Recently, I was at our pediatrician office for my son’s fifteen-month shots. I was talking to the doctor about the sleep struggles we were having, (my kids have NEVER been good sleepers), and he shared the best advice that I have ever heard from another human being, let alone a doctor.
Dr. Rabe looked at me, he smiled as he cheerfully said, “Annie, I want you to go get a hotel room for the night. I want you to sit there, read magazines, watch TV, and sleep!”
I smiled at him, in my attempt to cover up the fact that there were tears welling up in my eyes, and said “no, no, no I am fine”. Who was this kind man, was he Santa? For real, how did he know that was the one thing I wanted more than anything in the world?
I had felt put together that day. I had masked the dark circles under my eye with half a pound of under-eye cream and concealer. I had clean clothes on, first time in days. No matter how hard I was playing it off, this doctor had peered into my soul and saw what I needed in that moment.
I brushed it off at the time with a laugh. I knew he was not saying this because he was worried about my mental state or anything. He was just trying to tell me how important it was that I got a break.
Why, as moms, do we have to pretend like we have it all put together? We act like everything is merry and bright, especially when it’s not. Do we do it because we are scared for others to see that we are struggling? Are we scared of being judged?
We are constantly comparing ourselves to others, the standard of motherhood is so high in the era of social media.
It’s ok to not have it all together, it doesn’t make you a bad mom! However, why is it so hard to accept that? Why is it so hard appear human, and not this super woman?
Here was a man, a doctor, telling me what I needed to do. How I could be a better mom. What my kids needed. I still could not accept that I couldn’t do it all.
All he wanted me to do was sleep, to take a breather, to relax and turn mom brain off for a few hours.
We are all guilty of this, not taking the time to ourselves. Maybe it’s the guilt. Maybe it’s the pressure of there is always something we need to be doing, something that needs to be done.
I am GUILTY of this, ALL THE TIME! At the end of the day, the hubs walks in the door as I am cleaning up the dinner dishes. The last thing I want to do is put on real pants and wonder the aisles at Target, or go sit at a coffee shop. It’s taking every ounce of energy I have left to walk up the stairs to shower, let alone go out in the world.
I am going to try hard search for those moments to take a break. Even if its just checking Facebook as the kids are eating a snack, or maybe sitting down on the couch with headphones in as the kids take part of scream fest (aka nap time).
It’s finding those moments throughout the day to take a break. To relax.
No, I have not had the luxury to check myself in to a hotel for a night of peaceful slumber. I am sure Dr. Rabe will have a few choice words for me at our next checkup appointment on the subject. However, I am going to try hard to go to bed when the kids go to bed. The dirty floors can wait, the dishes can sit, and the toys will still be there in the morning.