Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why “mom time” is important


This topic has been on my mind quite a bit these past couple of weeks for several reasons.  Mostly because of some comments I’ve recently read in social media, as well as things I’ve been told by friends that have left me scratching my head, so to speak.  For example, I had a co-worker tell me the other day, “I just saw your blog for the first time.  I wish I had that kind of time on my hands”.  I wasn’t too sure how to take that… Then there was the picture I posted a few weeks ago of a crafting projects I’m working on.  This picture prompted a friend to comment, “you’re lucky Grace let’s you work on all these projects”.  You have no idea how many times I’ve been told things like, “my kid just demands too much of my time to have hobbies”.  And then there are the comments we’ve all read other bloggers write that sound something like, sorry I’ve been away from my blog for so long, I have been focusing my time on my children and family, etc.  I know that when things like this are said, they’re not meant to come across as personal jabs or backhanded compliments, but sometimes they do come across that way.  I’m not sure why, but when I read or hear things like this; it always makes me feel a bit defensive, like I need to defend why I make time for myself… Why I blog or why I organize some days to fit my crafty stuff in.       

The way I see it – we all have our hobbies, whether we realize it or not.  Some of us choose to play golf on the weekends or go shopping and get our nails done on a regular basis.  Some of us like to spend free time working out or attending/watching weekly sporting events.  Some of us enjoy spending our alone time further developing skills like gardening, photography, playing sports or just reading.  And then there are people like my wife who love electronics and use their “me time” to play computer games or do other geeky tech stuff.  My point is, we all do something (well, hopefully all of us) do stuff, just for us.  We do things that we enjoy, things that relieve stress or simply allow us to “check out” and relax for a bit.  And as much as this is true, it doesn’t always keep parents from judging each other for what we each individually choose to make time for.  I guess my question is, why does it have to be that way?

We’ve all heard the term “Pinterest Mom”.  This term is used to describe an over achieving – everything has to be perfect kind of mom.  A “Pinterest Mom” is one who tends to be more crafty than most and channels her inner Martha Stewart frequently.  The truth is, when a mother is called a “Pinterest Mom”, it’s not usually meant to be a compliment.  Having said that, I’ll admit that I’ve been called a Pinterest Mom on more than one occasion and I’m okay with it.  I’m okay with it because I enjoy it.  I enjoy crafting and blogging so I make time for it and that’s ok.  Do I always do these things when Gracie is asleep, no, I don’t.  I am here to admit that there are times that I set the Bean up with a snack, a movie or an activity so that I can work on some “me stuff” and I have no problem admitting that.  Here’s why – I feel it’s important for her to watch her mama do something she enjoys too.  I feel it’s important for her to understand that sometimes she needs to have patience and use her brilliant imagination to keep herself entertained for a bit.  I feel that by allowing my daughter to watch me do the things I love, one day she may love doing the same things and then we can do them together.  My gal doesn’t always need to be at a play date or in a toddler class of some sort when I catch up on my blogs or scrapbook or do anything else really.  Do I try and do most of these things when she is napping or in bed for the night – yes, but not always.

I guess the point of this post is to tell other mamas (and papas) that it’s okay to carve out some time for YOU.  It’s okay to be a “Pinterest Mom” if that’s what you truly enjoy or to do something just for you and it doesn’t have to always come after you’ve done every possible thing for everyone else, because guess what -- you deserve to make your happiness a priority too.  As a mom I know this doesn’t happen often enough but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and make your own “mom time”.

When I sit down with Gracie and show her pictures and video posted on our family blog or flip through her scrapbook that I’ve made page-by-page, she squeals with excitement!  She LOVES looking at these things over and over and that’s just one of the many reasons I do it.  It makes me happy, and as a result, it makes her happy. :)


23 comments:

  1. I love this post and I agree with everything you said! I so want to be a "pinterest mom" someday, but most days I worry about how I won't have time for anything once our little one gets here! Thanks for showing us that it is important to take time for yourself and that it is possible, even when you have a full time job and a family!

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    1. Thanks Nadine. :) You and your wife are so creative, I definitely see you becoming a "Pinterest Mom", haha! I feel like it took me about a year to figure out the whole work/life and motherhood balance, but I did eventually (on most days anyway) and you will too.

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  2. I love this post! Obviopusly we don't have kids, but I identify with this so much. I occasionally also get the 'where do you find time to do all this online' comments, which aren't negative in themselves, but are meant a bit negatively. On the other hand, since we moved out to Reading, we haven't posted as much, as we don't get home until 8 in the evenings and have to go to bed about 10:30 to get up at 6.... anyway so we've not had time to post as much, or as many things to write about besides work. But this is definitely a BAD thing - the blog is something we do together, and enjoy, so it sucks to not have the time while other things take precedence. but those other things are the wedding, so... that's good. I've lost track of what this comment is about. However, I'll say I LOVE that you're a Pinterest mum! I aspire to be the same. Because if you're good at something, like making amazing costumes, or scrapbooking, or baking (on my part, but I bet you're awesome at it too) - it'd be such a shame to not share those talents with those you love most. Being a mum will be a whole new arena for my currently wasted creativity! You rock, and you are both such wonderful mummies. Lxo

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    1. Such a sweet comment, thank you! You too will have tons to blog about soon with all the wedding stuff and hopefully once most of the planning and work is done, that will free up some time. I know I always love reading all about it!!

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  3. This is a great and very well written post! FWIW, it is EXCEPTIONALLY IMPORTANT that children know how, from an early age, to entertain themselves. No parent should have to be "on" all day long. Developmentally, children should be able to play on their own, engage in a variety of age appropriate activities, and occupy increasing amounts of time ON THEIR OWN. Yes, many need direction from their parents ("What do you think - building with blocks or playing in your kitchen?"), but then should be able to go and DO that activity on their own without having a parent rich there beside them. I'm sorry you have heard so many lame comments with such passive aggressive undertones. BOOO to that!

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    1. YES, exactly Alison!!!!

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    2. Thanks so much Alison! I so agree that parents shouldn't have to be "on" all day. I think that's a common parenting misstep that is all to often made today. Kids are given so much "stuff" i.e. toys, etc. and/or they're put in so many activities and kept so busy that they don't learn how to just BE... To use their imagination, to create, to self soothe, to have patience, to appreciate the little things, etc. My wife and I aren't perfect parents by any means but this is one thing we really focus on. :)

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  4. Oh, I haaate when other people will say that they would cook/sew/paint/whatever but they're just too, too busy. It was worse before E was born and they would say that I'd never have time for any of it, either. Not true! I have less time, and often it's more interrupted time, but if I want to stop looking at Facebook/watching tv/playing solitaire I find that I can, actually, get lots of things done. And yes, watching your parents do things they enjoy is the catalyst for doing things you enjoy. My mom was (and is) incredibly artistic and crafty, and my dad always has a project going. I'm sure it was hard when I was little, but by the time I was four or five I was just drafted in as a helper--it's how I learned most of the skills I enjoy as an adult. E will be sewing as soon as I can trust her with a needle, and bringing me screwdrivers forever. So keep on doing the important things!

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    1. Oh man, I used to hear that we would basically no longer have a life once Grace arrived. I actually started to believe it and then she was born... Our lives did change in many ways but we were still us and we still did all the things we enjoyed before she arrived. I totally agree that kiddos usually end up enjoying lots of the stuff their parents love when exposed to it. My mom was and still the most creative and craftiest person I know!

      I cracked up when I read what you wrote about fetching screwdrivers, lol! That was totally me too!

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  5. Oh, I haaate when other people will say that they would cook/sew/paint/whatever but they're just too, too busy. It was worse before E was born and they would say that I'd never have time for any of it, either. Not true! I have less time, and often it's more interrupted time, but if I want to stop looking at Facebook/watching tv/playing solitaire I find that I can, actually, get lots of things done. And yes, watching your parents do things they enjoy is the catalyst for doing things you enjoy. My mom was (and is) incredibly artistic and crafty, and my dad always has a project going. I'm sure it was hard when I was little, but by the time I was four or five I was just drafted in as a helper--it's how I learned most of the skills I enjoy as an adult. E will be sewing as soon as I can trust her with a needle, and bringing me screwdrivers forever. So keep on doing the important things!

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  6. I love this post and I really hope that you don't take any of my comments about on my sad neglected blog and about my schedule as a personal jab. I agree 100% that a mama needs to have her own time and that each mama has their own way of spending that time. I am just too lazy to open my computer most nights (ok all nights) to blog, but I spend my free time reading, watching entirely too much tv and right now studying for a test. Every person in a family should have time to themselves to be alone and do something they enjoy. I love it when my kids play independently or sneak off to their rooms to read a good book (or eat crayons in Sophia's case). I think if you don't take time to yourself, you end up resenting someone in your life and I never want to do that.

    I love that your blog is your hobby and that your craft is too because you are amazing at it! Finding time can be hard, but choosing how you spend that free time is harder. At a meeting I went to earlier this year, they had an ice breaker and asked people what their favorite TV show was. I would say more than half the room answered "well I have kids so I never get to watch TV." My response was, I implemented an early bed time so a) my kids weren't shit shows when I woke the up in the am and b) so I had free time to watch or DO whatever I wanted. The looks I got were amazing. Hey, that's how I spend my free time. No judgement. Anyway, please keep writing and posting. I love to hear about your sweet family and it is a reminder that my blog is meant to be a baby book for my girls, so I need to step out of lazy and get back in the groove. Love you friend!

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    1. Oh my gosh, you are SOOO not who I was thinking about when I wrote that. It's a blog I used to follow but stopped because the blogger was so judgy and would often write things like, sorry I've been away, my kids and marriage mean more to me than this blog. I would always think, well so do mine but I spend what little free time I have here documenting the story of us. I'm so glad I don't follow that blog anymore, lol! You and I are very similar in our parenting styles and I'm sure I would have answered the question asked at your work meeting in very much the same way. And I'm sure I would have gotten the same looks!

      I laughed when I read the part of your comment about the time you spend reading because as you know, I suck at reading, lol! Book Club drop out right here. ;)

      Love you too friend!

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  7. You just keep doing what you are doing. I am often called a Pinterest Mom. Or Super Mom. At first it bothered me, because I do get the general negative undertone. Now, I couldn't care less. Blogging is one of the few things of enjoyment that I have maintained through parenthood. Yes, I do usually blog when the kids are sleeping, but as you do there are times when I will give the kids some entertainment and work up a quick draft or a picture post. Kids need to learn independence. Parents need to remember that they are a separate entity, and one with needs, away from their children. It is so important to find a balance and it appears you have found it. Well done Mama!!!! As for crafts and birthday parties, that is just fun, blow it up and make it marvelous :)

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    1. Same here! Negative undertone or not, I'll take that compliment. I'm gettin' ready to "blow it up" with the Bean's 2nd birthday party... Even tough I vowed to keep it low key, lol! Thanks for the comment. :)

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  8. Great post. Me time is important and it's hard not feeling guilty about it. Thanks for this. I am following you now. I have a private blog (2 girls in love: http://stacey-angele.blogspot.com) If you want to follow, just let me know... stacey_bourgeois@hotmail.com (I'm part of a 2 mom family with 3 kids.)

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    1. Hi Stacey, thanks for following! I'd love to follow your blog. I'll shoot you an email tomorrow. :)

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    2. I'll look out for your email. :)

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  9. I absolutely agree! I have been struggling with finding me time, mostly because I feel guilty - not because I don't have time. I totally needed this post! And, Pinterest Mom. I don't care, I'm definitely one and I love it. Miss Punky's racecar 2nd birthday party will be straight out of Pintrest and it will be AWESOME.

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    1. Thanks for the sweet comment Rachel. I CAN'T WAIT to see pictures of P's Cars birthday! I'm totally slacking this year... Grace wants a Sofia the First party and so far all I have is a birthday banner, lol. I need to get busy!

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    2. I'm pretty much a slacker too! I did get the party favors at Party City, the stuff I don't have to put a whole lot of thought into. Now, to making some cardboard cars and ring toss construction cones and some other ridiculous Pintresty things I have in mind! ;P

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  10. "Me time" is great and totally necessary. There is nothing wrong with that all. I love my kids more than anything and they mean the world to me. But I am still me too, not just mom. If someone called me a Pinterest Mom I would be totally flattered. I try but I tend to be more of a Pinterest Fail mom...does not stop me from trying. lol

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    1. Agreed! I would almost believe that you're a "Pinterest fail" mom, only I follow your blog - so I know that isn't true! :)

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  11. You said it sista!! I think "mom" time is SO important!! I have been learning this slowly that it is okay for me to have my time away from Harper. At first, I wanted to wrap myself in her and never let her go. It was hard for me to realize okay its important to let yourself have your time because if you don't it could become bad, lol. Now I feel SO much better and I get those comments from time to time as well. One I always receive is when I have people over...."Wow, your house is so clean and tidy....I never have time for that". I will admit I think I have done that a few times and I think its more of a rescue to make myself feel better that I wasn't able to do something, etc. I am glad to be back to blogging! I sure did miss your blog posts :)

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Thanks so much for keeping up with our little family! We love reading your comments and will get back to you as soon as we can.

K+G+g+w ♥

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