My husband is always asking me why I need so many time-outs. He has never understood my rationale for wanting and needing to spend time alone. Sometimes the weight of motherhood falls hard on my shoulders. After hearing, “Mommy, I need this” and “Mommy, I want this” all day, I sometimes just need a break. A bit of time to myself has always been the magic cure. I end up nurturing my soul and come back a better mom, with more patience than I had before I left for time to myself. I’ve made a concentrated effort to keep up with my interests and see my friends over the years. Sometimes a simple run to the ocean near my home does the trick.
The bottom line is that I’m not perfect – I’m human. I need time to myself like any normal person. I also need to take care of me, after taking care of three other people all the time. Since I’ve had my kids, I quit my full-time, beloved job, taken several part-time jobs, sometimes longer-term than others. I’ve taken classes. I started this blog. I do what I need to do to get myself through the many changes I’ve endured these past seven years since having children, so I don’t forget who I am and who I can and will be. While I adore my children and do everything for them, I truly believe that I come first sometimes….definitely not all the time.
That is why I was so excited to receive an advance copy of Mothers Need Time-Outs, Too, a new book by 3 moms, Susan Callahan, Anne Nolen and Katrin Schumann. Written in a very personable manner, the authors talked to hundreds of woman about they have managed to transform their own lives. It’s about becoming the best person you can possibly become. The authors draw on their own experiences and that of hundreds around the world.
I really liked a lot of what they had to say. For example, in the chapter about attitude shift, where they discuss how it’s important to let go of what is expected of us and enjoy the unpredictability of life, they lay out what’s important for moms to remember (page 25):
- Moms should accept imperfection, perhaps revel in it.
- Moms should share responsibility and let go of the need to always be in control.
- Moms should open their minds to alternative ways of running things.
Another chapter talks about how it’s important to live in the moment. Sometimes I get caught up in the monotony of parenthood and forget what my own kids can teach ..and do teach…me about life. They have made me a better version of who I was before. They challenge me. Through them, I am also able to experience the best life has to offer. Culture, history, the outdoors. They put me back in touch with the person I was once, who for a short time when they were young, I perhaps lost. With the person I have discovered again.
I highly recommend this book for moms who need to find ways to rediscover themselves. There are quotes interspersed throughout the book that really spoke to me, like this one which I’ll end my review with:
“Trying to be perfect may be inevitable for people who are smart and ambitious and interested in the world and its good opinion. What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” – Anna Quindlen, writer
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Disclosure: This book was provided to me for this review, but no opinion was expected of me. All opinions are my own.