I work weekends. Sometimes, I enjoy going out with my friends. Or just running errands alone. Or getting a haircut. Or whatever! People ask where my kids are and my reply is usually, “With their dad.” And most of the time, the same response follows, “How nice of your husband to babysit the kids while you go out. You are so lucky.” Um….what?
Let’s get something straight. My husband does not babysit. He is not a fifteen year old high school student who I am paying $8 an hour to watch my children. He is a parent, same as me. Sure, he didn’t have to give up drinking, to grow a person in his belly only to have it surgically removed nine months later, but I am pretty sure he was there when the baby was created. That is half his DNA too. So why the assumption that my husband is babysitting?
The answer to this is simple. Mom guilt. Women have been suffering from this for years, the idea that we should be shackled to our kids as soon as they burst forth from our loins. God forbid we should want to get a haircut, go shopping or even just use the bathroom by ourselves. So we feel the need to either stay home or cart our kids around with us. Given the choice, most ladies just want to stay home because it is easier.
If a woman is given the chance to escape without her kids by her husband, she becomes racked with guilt because he is pushed outside his comfort zone (or at least he is in her head). Her husband might be forced to feed the kids, entertain them, put up with some tantrums, settle fights, put the kids down for naps, whatever. What she doesn’t realize is that this is his job too! Sure, he might work forty hours a week at some other job, but she might too. Or maybe she is a stay at home mom but that is a full time exhausting job (with no vacation or sick pay either). So why feel guilty? He is perfectly capable of taking care of the kids. If he hasn’t done it a lot, he can learn. Think about it. You didn’t know how to take care of the kids, you had to learn too. It is not like they came with a manual (but it would be awesome if they did).
Honestly, I don’t feel guilty anymore, no matter how much my mom tries to turn me into a 1950’s housewife. My hubby actually encourages me to go have some me time, even when I am not leaving the house. He likes his time with Biggest and Littlest. Ok, not always. Sometimes they make him crazy, but that is what kids do (we will pay them back in crazy tenfold during their teenage years). Sure, he does not do everything the way I would or the way I want, but he gets the job done. I usually come home to kids, hubby, and house all still in one piece. In return, I give him the exact same thing he gave to me, time to use however he wants.
So stop feeling guilty. Make some YOU time and enjoy it while you have it. Remember the old saying, “Happy wife, happy life?” Well, learn it, live it, love it, BABY! Maybe for you it is going out shopping with a friend, hitting Target all by yourself, or simply showering without a small audience. Find what makes you happy and do it, just for you. You will find that taking care of yourself makes you happier with you and your family.