Am I A Bad Mom For Needing A Break?

By
Share
Ad failed to load

I think all moms can agree that the amount of advice you receive when you're pregnant is overwhelming. Everyone wants to tell you what you should and shouldn't do when it comes to raising your child, and everyone is convinced they're right. But the most detrimental piece of advice? When other people tell you to "cherish every single moment, because they are all precious." All that cliche does is leave me wondering if I am a bad mom for needing a break from all these "precious" moments.

It doesn't matter if you're a working mother, a stay-at-home mother, or a combination of the two. It doesn't matter how old your children are, if they are well-behaved, or if they are troublemakers. It doesn't matter if you have one child or ten, if they're in school all day, or if they're old enough to make their own sandwiches. What does matter is this — motherhood is exhausting.

Motherhood is a state of being where you are constantly giving parts of yourself away. You are giving away your attention. You're giving away your love, your focus, and all of your energy. It is a constant position to be in and it requires literally all of your patience and stamina. Who wouldn't need a break from that?

Ad failed to load
GIPHY

But mothers are constantly told to cherish those moments. "They won't always need you," people say. "They won't always want you to read to them or hold them or rock them to sleep." Moms are made to feel guilty for needing one night away from their children; one night to eat a meal in peace and to not cut up anyone else's expensive chicken fingers they aren't going to touch or try to distract a toddler without using an iPhone. Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen are blasted for daring to step away from a newborn baby, as if having a child means you are to become one with your kiddo, spending every literal waking moment with them so you don't miss a blink, a breath, or a cry.

When I need a break from my toddler daughter, I'm not begging for a three-night stay in a hotel with unlimited room service and all the uninterrupted Netflix I want. I'm asking for an hour to myself, where no one is going to touch me, where no one is going to make me take a crayon away from them so I can scrub a wall, where no one is going to throw their food on the floor and then cry for it.

Ad failed to load

Does that make me a bad mom? Should I feel guilty that I give up a few hours with my daughter on a perfectly fine Saturday so I can have margaritas with a friend? Am I supposed to be angry at myself for letting her watch an extra episode of Sesame Street so I can drink a hot cup of coffee instead of reading her another book? Does it mean I'm not cherishing every moment with her? Will I wake up in 30 years and regret going to Target alone while she was perfectly happy playing blocks with her daddy?

GIPHY

Motherhood is an incredible, beautiful journey, but you know what? It sucks everything out of you. And as a mother who needs a break, all I'm asking is for a little time to myself to be myself. I'm not asking to give up my life as a mother. I'm not saying my child isn't worth it or that I don't love my time with her. All a break means is that I need to reconnect with who am I beyond being a mom. And if that means going grocery shopping alone or out with a friend, then so be it.

Ad failed to load

I am a better mother with a break. I am a mother who feels replenished, who is no longer on the edge of losing it. Having a break not only revitalizes me, but it also gives me a chance to miss my kid, to want to come home with her and read 18 more books.

It's like what the airplane security demonstrations say — you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help others. And that's exactly what it means to need a break as a mom. All you're asking is that you help yourself breathe a little easier so you can be the best mom possible for your kids. And if that deserves a guilt trip, then here's my ticket. See you on the other side.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

A Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the te…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack