Do you ever find yourself needing a permission slip? I find myself being a mom first, wife second and Kerri somewhere around 156th place in the hierarchy that is my life. Last year a good friend of mine and I had a discussion about how that happens. On November 11, 2013 I posted the question: do you need permission to be you?
It is so strange, but I find myself needing permission for me time. I feel like I “need” to be at work, Boo’s therapy, helping Abby with homework and hey being a wife once in a while. I have somehow taken this mantle of having to be there for every moment for everyone else something will go wrong.
Yes, I control that much of the universe. I find when I take time out of the day for something selfish, like a run or meeting friends without the family, I feel incredible guilt.
A couple of years ago I met Tia for a girls weekend. I felt anxious the entire time. Like I was letting David and the girls down by not being there for them.
David doesn’t feel this way. Don’t take that the wrong way, he is a great dad and husband. But if he wants to go hunting, out with the guys, working overtime or take a class he just does. He doesn’t worry about juggling or what it means impact it might have on me. He isn’t being selfish, he always makes sure that I’m okay with him doing whatever. But he just goes.
Last week, for example, he had the day off. The girls are at school and I am at work. He had six hours to do whatever he wanted. He took the dog for a 2 hour walk, visited his mom and whatever else men do get out of cleaning the bathroom. Me? I would be cleaning, shopping, baking, doing anything else other than taking time to just rejuvenate.
Neither of us are wrong in our approach and I know we are no different than any other couple.
A couple of weekends ago we were scheduled to run a race. He ended up taking a class and a friend went with me instead. It was weird, because a year ago I would have just not gone. But I needed it. I needed to check out for a couple of hours. I picked up my friend, we raced and afterwards there was an after party.
Cause after you run 3 miles you should totally drink and eat.
But getting there was a hard decision. It was a we shouldn’t, should we, let’s just go home….wait the restaurant is right there….okay we’ll go in.
It was both of us. Both of us were so anxious that we were not going straight home after daring to take an hour for ourselves. My husband had taken a class that would take him from any family responsibility for 2 weeks. Hers had just left that morning for a business trip where he would be gone at least a week.
Neither man was wrong, but neither man really ever second guessed their choice. Here we were second guessing if we should have lunch!
We sat and talked about just that, how when we were wives we never worried about making sure there was food in the house, the laundry was done or if we were meeting friends after work.
Then we had children, moved our husbands into a role where we are now responsible for their meals, clean laundry and the inability to think for themselves (this never occurred to us as wives). We became self-imposed hermits, needing permission to do something without our families. We have inadvertently moved ourselves into this role where the family cannot survive without us for 2 hours.
We stopped being women and became the all-powerful mom.
Oh no! our minds say, will they eat? Will they be okay? Will the be able to wipe their own asses? (Okay that was my thought, probably not anyone else would think their family was that inept). But I am sure all of us at one time or another thought: How will they survive without our constant presence!!!!
David is more than capable of taking care of himself and whomever he needs to be responsible. Yet when either girl needs something (even a glass of water) my name is called.
But I am getting better. Okay, not better but improving. I raced and had a fabulous lunch with my friend. Last weekend I met a new friend for a much needed run. Tonight I am meeting a friend for dinner. I am leaving David home alone with the girls. Mind you, the poor man has been alone with them all day because of the Holiday. But I am not feeling guilty at all. I am going out for Kerri time.
Okay, I’m feeling a little guilty.
I am participating in the 31 for 21 blog Challenge to raise awareness for Down Syndrome.