As I did, I realized I could have easily participated in the focus groups the authors held as they worked on their book. I was a classic case; I had fallen into The Trap.
The first year of my daughter's life, I immersed myself in motherhood. I not only gave up my career to stay home with her, I gave up my life. I focused on her needs, my husband's needs and the needs of our household. I went beyond putting my own needs at the bottom of the list; I denied they existed.
I even endured physical pain for nine months, refusing the surgery I needed so I could continue to nurse my daughter and care for her needs. The result? By her first birthday I had completely lost my sense of self and was on the verge of a breakdown.
Mothers Need Time-Outs Too is full of simple truths we all know, but tend to either ignore or deny. Facts like:
- Before you can take good care of others, you need to take care of yourself.
- Your needs matter, and you are the only one responsible for your own happiness.
- Perfect motherhood is an illusion; it cannot be obtained.
- Success at motherhood is impossible to define or achieve.
- We cannot do it all or control it all.
- We should not operate according to anyone's standards but our own.
- Most of the pressures we feel are self-imposed.
Not only does Mothers Need Time-Outs Too help you accept these (and many other) truths, it offers practical, real life examples of how to make positive changes in your life. From moms like you. The chapter on developing a strong, positive support system made me think of my work with The Mom Pledge.
The stories, discoveries and suggestions included in this book are designed to help the reader find that always-desired-but-rarely-achieved balance. And to nurture ourselves as well as our families.
I discovered I have already gone through much of the process. After SB's first birthday, I made the commitment to make myself a priority. I discovered my true passion - writing - and gave myself permission to regularly engage it it. I put my needs back on the list. And it made all the difference.