Lets back up a bit. Last week I decided to hire a babysitter so I could work on my YouTube channel a bit. It needs help, as in videos. Because I don't post anymore. All week long I wrestled with guilt over scheduling two hours for me time. I wrestled with feeling like a bad mom and for "wasting" money on a babysitter.
The day came and I legit tried to cancel three times--each time never sending the text message. The hour came. I stress-loaded the kids into the car and drove to my friend Brooke's house whose teenage daughter would be watching my wonderful neurotic angels for two hours. I worried all the way there that I was making a big mistake. Becky would miss me. She would cry. She would feel like I'd abandoned her. I was abandoning her. Oh my goodness, she might never get over this. She could get PTSD from me leaving her. What was I doing? Why had I done this? I needed to turn around. But I couldn't cancel five minutes before, could I? Who does that? What was wrong with me? Why was this so hard?
I got there and left them quickly, so Becky wouldn't have to see me stand there and fret over her fretting. Reuben ran off easily, but Becky was hysterical. I cried all the way to Starbucks.
I got a text that she was doing fine about 15 minutes later.
I know I need space from my children. Space to still be me. Space to be creative, to breathe, to plan and work on my own spiritual walk. This is healthy, this is good. I KNOW this yet leaving my kids with someone else is SO HARD. I don't understand it. Why do I feel like such a bad mother for hiring a babysitter once a month? I mean, I would never judge another mother like that! I need to give myself the same grace. It isn't wrong! I'm not a bad mom. It's just my anxiety, my stress, and my own unhealthy desires to "meet all my kids needs" that triggers these feelings.
I can't even meet all my own needs, much less my kids.
I shouldn't try.
Only God can meet my own needs. Only God can fulfill me. Only God can fulfill my children. And I need to give myself permission to step back and work on my own dreams.
I've found I have this problem of letting motherhood be all-consuming. I let it completely overwhelm my "role" as wife and my identity as my own entity because I worry so much that if I slack in one little area in regards to my children, I will ruin them and start a cycle of abuse that will cause them to have miserable lives.
Instead, I need to show them how an healthy adult handles relationships. And that is not accomplished by letting my title of mother obscure all my other titles--but letting "mother" bloom in it's time and place like a garden of beautiful truths.
This is easier said than done.
So today I'm giving myself permission to step away. To have space from my children when I need it--not as a reaction to being overwhelmed or burnt out, but as a right, as a repose--so that I, too, can grow and find peace and return to "motherhood" invigorated.