Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How Do They (WE) Do It???!!!

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          The remarks in this article came to me on a Saturday afternoon during a late showing of Sex and the City 2. Charlotte and Miranda were discussing “Mommy Woes” for lack of better phrasing-This in spite of the fact that both women have nannies. Charlotte; completely bewildered asked the question, “How do women with no help do it?!”
          I knew I was one of the loudest to laugh with my wine in hand there in the cool dark theater located in the heart of the small artsy town where I live. Later, however, the question crossed my mind again. How do we do it? I, for one, don’t have a nanny. Even though I only have one child, he still takes a hefty toll on my time-many times my sanity. I suppose not allowing myself to really think about all that makes
up a typical day for me, which is one way I do it. Another major way is having my own interests. Writing is my passion and it’s been a blessing to me in so many ways.
          Writing saved my sanity when I was a new mom with no idea how to take care of the small man who had just come into my life. It saved me when I was out of work and it definitely saved me when I embarked upon a new career. Now, the small man isn't so small and writing has become more than just my sanity saver. Still my passion, it’s also part of what I do and it’s what allows me to handle my other obligations so well- in my humble opinion.
          The way I see it, we all need an outlet. Doing all that's expected of us isn't possible if we have nothing to focus on beyond it. I know that I could definitely be consumed by all that's required of me as a mom-keeping up with my son’s social schedule, healthcare appointments and school  responsibilities (Aggh! Don’t get me started!). It’s enough to keep me busy full-time days, nights and weekends. 
          Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is a wonderful experience. For those of us who care about doing it right, being a mom; as Miranda so eloquently put it, "Can kick your ass". With that being said, we can’t be afraid to say- "Time Out!" And it is possible to have that time; you've just got to be creative with it. When my son was smaller and at his neediest, bathroom breaks became my best friends. While he was settled down with a snack, mommy ventured off to ‘use the potty’ and those brief getaways were surprisingly rejuvenating. Small feats-but they work people!
          The great thing about taking on the job of being a mom is that there is no job description. 
It is what you make of it, but making time for yourself is essential. Anything from sticking your head inside the freezer for a momentary eye-opener (yes, folks that does have its benefits) to taking a vacation day from work while the kids are in school (go on, you know you've thought about it). These things benefit no one but you-and that’s the point. We spend countless hours nurturing our kids, spouses, pets… and forget about ourselves. 

So my lesson here? Nurture Yourself! That’s not selfish- it’s survival.

AlTonya Washington
Author, Writing Instructor, Librarian and Mom.

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