Time flies, doesn’t it?

She is the same girl. Same playground we go to weekly. Yet she is so different. Taller, older looking.

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Do you  struggle with the same desire to spend every waking second with your child, catching every moment of growth, every laugh and new word and smile. But at the same time, NEEDING time away to do everything you, as an adult, need to do: work, cook, clean, shower, shave, see friends, go to the gym, read, take a bath, relax?

How do you find a balance where you’re not always left wanting one while getting the other? How do you look at the old photos and make sure that you don’t regret saying “Sweetie, I can’t right now!” when your child asks you to play with them?

When they are very little, we give ourselves to our children. At least I did. That was my role as a mother to an infant. She needed me, the whole me. As they grow and become more independent, we take ourselves back, bit by bit. But is it fair that while taking ourselves back, we are also taking away from the new us, the mom. How do we, as mothers, find balance: being a mom and being an Elena?

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I have a strong desire to be with my daughter. I have a strong desire to be an individual, to do things for myself that make me feel great. Why can’t these two live in peace, without guilt?

I want both. Can I have both? I think I can, just not at the same time.

We all need to learn to be ok with ignoring everything else in our lives for a moment ( dirty dishes, piles of laundry, nagging emails) and selfishly ( or selflessly) spend time with our children.

And then take the same amount of time and selfishly or selflessly do what makes us feel great: get that kitchen clean, finally wash that pair of jeans that fits so well, go to the gym so that the jeans looked even better, put make up on, wash your hair, go out with girlfriends, go on a solo drive, take a spa day.

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This is my Lexi. She had to have been 3 there. I remember her well, I spent a lot of time with her last year. I remember our moments, her development.

But I also remember not letting life go by. I remember traveling, on my own, I remember building my future, working, setting things in motion, feeling like a person.

Hope everyone gets to feel that way. And if you don’t, find a way.

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Because as much as it sucks to look back and think that you wished you’d spent more time with your kids, it sucks equally to look back and realize that you were not a person all these years, just someone’s mom. Find a balance! Because you’re not just a mom, I am not just a mom. I am also Elena. And that’s worth a lot.

Question: What do you do for yourself?How often? How do you feel about it?

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Tammy Root
    February 3, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    This is a really good post, Elena. You write it in such a way that allows us to own personal time and not feel guilt. I try to balance work, being a mom, and my Tammy-time. I tend to not feel guilt about it because it is important to be more than just ‘mom’ even though that is my most important title. 🙂 Nicely written.

  • Reply
    ta
    February 9, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    I can tell. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ella
    February 15, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    Oh, you got me right in the heart here!
    This is my biggest struggle right now! When I put my sons to bed at night, I finally have time to do “Mommy” things. My son asks for “one more song/book.” and I say “No”. I feel that terrible guilt. Sometimes I give in and read one more book and sometimes, I just say, I love you, good night.” I haven’t gotten back into a workout routine because (working outside the home) I only see my kids for a few hours an evening. I feel like a workout is selfish but now, I hate how I look and feel. How is that fair to any of us!

    Thank you for this post. I have a lot to think about and not feel guilty for.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      February 17, 2016 at 1:02 PM

      This is probably my biggest mental struggle at the moment. I try to balance it. But I’m not sure how well I’m doing.

  • Reply
    jera sefton
    February 16, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    very funny baby. love u ummah ;O

  • Reply
    New mom
    October 12, 2016 at 3:37 AM

    The baby girl looks so pretty and cute.actually from parents end , no compromise for baby to be happy

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