Blogger Emily Nichols Grossi blogs at Em-I-Lis and shared her thoughts on taking time for yourself with MomsEveryday.
“I’m Emily Nichols Grossi and my blog is Emily. I’m from Louisiana and the symbol is flur de lis so as a play on my name (My Blog) is Em-i-lis."
Why do you need to make time for yourself, as parents especially?
"There is definitely this expectation that you will be all and that you will love it. And it is going to be the pinnacle of your existence and you're going to draw this identity and this value and this fulfillment all the time from being a mother. I think by changing the paradigm and taking back space for mothers, we are not only helping our children by pulling the helicopter rotors back; which I really don’t think is good for children, it’s also a way of honoring ourselves," Emily said.
"I’ve noticed what can happen when you don’t tend to yourself, when you don’t tend to your marriage, when you don’t make time for being more than mom. I really try to claw back those spaces for myself.
"My husband and I built this beautiful cedar playhouse for our kids outside. They said 'We need a playhouse,' and I said, 'Well, we are gonna build you a playhouse, we are bringing it to this play house.' And so we spent a week outside building this beautiful playhouse and they never went in. And I said, 'Okay, this could suck or this could be cool for me.'
"So I turned it into a she-shed. I call it A.R.O.M.O. -- which stands for A Room Of My Own. And that reclamation has been so meaningful in so many ways and I learned that standing up for what my heart and soul said I needed in addition to my children has been so powerful and profound so many ways.
"For other moms baring that mantle of, 'I don’t know if I can do this or it’s hard, I don’t like it as much as I thought I would,' and I like to say that is totally valid. Sometimes motherhood sucks, it’s hard and draining, and it’s great but it’s not only great.
"It’s hard when kids are small to reclaim time for yourself. They’re super dependent, they need you in so many ways. And yet I look back on my own early years as a mom, and I could have let my kids play alone on the floor more than I did. When we go to the playground, I don't have to get on the swing, too. I can watch you swing and have fun. And there's nothing wrong with that. That doesn't make us bad mothers.
"The number of responses and thank yous that I’ve received is really testament to what is a need that's out there. That women do need to feel hugged a little bit and understood a little bit, and that they aren’t failing and so I hope by sharing the whole story - the good and the bad - that I can make anybody feel less alone and more empowered to take care of themselves.