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Challenge: Digging Deep

What's with Moms and Our Explanations, Guilt and Apologies

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Today I canceled two appointments for later this week, and I feel bad about it.

I’m someone who makes a commitment and sticks to it. That’s what responsible people do, right?

I used to think so, but as I’ve aged and parented these last seven years, I’ve come to realize that being responsible means more than that.

Being a responsible adult doesn’t mean that I have to run myself ragged from here to there, from one school to another, from one appointment to the next, to a playdate, to an afternoon activity, and then to the grocery store before I finally make it back home.

Alternatively, being a responsible adult does mean that I recognize when I need a break and when I need to slow the fudge down to get my head right.

Summer for most is a busy time. Whether you work full or part-time, outside or inside of the home — your job (yes, it absolutely is one) is to raise those precious babies; those big and small bundles of joy, energy, and chaos can burn you out with their constant needs, wants, whines, camps, friend get-togethers, check-ups, practices, etc.

Add to that, the fact that the daily amount of laundry seems to have tripled per child thanks to swimming, slime-making, park-playing, and summer crafting us mothers are practically required (and mom-shamed if we don’t) to encourage upon our children during the months of June and July.

Today, all these things, well, they were making me anxious. I was ill-prepared for one meeting earlier this week, have barely had any time to write, have very few creative ideas rolling around in my brain, and I feel like I am slacking when it comes to keeping my house clean.

I’m also working really hard at trying to be fully present and attentive when my children are around.

So, today, I decided to put off two appointments.

I did this so that I may get some time back for me and do some of the things that I need to keep me sane.

I don’t need much, but I do desire and benefit from at least two hours (three if I’m lucky) every morning to sit with my keyboard in silence and word vomit all over WordPress.

Maybe it’s laughable that I find writing soothing and therapeutic, but I do.

Maybe it’s silly or self-absorbed to think that others want to read my “Dear Diary” posts, but I do believe what I share makes other women/parents feel supported or, at a minimum, entertained.

Maybe’s it’s convoluted to ever think that I can’t find, or that I don’t deserve, the time to do what makes me happy, and honestly what keeps my mind healthy as well.

What is complete bull, though, that many (my husband included) would avow, is the fact that I even feel the need to defend my choice to cancel and reschedule an appointment or two.

Who in the world do I owe an explanation to?

I’ll usually offer one up to anyone within earshot who is willing to listen, but the answer is no one.

I’ve wondered before if this eternal sense of “I must do all the things,” accompanied by an equally forceful and persistent sense of guilt about not being able to keep up with all the things, is an every-mom thing or just a me thing.

Fast forward to this morning — the inevitable morning after — the day of the canceled appointments and the time that I anticipated to be mine this morning, well, it will now be spent at the pediatrician’s office and snuggling on the couch with my youngest who has a bulging ear infection.

I may not have the time this morning to tackle the tasks I was hoping to, nor will I likely find the time to relax, mentally organize, or draft more than one interrupted paragraph, but alas, when you decide to become a mother, you make the decision to forever share your time with the ones who will forever reap the benefit of it.

So, yesterday I canceled two appointments and felt bad about it.

Today I’m sharing cuddles with my smallest munchkin and doing what moms do best — being unconditionally giving with my energy and time — that is the most important responsibility I could ever be entrusted with and that, well, that I’ll never feel bad about.

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