If there is one thing I cannot stand, it’s a mom who loves to spout “I’m so much better than you because ___” diatribes on her blog.
I came across a post yesterday that made me feel a bit sick. I won’t link to the post because I don’t want to pass along page rank and traffic, but I see articles like this from time to time.
The gist of the post was this: because some mothers enjoy an occasional break from their children, there must be something wrong with them. They’re selfish.
Sorry, but I’m going to call cow pie on that.
A person who never craves to be alone may not be emotionally healthy. An emotionally healthy person enjoys being alone with their thoughts from time to time. An emotionally healthy person likes to finish a complete sentence in their brain.
If you never need alone time, you may be relying on your children to meet your emotional and social needs.
That is called emotional incest.
An adult needs alone time to plan things, to dream, to meditate. That requires quiet. There isn’t a lot of quiet to be had when you live with young children. And studies show that even kids need alone and quiet time for their health and proper development.
I will go so far as to say that anyone who says that they don’t need alone time, away from their kids, is either lying, trying to convince themselves, or trying to look superior to other mothers.
Or maybe they only have one young baby. That doesn’t count. A mom in that situation is still in the blissed-out babymoon phase, similar to being in love when you’re not thinking straight. She’s still all hopped up on breastfeeding hormones.
What really offends me is that I see this stuff on so-called Christian mom blogs. I am a Christian too, and I try to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. This is what I want to say to these women who are judging other moms for needing alone time:
Even Jesus craved alone time!
Read Matthew 14:13 and Mark 6:31 if you don’t believe me. Jesus was perfect, yet still needed to be alone from time to time.
Here is another good one:
Proverbs 25: 17 says: “Make your foot rare at the house of your fellowman, that he may not have his sufficiency of you and certainly hate you.”
What’s the point?
That it’s ok and even desirable to take a break from relationships.
That’s scripture. And we don’t outrank God.
For those of you who have husbands, do you not appreciate a little break from him? Or do you want to be around him 24/7?
I’m pretty sure I know what he’d say if I asked him the same question – that’s why men invented fishing trips and man caves! Isn’t it a good thing to miss your husband occasionally? Don’t you appreciate him more when he comes back from a business trip or when you have been visiting relatives out of state? (I conceived at least one child during such a reunion. Ahem.)
I rest my case.
Getting away from my children from time to time doesn’t mean I ignore their needs.
But it is a very good thing for them to miss me occasionally – and me, them.
In a practical sense, it’s also much more convenient and kinder to do some things without children around, because they would be bored while I was doing the thing or the place simply isn’t appropriate for young kids.
My kids are with me 24/7. They’re homeschooled and I’m a work at home mom.
Needing a break from childcare and constant child chatter does not make me a bad mom. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my children’s company. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be a work at home, homeschooling mom.
Needing alone time means I’m human. (Even Jesus needed alone time. Matt. 14:23)
Even your baby, who craves your presence, needs alone time! Ask any childhood development expert why babies sometimes refuse to meet your gaze, look away when you try to engage them, yawn, fall asleep or otherwise appear bored. It’s called “gaze aversion” and is an essential part of their development. Babies need a break from the stimulation that is you.
Let’s not feel superior in not needing a break from your kid, when they sure need a break from you!
Men are wonderfully unapologetic about needing alone time, and take it without asking. We could learn from the guys on this one.
Now please understand.
I am not one of these moms who tells everyone in earshot how hard it is to be a mom, or who complains about her children and what a burden they are.
I don’t believe in that kind of thing. Only my very closest friends will ever hear any complaints from me, and even that is rare.
But I maintain that moms who claim that they never want a break from their kids are lying, trying too hard to convince someone or themselves, or trying to be superior.
And this is my blog.
You, however, may leave a comment below.
(P.S. I feel so strongly about this topic, I created a free e-course to help moms find time in their schedule for their own passions, goals and dreams. Learn more here.)