As a mom of two amazing kids, I know all about the guilt of doing anything that doesn't revolve around my kids. I think it comes with the territory, along with feeling inadequate and feeling regret over the tiniest mistakes. When I was child-free it was all about me all the time, but that abruptly changed the moment I had my daughter. Suddenly my life was all about her, and the reasons it's Ok to want a life outside your kids didn't sink in. Not initially, at least. As a new mom, I didn't want to take the focus off my baby for any reason. It took some time for me to realize that caring for my daughter, and my daughter only, isn't how parenthood should be.
While I'm not perfect by any means, I love being a mom and I'm lucky enough to work from home so I can be with my children as much as possible, especially while they're still young. However, and because the majority of my days revolve around them — their needs, their interests, their homework, and their friends — it's not only OK to have a life outside of them, it's necessary. If I want to give my kids the very best, rejuvenated parts of me, I have to actually take time to rejuvenate.
I used to think being with my babies all day everyday was enough. I was so, so wrong. I got swallowed up, nearly disappearing completely inside the mundane, seemingly never-ending, important but not always fulfilling tasks of motherhood. It's an all-consuming role that can be hard to step out of. After the birth of my youngest five years ago, I knew if I didn't find a life beyond and away from my two kids, there'd be nothing left of me to give them when they needed me most.
If you're struggling with the thought of doing the same, here are some reasons it's OK to want a life outside of your kids. No, really. I promise.