Moms, stand up for a moment. Identify yourselves! We all deserve medals. Scratch the medals. Just bring us coffee, wine, ice cream and leave us with a nice comfy blanket on the sofa binge watching the latest and greatest on Netflix. Oh, wait, is that the baby that just cried out? Is that the toddler whining for Goldfish crackers? Is that the preteen rolling her eyes at me because I said no? Is that my husband screaming about having no toilet paper even though he was told to buy some earlier this week because we were out? And now the cat is kneading her claws into the blanket which in turn is scratching my legs and the dog is running from the sofa to the door deciding if he wants in or out.
Add in a bit of, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” and, “Honey, can you hand me the remote? It’s too far away.” (Really dear, it is 3 feet away from you sitting on the coffee table. Move the damn cat and get it yourself.)
Mothers are the most important figures in a household. Sure, I will give dads credit. They do a lot… well most of them… okay, 50% of them? I know, that might be a stretch. But, it is us Mothers who have to deal 100% with all the Mental Shit that goes on.
A couple of weeks ago, I read the most enlightening article about Mothers and their Invisible Workload called The Invisible Workload That Drags Women Down. This article made such and impact on me that I am still thinking about it today. It discusses that although women will work outside the home just as much as men (hubby and I work full time jobs and make about the same give or take 1%), women take on a WHOLE lot more then their male partners. It isn’t that men do nothing. Their share at home tends to be physical (think laundry, dishes, taking out the trash). While us Mothers, aside from doing roughly equal amounts of the physical labor at home, take on all of that Mental Shit. We know when Johnny has little league, when little Sarah has her dentist appointment, and of course, when the dreaded toilet paper has run out. We are the ones who have to buy the milk, even if we don’t drink any, because our husbands forgot they have two arms, two legs and a driver’s license. We are the ones that know where the passports are, the birth certificates, the car titles.
All of this is a HUGE drain on our brains, the brains that were already sucked dry from being pregnant (google pregnancy brain). Ten years later, my brain is still not the same.
We become sick, and are still seen by society, to be workhorses. Have the flu? It doesn’t matter, you have a household to run. Why is that? Why has society taught us that if we are “under-the-weather” to just “suck it up”? Why are our needs so minor? Why is our care not as relevant?
This needs to change. All you Mothers out there standing up, it is time we take back ourselves. I am not saying abandon your family. For sure, you wouldn’t be able to leave the house without a child attached to a leg. It’s time we tell our hubbies, “I need a break. You all are mentally draining me. Please give me a couple of hours, just a couple, to sit and be lazy on the sofa reading a book with a glass of wine (or coffee, tea, hot chocolate).” Don’t back down. Then make sure these couple of hours are truly kid (& hubby) free. Have him take the kid(s) to another part of the house, or heck, out of the house.
Of course, I am a bit hypocritical. I have yet to have this happen in my household of 1 lazy, but loving, husband, 1 moody preteen daughter, and 1 precious and beastly furry child. I started writing a book about two years ago chronicling my struggles with Depression and Anxiety. I asked my husband to take our child to see her grandparents (his parents) once a month giving me the day to write. Two years later… I am still waiting for this to happen. Even tonight, I begged my daughter without giving me a guilt trip, to let Mommy write a blog post. All I needed was 1 hour of quiet time. I was not in my room 5 minutes and she was on my bed showing me drawings she made using pictures of me, her father and the cat, pulling my attention away from writing the post after I spent most of the day cuddling with her on the sofa.
But this changes today. 2017 will be the year I take back myself. The year I recognize I am not just a mother and a wife (and an Architectural Project Manager). I have my own hobbies and interests. I will take my Mommy Time every weekend, a couple of hours each day, and recharge my batteries. I will convince myself that this isn’t selfish, that this is truly necessary to keep this household running. I will do this to deal with the Mental Shit us Mothers deal with all the time.
Because I matter.