Tips for Finding Time for You
If you're home full-time with your kids but need some "me time," pursuing a hobby as Laura did is a great option. Jones offers the following additional suggestions for stay-at-home mothers who are struggling with guilt:
- Taking time for yourself, away from your children.
- Developing an interest or a passion such as a hobby or volunteer work that's totally unrelated to your children.
- Rewarding yourself for a job well done.
- Having a support system that gives you important adult interaction when you need it.
Jones reminds us that motherhood is a continual state of transition. Each stage our children encounter brings us to another level of being. We must use the cycles of change for personal growth. "Children admire mothers who pursue a passion or commitment outside of parenting. It makes them proud and helps set them free to express their best selves, too. The older your children become, the more important it is to continually reclaim yourself. Getting lost in your children's lives serves no one. Model the self-care and independence you are trying to teach them. Mothers are people with needs, too. When we fulfill those needs, we become more fun and loving mothers—without the guilt."
Mothering gets better and better as we become more confident with the choices we make. We must tell ourselves that we're doing the best we can in every circumstance and allow ourselves the freedom to let go of guilty feelings.
Jones adds, "Lighten up on yourself. Mothers are only one influence on a child's life. Fathers, grandparents, teachers, friends, babysitters, coaches—can affect a child's well being, too. Allow your child to benefit from quality time spent with others who care about them. Motherhood is an ongoing state of letting go—loosening the reins and surrendering. Your children will know that you will always do the best you can. Besides, isn't this a good lesson for them? Do the best you can and that will be enough."