It's funny. During my single years, I swore that I would never be one of those mothers whose life was dictated by her children's schedules. My children would be loved, nurtured, and respected, but they would not wear the pants.
And then I became a mama. In the first year of Sam's life, my husband and I tip-toed around the house, so as not to wake the baby. We only played children's music in the car. We ate organic as much as possible. We traded our newspapers for "Good Night Moon" and organized our lives (even our work schedules) around his.
Two additional children later, I'm embarking upon a new life philosophy. I'm taking back my pants, so to speak.
I've arranged for a babysitter to come once a week, so that I can get away. I head to the gym at o' dark thirty in the morning to take care of my body. I'm not holding the baby while multi-tasking a million activities...she's learning to entertain herself. I meet friends for coffee regularly. I'm writing more than I ever have. And, am organizing some trips out of dodge.
So, why do I still struggle with guilt? Wondering whether I should be with them when I'm nurturing my own soul? It's a tough balance for me. Getting my nails/hair done is a wonderful treat, but then I wonder if I should be spending the time/money on them. Paying a babysitter seems like a necessary sanity break, but then I wonder if I should just suck it up...they're only little once, right?
But I do have to say, that when I come back from where ever I've gone doing something big or little for me, I feel ready to love little wounds, comfort little cries, and hear the 150th Dr. Seuss story.
I guess, I'm finding my way.