By Jodie Lynn
Holiday schedules can bring an unhealthy dose of guilty feelings. If you feel guilty about any little minutes you can manage to get for yourself -- do it. Your family needs to understand that moms need to have a "time out" too.
Okay, Okay, where was I? Oh yes, 3 tbs. butter, "Someone please answer the phone. Honnneeyy, Keith, could you get the phone?"
Okay now, let's see, is the recipe calling for real butter or should I -- "Sorry, I can't come to the phone right now -- could you take a message? Well, could you just make a decision about whether or not you want the store to wrap the packages for your mom without me -- I'm trying to get this last batch of cookies together before I run to pick up the girls from ballet and then dash to the grocery store!"
As I gasp for a breath and try to rub my face out of frustration from "you know who," cookie dough is smeared onto my glasses -- great -- JUST GREAT!
Holidays are wonderful but after it's all said and done -- Is there any time left for me -- without feeling guilty? That's the key…without feeling GUILTY!
Sure there is. However, you have to grab it before it's gone. Believe me, girlfriend, you'd better schedule time for yourself N O W -- or there won't be any time left at all! Here are tips for moms on the run but who are smart enough to get a little me time and make sure you pick up on the humorous side of the situation in the 8 Rule Plan:
1. Tell your family when you will be gone and for what reason. Be very clear - then go do it.
Example: "I'm sick to death of everyone and I wished you'd all disappear, but instead, I will…at least for a few hours."
Doable example: "I am meeting some of my mommy friends and we are just going to hang out looking at pictures of breathtaking spring clothing and the latest swimsuits for summer and take a little break together. This is the only way I will stay focused on not eating too much of the yummy Holiday treats and get it a little grown-up time."
2. Unless someone is sick and there's no one else to watch them -- don't listen to reasons why you shouldn't go. The chores and Holiday projects can wait -- or they can begin them without you. (Fat chance!)
Example: "Are you bleeding, are you dying -- good, then don't bother me! Amanda, let go of my leg…now!"
Doable example: "This mommy time means a lot to me. Thank you for understanding. Things will go well with Dad -- he needs to feel helpful too."
3. If you don't go -- don't blame it on your family.
Example: "I can't go anywhere or do anything without feeling guilty. This is so like totally unacceptable! I can't breath, it's just like all of you to keep me tied up…go get the rope so I can help to tighten the knot."
Doable example: "OK, well, have a good evening with Dad, and I'll see you in a few hours -- off I go."
4. If you are sick, let them know you plan to make up your lost "girlfriend time" at the next convenient opportunity.
Example: "No way! I make plans and you little terminates bring home a virus from school! OHH, I am going to take double the time next week."
Doable example: "I just don't feel like going out but I will definitely make it up next week kiddos! Hey, I have an idea, let's go wash our hands before dinner."
5. Even though you love your family, try to get out by yourself (especially during the holidays).
Example: "I can't think in this house and the dog (who no one asked if I wanted) is tearing up the carpet in the family room! That big boy needs to go to obedient school with the rest of you."
Doable example: "I am going out by myself so I can hear myself think and organize my Holiday Party dinner and theme. It's important to me to go get a massage so I can manage the Holiday schedule. See ya!"
6. Look around, is there more things in the house you could delegate to others? If so, do it. This will take a load off of you.
Example: "No one ever does anything right. What's up with that?"
Doable example: "Julie, hang up your clothes the best you can after you get done feeding Big Boy. Amanda, ask daddy to help you wrap your teacher's presents."
7. Try not to take a pager or phone. Everything will be there when you get back.
Example: "You can call me if you want…but I'm not going to answer Buckaroos!"
Doable example: "You have my cell number but my phone will be turned off and I will only be able to feel it vibrate -- so don't become upset if I don't call back right away.
8. If you are going to be late, let dad explain that you will see them in the morning and to relay the message in a positive way.
Example: "Look, you zap-my-strength-buns-of-steel (big fat baby…) what - oh nothing Hon, if I'm not back by bedtime, just explain to the kids that I may never come back!"
Doable example: "Hey, don't forget, if I'm not home by 9:00, just tell the kids I got busy with planning the upcoming party and I will be home soon. Go ahead and give them a bath, read them a story, and get them to sleep."
BTW: Come on, fess up, you know real moms want to use the examples as the real life answers to your families concerns right around by the end of the second week of the holidays. If you say you don't, I need to find out which Stepford Wives Club you belong to…I mean what perfectly balanced life strategy plan you are following -- you smarty little mommy you!
Happy Holidays and don't forget to take out time for Mommy…remember, if mommy ain't happy, no one will be happy!
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