It probably sounds funny to say that moms deserve to enjoy things, but when you really stop to think about it, how much do we really get to truly ENJOY? Sure, we love our families, but with all that we do and are responsible for, are we truly able to enjoy them? Are we given the freedom (on occasion) from stress and sacrifice and responsibility to be in the moment, or are we so overburdened with an endless TO DO list or never-ending needs of our little ones that we can’t ever just stop and take a minute to enjoy that meal/vacation/nap/party/_________ for ourselves too? And who is at fault for that — our partners for not taking on more so we don’t have to, or ourselves for taking it all on or not knowing how to delegate, say no, or stand up for our own enjoyment? Or maybe no one is at fault, or maybe we all are?
I do sometimes thing that as much as mothers want to enjoy things, over time we have simply forgotten how. And over time maybe even choose not to. I’m definitely guilty of this sometimes. We have to figure out how to stop and take a breath and allow ourselves to enjoy something, free from guilt. We need to stand up for our own enjoyment and remind ourselves and our families that we are people too and we deserve to eat a meal of our own choosing without it being cold or sharing it (or ordering something we don’t really want but know we have to share so we don’t get what we really want). And we have to accept the help and cooperation when it is given. What good is our family working to ensure we enjoy things too if we don’t allow ourselves that pleasure?
With that being said, I have been trying to find small moments of true enjoyment in my days, some of it purely for me. Whether it is waiting to clean up the dinner mess until after I have had time to sit down and eat also or going into the bedroom for 15 minutes in the morning with a hot cup of coffee and just having a bit of peace for myself. I’ve also started reading books again (something I love but have a really hard time doing for a while after I have a baby – this time it took me almost a year to get back to!) and am forcing myself to sit down once a week and watch a movie — like really watch, not sort of watch while I fold laundry or work on my computer. So I thought I would share some things I am enjoying right now in case it gives you some enjoyment too!
La La Land: I was having a particularly tough week and down couple of days, and I allowed myself to just sit and watch and ENJOY this film and it really helped lift my spirits. It is a musical (you should know that going in just in case that isn’t your sort of thing, even though I think you would still enjoy it — my husband did!), is really cute and funny, and RYAN GOSLING obvs. We got a SAG screener but you can see it in theaters now.
OA on Netflix (Suspense/Drama): This is like a mystery meets sci-fi (but in a good way, because I am not a big sci-fi person) and it is addicting. It can be a little different in the beginning, so give it a little time. Once it takes hold you’ll want to watch them all at once! You can find it on Netflix.
Catastrophe on Amazon Prime (Comedy): If you are a parent or married, or either or both, then you’ll be able to relate to something in this hilarious show. I feel like it speaks to the reality of married life and parenthood in such a funny, relatable way. I’ve been dying for the next season to appear because I loved it so much. Also, I totally want to be friends with female lead (who is also one of the writers of the show). You can find it on Amazon here.
Reading is one of my favorite things, but also one of the things I can’t seem to manage for a while after I have a baby. First you’ve got no time and are totally exhausted. Then you’re so used to using your “free” time to accomplish tasks that you don’t take time for yourself. One thing I’m trying really hard to do is to take a hot bath with a book (and no phone!) or to give myself a little time before bed to read before I go to sleep. Right now I’m reading this and this, but you can see some other books I have loved and recommend here.
I know it was just Christmas and Hanukkah but I also know that Santa sometimes forgets to bring us something we could really use. I also know that most of us are in desperate need of some TLC by way of a massage but don’t easily get out of the house. My mother-in-law bought me this massager for Christmas and it is maybe the best thing ever. Between an already tense neck and bad back, and baby wearing and nursing and lifting and carrying three boys, my body hurts a lot of the time. You can use it on your whole body and do it yourself, so you don’t have to rely on a partner to help you. This has helped me SO much and I highly recommend it. Seriously — I told my husband if it could help me take care of the kids I wouldn’t need him anymore! Kidding,
mostly totally! If you have any money available for some self-care in your budget, spend it on this immediately.
So, what do you think? How can we be advocates for our enjoyment? Are you able to achieve this for yourself?
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