A friend sent me an article the other day in which researchers found evidence that moms need to get a away sometimes to be good moms. I won’t even reach for the link for a couple reasons:
First, because I don’t want anyone to find it and beat me to the punch by asking for a job on this research team. I mean, if this is what is getting that choice grant money, count me in! My cup runneth over with future research plans. I personally parent a lot better when I sleep, if my pants fit, and during months where I don’t hear the words “croup,” “hand foot mouth disease,” or “pin worms.” Far be it for me to project my truth on to others, but I am betting I’m not alone. Let’s look into, science.
So this brings me to the second point. Yuh-duh. Of course parents, and not just moms, need time away. I don’t think you are going to find a lot of push back on that. What you might get, however, if you suggest to an overworked parent that time off will solve all ills is a muscle-straining eye roll. Because, how?
Truth be told, for most of us, we can eke out breaks if we prioritize our needs and set realistic goals. A week in the Bahamas might be out of reach. But what about a Thursday evening at a new local restaurant? Do you know your parents are coming into town next month and are begging to watch the littles (and maybe passive aggressively reorganize your pantry)? Or get religious about packing your runners once a week to take a long walk before work, after school drop offs. Be honest with yourself about what is possible, and stake out your time in advance.
So why are smart people telling other smart people that trying to be everything to everyone is a fool’s errand? Because, as self-evident as it is, it’s hard to jump off of this parenting merry-go-round. Nevertheless, it’s in your hands to take the tools you know to run the world to make better choices when it comes to filling your own bucket. You know you are a better parent, boss, employee, partner, and everything-else-er when you aren’t at your wits end. Accept the challenge to make the tough call to look out for you.
“Less of me brings the best of me.” It doesn’t exactly rhyme, but try it on as your mantra this week. Because you won’t always get sleep, traffic persists, and even if you spend every waking moment with your kids they won’t actually turn into the Instagrammed version of themselves but instead will continue to tell fart jokes until they drive you from the room. Also, I have heard pinworm medicine is hard on your stomach. IT’S SOMETHING I HAVE HEARD. You need a break. So take it already.
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