilt…. perhaps I just need practice, after all it’s a been a long time since I’ve been anywhere without the security blanket of my kids!

Do you take regular time out for yourself?
Does that infuriating ‘Mummy guilt’ niggle at you when you do?

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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

  1. says

    I touched on this far less eloquently in my post tonight ;)

    I’m having an hour off the small boy tomorrow and that is inducing enough guilt, especially because I’m looking forward to it!

    There’s something wrong though isn’t there. I’m the same re the supertrucker’s social time but find it very hard to allow myself the same generosity :s

  2. says

    We do torture ourselves, don’t we? But I’m pretty certain you absolutely deserve a day for yourself and probably it’ll be so much fun you will fly through the day without too many moments of feeling guilty at all. You deserve it, so enjoy it!! (Plus I’m a little bit jealous that I can’t go so you just *have* to enjoy it!!)

  3. says

    I need, and take, time out from my kids a lot. I am not content with my lot as a mother. I am not happy parenting alone. I admire you and mothers like you, who really, truly love their role in the family. Even when I was married, I knew I could never be that mother. And, then, yes, I was made to feel guilty for every bit of time out I took.

    These days, there is noone to make me feel guilty and I don’t do that to myself. I feel more guilty about not spending that time in more “worthwhile” or productive ways.

    Enjoy tomorrow, Kate!

  4. says

    Nope, don’t take time for me anywhere near as often as I should. Because, yes, that Mummy guilt eats at me constantly. Am going tomorrow and husb is taking the day off to look after the kidlets, missing a really important meeting so I can indulge my fanciful hobby – feeling so guilty. But it’s only the second day I’ve had away from the baby in nearly nine months, except going to work, and I am really looking forward to it.

    Why do we women keep doing this to ourselves? It’s so crazy…

    See you tomorrow :)

  5. says

    I decided a little while ago, 3 years to be exact that I was entitled to a whole kid free weekend. Once a year I get together with my sister in law (who lives interstate) and anyone else that wants to come along to and we do something. I ran the city2surf in sydney this year, we went and ate at Matt Morans restaurant opposite the opera house the year before. Once a year! My husband is just as capable of running the show as me. (But I still kindly prepare everyone for my absence)
    Since then I’ve learn’t that I am a better mum, when I have had things to enjoy that are for me. hence I’ve started running and do the occasional fun run, and I’ve jumped on board this blogging business and will see you at the blog conference next year no doubt!
    Enjoy yourself and I hope you manage to shake that guilt away, goodness knows EVERYBODY regardless of whether they are a mum or a dad deserve to step away and do things just for themselves. No other justification needed.

  6. Rachael says

    I actually can come at this from another angle, albeit a slightly morbid one…whereby I think ‘what if something happened to me’? I mean even to get very sick for example, and in that instance it’s really important to me that everyone can get by without me now and then.

    Not to mention of course you absolutely deserve it!!

  7. says

    A hard one indeed, but it shouldn’t be. We (Mothers) are very hard on ourselves aren’t we? I try and take a little time here and there in the form of a child free walk on Sunday mornings. Other than that when I don’t have the children it is usually either spent working or tending to errands, not for myself. What I would love is a child free holiday with my husband. Not a long one, just a weekend away. I know I would miss the girls like crazy and feel guilty as hell but I think it would be worth it :)
    Have fun today, you do deserve it!

  8. says

    When I ran away for the weekend last year and stayed a couple of nights and days at a hotel, just to get some uninterrupted rest, I felt so guilty. Yet at the same time it was amazing how much I enjoyed it and I was a better mum afterwards for the break.

  9. Sarah says

    I can hear you loud and clear.

    I am not sure if it is a woman thing or if it is something we have inherited with our growing up and watching females or things said to us or??? BUt you are so right. We need to take care of ourselves etc. I feel the very strong need to do this with a house of three boys and a man who’s mother did everything for him (I don’t but more than I expect). Do I feel guilt – sure hell yes!

  10. says

    I totally agree. I ‘let’ myself be made to feel guilty about having some time off – mostly by the children who, of course, would prefer me dancing attendance on them 100% of the time. But, if I ever do go away (for work or pleasure) I find myself in a complete fluster before I go trying desperately to arrange everything so that no one is inconvenienced while I’m away. I pre-make and divide up meals, I lay out clothing, I pre-pack bags…it’s nuts! And yet, I do it every time. And every time I tell myself I won’t do it the next time. Haven’t managed it yet!

  11. says

    My logical self and emotional self are constantly battling each other with this one. I know logically that not only can my husband cope with the kids, but also that it is good for him to have his own time with them… but then emotionally I feel such guilt leaving them and him – that sometimes it just ends up in the too hard basket. That said, I’m getting over myself and have booked a weekend away just for me in November… I am so excited I can barely contain myself!

    PS… I hope you’ve had a great time at the problogger event! H xo

  12. says

    When I WOH I considered that my “break” whcih didn’t really make sense since I am a pre-k teacher and spend my days with 20 3-5 yr olds. My current situation doesn’t really allow for me to have time away so I take what I can get which is usually staying up too late so I can at least be awake by myself and not have to meet anyone else’s needs.

  13. says

    Oh gosh, this is exactly what I’ve been thinking lately. It’s the biggest issue that I have, that I think that I should be happy to leave things as they are and don’t venture out because I’m a mum and I have to do A, B, C or the world will IMPLODE! But I think it does more damage than good – I know I’m missing out on things

    I’m glad you went to the PB event – it looked amazing and I’m kicking myself for not knowing in time.