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Why should I feel guilty?

bubble bath
For so many years, I was just Mom. I got up, fed the kid, washed clothes, played Barbies, cooked dinner, cleaned up toys, ran errands, played games and collapsed in exhaustion at the end of each night. A shell of a mom, not fit for human interaction. By the time my 2nd child came a long, I had clued into the fact that I’d need to be just Heather now & then.

When she was a baby, I decided I was going to start taking bubble baths on a regular basis—it became pretty much every night. After a day of nursing, carpool, diapers, homework and all the other household chores, my bubble baths are a blissful way to wash off the mom. At 8pm, the kids go to bed, and I grab a piece (okay two) of chocolate, a good (or sometimes not so good) book and soak for an hour in the tub.

I come away feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to be a wife, not just a tired mom. It’s good for me, obviously, and it’s good for the hubby. But, it’s also good for the kids. I’m a better mom because I have that chance to lock myself away. If I take care of myself first now & then—you know, like they teach you on an airplane—I can be all in during mom time.

Plus, no matter what goes on in through the day, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel to keep me sane. I know that after hours upon hours of selfless parenting, I will get to do something for me. There’s value in maintaining my sanity for everyone involved. I promise.

So, why do I have to feel guilty about it?

I hear a lot of “Must be nice to have that kind of time!” (when it’s often only 30 minutes or skipped altogether). I have been told it’s unfair to the hubby to ditch him the second we tuck the girls into bed. Last month, I was even berated for making all my girls go to bed on time. Apparently, sending a teenager to her room to read, play with her netbook or listen to her favorite music at night makes me a horrible mother.

It isn’t like the teen is required to sleep—she just has to go away. While I realize moms don’t actually get to clock out, that’s the illusion a standard bedtime provides. At 8pm, every night, my girls are tucked safely in their beds and we are free to unwind. It’s our chance to decompress & regroup so we can start again refreshed.

Is that really so wrong?

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Article by justheather

Heather Sokol is the married mother of many amazing, active children through birth, adoption, and foster care. They have created in her a Sports Mom, Scout Mom, Band Mom, Dance Mom, Allergy Mom & avid coupon clipper. Is that miscellaneous enough for you? She shares her deals & tips at Inexpensively.com and reports progress on learning to be a grownup at JustHeather.com. justheather tagged this post with: , , , Read 94 articles by

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4 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Oh please- that’s nothing to feel guilty about! I actively ignore my children while they bathe- ever since MaM was a toddler, I read while supervising baths. On my many nights of solo-parent at bedtime, that 20 mins with a book recharges me enough to make it through til lights out.

    People who dig at you are more than likely jealous that you’ve chosen to find some time to yourself. But many mom martyrs would rather complain than do something to change the circumstances!

  2. Amy says:

    It is NOT wrong and you’re so right that it’s completely for the good of everyone in the family that you get that time alone! I do the same thing. My kids go to bed at 7:30 sharp. After that, I get to work out and become 1 with my computer and my DVR (while the hubby is at work).

    I also get flack from other moms, but ya know what? I have found that getting the same amount of sleep each night actually helps my kids do better in school and are better behaved. Those other moms can say what they want. I will stand by my kids’ bedtime no matter what. It’s good for me and it’s good for them. How can that be a bad thing?

  3. I’m with Michelle on this one. Why do women hate on each other so much? You shouldn’t apologize for bathing! Your husband is home. He’s fully capable of handling the kids if they need attending to. If it wasn’t working for him, then consider changes. These other people need to stay outta your tub!

    Why is your evening bath any different than their AM shower? Because you take longer? Well, uh, the kids aren’t knocking on the door — b/c they are asleep!

    And enforcing bed time? It’s your house and wanting your children to have time to decompress and rest isn’t any form child abuse so whomever is trying to make your house a reality TV show either needs to pay you large sums of money or back off!

    Ok, I’m done! Rant over.

  4. Heather says:

    Oh my goodness, I definitely agree. The guilt is given quite freely from all if you put your kids to bed early, BUT… the benefits are many.

    One for them – they get the necessary amount of sleep to make them function well, and be LESS crabby! (Teachers are the only ones who will thank you and not guilt you)

    Two for you – that sanity time is SO important (which in the end will benefit them too)

    Three for the hubby who is just as tired at the end of the day and would like down time with and without mom as well.

    So I firmly support the bedtime and it is good to know there are others out there too…

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