If you want to be able to sit and enjoy your coffee before it gets cold, I highly recommend not to have children.
Or if you enjoy sleeping in, want to able to fly by the seat of your pants without a second thought of anyone else, start and finish a book in a couple of hours or less, enjoy taking long, hot bubble baths by yourself, or even going to the bathroom alone.
If you prefer to put yourself first and not come second to others, sleep through the entire night, snack as you please without making full meals.
If the idea of budgeting for new wardrobes every season, changing diapers, cleaning boo-boo’s, laughing over split milk, crying when things get rough, and never ever being alone again bothers you?
Don’t have kids.
If you want the complete opposite, have those babies.
My heart didn’t know what real love was until I was being woken several times during the night, drinking unintentionally cold coffee, stomaching blood when someone gets hurt, making 15 full course meals a day for little growing humans, never peeing alone, hoping to manage a quick five minute shower after already going days without, always taking at least an hour to pack all the necessities it takes to leave the house; even if it’s just to the backyard and trying to save yourself from making 38 trips in and back out.
Never worrying about just you, knowing every action make has either a negative or positive input on your children and who they will grow to be, and loving another person more than you could have ever dreamed possible, are now all of the things I live for. And this is only just one small list.
But, can I add something? Maybe we can start to normalize it.
Being a parent is rough.
Not everyone needs them, but most of us, need breaks.
We absolutely did not have children just for others to raise them, but there’s a fine line between someone else caring for your littles, and making the time to give yourself a break.
A break can be an hour, a few hours, a day, a couple days. Whatever your mental health needs to recoup and be able to come back with your “A” game.
Myself? Every now and then I let the kids stay over with grandma, I see a therapist every Monday, I’ve recently indulged in the world of treating myself to getting my nails done.
When I take said breaks I make it a point to not housework. That’s not what taking a step back is for. Can you use it for that? Absolutely. If that’s what will make you feel better, all the power to you, my friend. I, on the other hand, choose to do things that allow me to breathe easier, feel lighter, boost my self confidence, and remind myself I am worthy of still being me.
Parenthood can steal our identities like a thief in the night. All anyone sees anymore are our children. Their unwarranted judgements, ideas, and opinions on who we are are based solely on what they deem correct on our journey to raising the tiny people we created.
I’m here to remind you that the person you were before those tiny humans you love so much? That person is still there, valid, and should be seen, heard, and treated with respect.
As long as you’re being safe with your children, they’re fed, clothed (not always, I get it), loved, happy, and being taught the ways of being kind? There’s nothing more I need to know. What you do with your babies, is your business. Your choice. They are yours and yours alone.
Being a parent doesn’t mean you have to go it alone and figure everything out for yourself. Accept the help when it comes, admit you need a break, know your worth and especially your limits.
I see you, mama, dad, grandparent, caregiver. Whoever you may be, I see you. You’re still important and you can still have love and passion for things that aren’t just your littles.
Right now, deem yourself worthy of all of the above. You’ve walked the long road alone long enough. Dig down deep and remember who you were before those babies. Share that person with them. Show them what individuality looks like, what it’s like to be your own kind of beautiful.