Being a mother is a difficult job that never really ends. There are many mornings and nights where you have to rush around, deal with nightmares or do other things to properly tend to your child. The fact is that most mothers are running on empty, but they are reluctant to take a break. If you are feeling guilty about taking a break, then you should know that it’s good for both you and your entire family.
Your daily schedule consists of teacher conferences, cooking meals, disciplining your child and going to work. It’s understandable that you would be irritable, but most children won’t know why you are so snappy and angry. Moms that don’t give themselves a break are more likely to yell at their children and improperly finish tasks.
Having a short fuse, while understandable, isn’t tolerable when you are dealing with children. Giving yourself an occasional break will help you remain calm during the often stressful days of parenting.
You may not notice it, but you will often make your children feel guilty when you have to do something that you don’t want to. For example, many angry mothers will outright tell their children that they would prefer doing something else. This might be a simple outburst, but this can actually teach your children to feel guilty. They might also learn how to use it as a weapon against you and others.
Not only that, but you are teaching your children that guilt is part of parenting. This can be very damaging to everybody involved. While you will have to do things that you really don’t want to, you shouldn’t hold this against your child. Your child isn’t holding you captive. You can still do the things that you want to do. Remind yourself that you are still free by taking a break.
Teaching your child to be independent is a good thing. Most mothers don’t realize that constantly doting on their children makes them completely dependent. These children are less likely to do things on their own even when they are adults. Taking a break will teach your child to be more independent since you are no longer there to tend to his or her needs.
This doesn’t mean that your child is alone, because there should be somebody else there, however, your child will learn that he or she has do things without you. Another good thing is that your child will often appreciate what you do because you do make things easier.
While a mother’s job is never done, there are times when you can take some small breaks. For example, younger children will often take naps and older children will go to school. Many mothers like to use this time to clean and do other things. While there’s nothing wrong with getting some tasks done, you should use some of this time to give yourself a break.
Do something short like watch a show, go out to eat or just take a walk. You can often find times during the day to take short breaks if you just pay attention to your child’s behavior.
Talk to Family
If you have never talked to your family about need a break, then they might not understand why being a mother is so stressful. Most mothers keep everything inside so that nobody has to suffer, but they are suffering because they are running on empty.
Your family needs to understand your situation. “While younger children might have a hard time understanding why tending for them is so stressful, your spouse, friends or family members should have no trouble comprehending why you need a break” says Jennifer Anderson of Safe Sound Family.
Talk to them and find times when they are available to watch your children. This will help you take a break while allowing your children to bond with other people.
The Hard Truth
Many mothers don’t take a break because they think that they are hurting their kids, but the truth is that refusing to take a break can be disastrous to your health. If you want to be a good mother, then you need to take breaks. This will help you deal with stressful situations without exploding and yelling at your children.
Photo Credit: Headache by Petr Kratochvil
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