Balancing “Me” Time and Mommy Guilt

[http://personalexploration.blogspot.com]

  Yesterday morning I indulged myself with a visit to a day spa. I had received a gift certificate during the holiday season. I kept putting off scheduling an appointment because of kid’s illnesses, school vacations, tennis tournaments… you name it, my kids took priority.

So I finally found a day that worked for me when my kids did not need me. For the value of my gift certificate I was able to receive an herbal bath followed by a sixty minute massage. Ahh… the life of a SAHM. Isn’t that what we all do? At least when we are not watching daytime tv…

[http://spa-topia.com]

The bath should have been a relaxing soak, letting the jets loosen up my muscles while breathing in the aromatic herbal therapies my masseur threw into the bubbling water. Instead I kept wondering how much time had passed and whether I would make it home in time to bring a cooler of drinks to my son’s final “fun” practice.

Then the masseur transferred me to a quiet room with zen music and low lighting. I laid face down on the soft sheets while he worked his magic on all my tight spots. It was just what I needed to erase my stress and release my tension; but somehow I found it hard to focus on the moment.

[http://zantesalonspa.com]

I found my mind drifting into thoughts about how much my daughter would like this- how it would release the anxiety of her upcoming final exams. I tried to analyze the techniques my masseur was using so I could replicate them on her at home. I also contemplated the possibility of giving her a gift certificate to use as a birthday present. After all, I thought, doesn’t she deserve such luxurious treatment too?

I finally had to yell at myself (in my head, of course) and say: “What about Me time? This is supposed to be about Me! Can’t I stop thinking about my kids- either how much this would help them or if I will make it to their practice on time- for a mere 90 minutes?”

I don’t know if the fact that I am not working this year has put me on Mommy High Alert, or if I was always like this and didn’t realize it. Somehow I have to work out a more even balance between “Me” time and “Mommy” time.

[http://mamanyc.net]

I don’t know how she does it. Doesn’t she look calm and in control? Relaxation was the purpose of my spa visit. It seems ironic that it didn’t turn out that way.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. suzicate
    May 31, 2012 @ 22:43:33

    It is so difficult to relax and not be guilty for taking time to yourself or think about what you should be doing for someone else…I think it’s part of the mother brain. It does ease up considerably when the kids reach adulthood. Sorry you didn’t get to enjoy your time the way you deserved to…if it makes you feel better when I get the chance to go to the spa I do the same thing!

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    • themiddlegeneration
      Jun 01, 2012 @ 08:55:10

      Thanks for your kind support, Suzi. It is nice to know this “mother brain” eases up eventually. Your reassurance has made me feel more normal and less neurotic. Maybe a 90 minute break was too long. I should probably stick with pedicures.

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  2. Looking Out The Window
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 08:44:40

    It is so hard to turn off life, mom or not. But you as a mom have some pretty important things pulling at your mind.

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  3. themiddlegeneration
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 08:59:08

    I think there must be something genetic about the maternal instinct- primarily females protecting their offspring.It is hard to fight against nature.

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  4. Susan
    Jun 06, 2012 @ 11:48:04

    OK, now I’m feeling guilty. Two weeks ago I met a couple of friends in the Berkshires (equidistant from our various abodes) for an entire spa day and felt no guilt at all. It was wonderful! Maybe your idea of small steps – pedicure to pedicure & manicure, to massage – is a good one to build up to it.

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    • themiddlegeneration
      Jun 09, 2012 @ 17:08:25

      I am glad you enjoyed your getaway. That is what we are supposed to do as moms in order to recharge our batteries. My point was not to create guilt, but to encourage everyone to do what they can to take time for themselves; whether it is for an hour or a day or a week. We all need “me” time without feeling guilty about it. Keep doing what you are doing!

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