The best way to get over the guilt of taking some well deserved time out for yourself is to identify what you feel guilty about and then maul that thing like a defenceless little sea lion cub. I’ve identified two main areas of guilt, and given some examples of how you might destroy that guilt because every woman needs some time out with her She-Wolf Pack.
But before I do, I just want you all to know that I am the luckiest girl alive over the next few weekends: not only have I a night away in Brisbane with my Mum, Auntie and Sisters-in-Law for dinner and a show, the very next weekend I am jetting to New Zealand to spend 3 GLORIOUS NIGHTS and 4 WONDERFUL DAYS (yes I’m shouting- that’s how FUCKING AWESOME it is) with three of my oldest girlfriends
And there will be no children. And there will be no husbands or partners. There will only be awesomeness. Totes.
Need a break from this?
Photo courtesy of http://www.stuffmomssay.com/
It’s also a bit cheeky leaving my husband in single parent mode two weekends running, but I’m feeling completely fine about it since I spent many many days (and nights I might add) single parenting my way around Australia whilst Fiela fished in every state for almost every species of water creature you can eat. But that’s all part of the guilt bypass I’ve inserted as a way of justifying these indulgent Festival of Me weekends. Anyway, here’s how to get over the guilt.
They ruined your vagina. Alright if your kids are over the age of one it’s probably repaired itself post partum but unless you had a caesarean (which in my mind is probably even worse!) or outside mechanical help (true story) your va jay jay may not be as vajazzled as it once was. It will never be the same. Ever. Either way you have SUFFERED = sacrifice = Guilt Bypass.
Sentences starting with “Mum”. Every sentence my children utter starts with “Mum”. It drives me fucking insane. My already birth scarred brain is embattled with further wonderful repetitions of my now-name and I love being called ‘Mum’. But it is also frustrating when the sentence goes something like “Mum, I’ve done a poo.” Or “Mum, where’s Dad?” or “Mum! Oh I just didn’t know where you are. No, I don’t want anything!?”
Day to day grind. Feeding, bathing, clothing. And that’s just yourself- what about these other hangers-on who need to be fed and washed and clothed? Everyday!? And then there’s the housework and the washing and the watching ABC4KIDS and the reading of “Where’s the Green Sheep?” for the one hundredth time. Alright the last two aren’t that bad, but your brain slowly turning to mush is and I for one would like to start a conversation with another adult that doesn’t start with “I’m talking Sissie!” In fact I’d really just like to finish a conversation. And if you’re a working mother? WTF just book it!?
General guilt. Your children will miss you a bit, but not as much as you think they will. And the best part about having a fairly long stretch of time off? You’re actually excited beyond belief to see your kids. Not just glad they made it through the day without a serious injury or poo disaster excited. Genuinely heart bursting (like those first few days after giving birth to them) excited.
This is slightly trickier since partners don’t generally come under the “Because I Said So” Clause.
Time off without them. This is a little hard and not every woman can deal with this. It’s true- we are awesome, but our partners will probably survive the night without us. And like children, we are genuinely happy to see our partners after a little break. There are lots of strategies to get around this, I generally use the “We’re just going to discuss tampons or that new weird cup thing everyone’s trying out.” And that’s usually enough.
Financial concerns. Take a look around your garage and tell me honestly that your partner doesn’t have a useless load of shit in there they bought with the assurance it would be used all the time. Oh, is that just me?? Anyway, it’s nice to treat yourself but if money is an issue, Girls’ Trips don’t have to be expensive. You can hold them at someone else’s house and each bring a plate of food, bottle of wine and pyjamas or just take a trip to a national park for a walk.
Time Constraints. A Girls’ Trip can be down the road to a café, to someone’s house, interstate, across the ocean. It can be coffee, or dinner or a night away. It can be whatever you want it to be just make sure it involves your good self and some girlfriends. Never feel guilty about this. Women need each other.
General Guilt. The easiest way to alleviate general guilt in regards to your partner is to allocate time off for them as well. A trip to a game, fishing trip, night at the pub. Chances are they already do this and you are simply the convenient babysitter, but if they don’t, organise it. You’ll feel much better about leaving them for your own piece of sanity pie.
You’ll have to wait for Part 2 to work out how to choose a date which is just as if not harder than getting over the guilt.