Think of all the things you might do if you had more time
for yourself. Maybe you'd write a book or go back to school. But these types of
things don't happen when you're busy planning your kids' summer schedules, shopping
for school supplies and making meals. Before you know it, you've joined
several committees at school, been chosen as team mom for auxiliary sports and
have picked up a leg of the carpool. Your calendar is filled with your children's
activities and needs, squeezing out the things you want and need to do for yourself.
And moms never get a day off. Never!
The reality is, moms may want to take time off from their
children, but they can never find a way to manage it, and if they do find a
way, they feel too guilty to follow-through. That said, think about taking a sabbatical from mothering anyhow. There are countless upsides to taking a
break from motherhood; here are 10 of them:
You're a mom, therefore you're
sleep-deprived. Boldly give yourself time to sleep until you wake up naturally.
It will likely take a few days for your body's mom clock to turn off. So the
first few days you will probably awaken with your mind moving toward caring for
your children. But after about the third day of being without children, you
will start to tune into your natural waking time. The thoughts and to-do list
will subside, and you will find rest and rejuvenation.
2. Better parenting
Any mom who takes extended and uninterrupted
time for herself discovers a new appreciation for motherhood and new ways to
improve as a mom. Being away from your children will allow you to reflect and
plan methods to level-up your parenting.
Time away from your children will get
your creative juices flowing. When you have space to think about artistry and
all the years you've put it off, being solo for a bit will spark your
creativity. You'll have not only the time to pay attention to that thing that
you've put off for so long, but you'll also have the energy and enthusiasm too!
You deserve your attention. You deserve your time. You deserve time to be with you.
4. Noisy sex
When was the last time you had loud
screaming sex? You can't remember, right? Every now and again a mom just needs
to cut loose and let out a huge sensual holler. That can never happen with the
kids around. With a couple of weeks of downtime, who knows what passions you
5. Gratitude for solitude
Before becoming a mom, you probably
never appreciated time alone. (Admit it, it wasn't fashionable, but you were
pining to be a wife and mother. All that alone time was indistinguishable from
lonely time—with an idea of glorious motherhood dancing in your head. A little
more demanding and a lot less idyllic, no?) A mom sabbatical will give you time
to appreciate your time and your space. For the first time in ages you'll be
able to use your time as you desire for your needs. And this time around, you'll
actually use that time responsibly because you'll know that it is limited and
6. Brain space
If there is one thing motherhood
has taught me, it is how consuming it is. My brain can be overflowing with a
million thoughts about past, present and future things my son needed then,
needs now, will need tomorrow and next year. A mom sabbatical has cleared away most of the relentless
worries that were background noise in my mind. Brain space is something most
moms don't even think about. They don't know that they want it until they
actually get it.
You've never sent a nude photo or a
dirty text because your children co-own your phone, and you'd die if they saw
or read something that suggested you're a woman. (You can't lay your phone down
for one moment before one of your children has removed it to watch a video or
listen to their favorite song.) Extended time will allow you do with your phone
whatever you desire. And you'll have time to erase the evidence before your children get to it.
8. Walk around naked
My son has been around my naked
body for most of his life, but as he grows older, I've felt the need to
cover up when he's around. The sabbatical has given me opportunity once again
to leave the bathroom door open and my body uncovered. Every woman should have a
season in which to lounge around her house in her birthday suit in peace.
9. Rediscover womanhood
Motherhood changes you entirely,
inside and out. You don't know how much it changes you until you are without
your children for a time and feel the confidence of your womanhood, not
motherhood, re-awaken within you. Being someone's mother can make you stop
apologizing for being smart, beautiful and wise. When your children are away, you see
that these new ways of being are not just activated by motherhood, but much
more qualities of womanhood. You own them when your children are near or far.
You deserve some time to be alone.
You just do. You need it. Motherhood is not your core, nor is it your identity.
You deserve and need time to once again experience who you are separate and
apart from your children. You deserve your attention. You deserve your time.
You deserve time to be with you.