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AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL MOTHERS WITH TODDLERS: IT IS OKAY TO TAKE A BREAK

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL MOTHERS WITH TODDLERS: IT IS OKAY TO TAKE A BREAK

By Reena Enjambre | | Alone Time, babies, baby, Me Time, Mental Health, Moms, Motherhood, Mothers, mothers day, Mummas

Dear Mommas

Wherever you are right now, maybe you are at home in your most comfiest clothes cooking something for the family--or in your office suit, sitting at your desk, trying to finish all the paperwork. Maybe you are in the car, on your way to buy some groceries. Maybe you are doing your laundry or washing the dishes--or any chores. Wherever you are right now, this one's for you.

Yes, for you

Most especially for the first time moms who are still grasping and tiptoeing on motherhood, trying to learn basics on how to raise the little one. I know it’s quite overwhelming, oftentimes you feel lost and don’t know what to do,  but, believe me, you are doing great. 

However, this is also for the moms of two or three--or maybe more--children, you are a veteran at this now, but I know things can get more hectic, especially now that you have to watch and take care of those bundle of joys. I hope you are taking a step back just to breathe and relax, I am proud of you. 

For the moms who are already raising a teenager and a toddler at the same time. I know it can be tricky and quite sad, and feels like you’re living two worlds at once now that those once so little arms and feet are already trying to figure things out on their own. They might not ask for your help as often as before now, but remember that they are facing the real world equipped and geared with everything that you’ve taught them. Give yourself a pat on the back. 

For the moms who are trying to juggle work and raising a child, I know you often find yourself staring at a blank space, thinking how little time you got for one day. No, that is not the case, you have plenty of time, you just need to plan ahead. You are doing great, you deserve a good hot bubble bath and a glass of wine. 

For the single moms trying to raise a child on their own. It can be tiresome, bearing all the responsibilities without no one to lean on but yourself. You are a strong one, a fighter, give yourself a hug for doing it all. 

This letter is for all the mommas out there, I hope this reaches each and every one of you and, at the very least, makes you smile, feel that your efforts are acknowledged, and make you realize that you’re important too. 

Motherhood can be exciting and rewarding, just seeing your little one smile melts your heart, but it might also be the toughest job and role. You just want the best for your babies, so as much as possible you want to be hands-on, but then there are household chores, the laundry isn’t going to wash themselves on their own and the dishes too. You also need to clean up the house, water the plants, and cook food for yourself and your husband, and a different meal for your toddler. There is just a lot of stuff to do with so little time--24 hours a day is not enough. And if you are also working in an office, it’s a different kind of busy story. Definitely, time is your number one enemy. There’s no time to relax, to take a breather, everything is just over the place. Days feel longer, but, somehow, you feel like you seem to get nothing done. 

Your life revolves around doing things when the kids are awake and another set of things when they are having their naps. However, that sounded easier than done because it isn’t as smooth sailing as that, there are times when you have to do chores while the kids are awake because you don’t have much time left in your day. Then you feel guilty doing it because you’re thinking that you’re not playing with them as much as you thought you should. You’re running like a headless chicken, trying to get everything done. 

The mother role takes over all of you that you tend to forget the woman that you are before even becoming a mother. You tend to put yourself last and, eventually, it eats you--all of you. You feel exhausted. You feel stressed. You feel like life is passing you by. However, you also think that, they are not getting any younger”, you just have to be there and savor the moment where they just need you as much as you can, but you are not getting any younger yourself. You don’t want to spend your days feeling unfulfilled and stressed. 

There is nothing wrong with spending time with your kids and, yes, they are not getting any younger and eventually won’t be needing you as much as they do now, but that is also the reason why you need to have time for yourself because when that time comes, when they grow older, eventually, you will feel lost because your whole world revolves around them. Now that their minds are set to figure things out on their own, you don’t know what to do with your alone time. You don’t want to be like one of those helicopter parents who follow their child everywhere and watch them from a distance. You have to remember who you ware, beneath that motherhood layer. 

You are doing and giving them the best you can and have, don’t feel guilty of taking some alone time because you deserve it. You need to take care of yourself, too. You are important as well. 

Believe me, taking some “Me Time” will immensely help you and your family. Having some time alone will improve your concentration and productivity. If you’re constantly surrounded by people--or your kids--you tend to feel more distracted, so it is hard for you to focus on one thing at a time. On the contrary from your initial thought, if you take some time off for yourself, you’ll probably get more things done. 

Unwinding and making time for yourself is good for your health. Parenting is stressful, especially for moms who give their all. Being stressed all the time can deteriorate your health. In the past, stress was linked with diabetes, depression and heart disease. You cannot fully function if you’re sick--may it be mentally or physically. Take care of your health, it is as important as everything else. 

On a daily basis, I know you’re faced with any parenting issues that you need to concentrate on to solve, having some time alone can help you resolve this. If you have time to sit and really think about the issue at hand, you might surprise yourself and come up with a solution that is best for everyone.

Spending time alone is not only beneficial for you, but also to your little ones. As a mother, you want to be an example to your children. Children always follow what they see. You don’t want to be that kind of mother with little patience and lashes out almost every time due to stress, your kids might pick up that kind of behavior. Besides, having some alone time will teach your children that “It is okay to enjoy being by themselves”. This will also help them become more independent and will help mold their personality. If you are always tending to their needs, they will end up being spoiled and will throw a tantrum if they don’t get what they want--even to a point where you can’t control it anymore. Leaving them for a while will make them realize that your needs are important too, other people are important too, not only themselves. This will teach them to be more compassionate and thoughtful. 

As I mentioned, juggling a lot of things at the same time without proper management will make you feel like someone’s chasing you, trying to bite your tail. You will feel drained and deflated. A moment of solitude will help you regain that energy back. 

Tranquility for yourself can help you connect with yourself on a deeper level. When you take the motherhood role, you tend to forget that you are also an individual. You are your own person. You tend to forget your wants and needs. You tend to forget your future goals. Hence, you feel unproductive and unfulfilled despite having tons of stuff to do and been doing. Having that alone time can help you remember and help you plan for future goals for yourself and your family. 

Go on, take that break. You deserve it. It  might be hard to transition at first, especially when you’re used to the busy and hustling life, but it is okay, you are not missing out on things. You don’t have to take a long one right away, you can take it slow--even just 5 minutes of your day, for now. Read your favorite book, listen to a podcast or that album you’ve been dying to listen to, watch that Netflix series you’ve been putting on hold for the longest time, have a chat with your friend on the phone, go on a dinner date or lunch date with your partner. Just do the things that you find relaxing, it is for the best--for you and your family. 

Love + miracles,

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