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-   -   I don't want to be a Mommy Martyr anymore (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1337639)

Almacham 01-15-2012 12:12 PM

I don't want to be a Mommy Martyr anymore
 
I'm hoping some of you ladies can give me some advice. This is a bit long.

I am beginning to realize that I have some kind of Mommy Martyr complex going on. I bend over backwards for the kids and every waking moment is spent with them & doing something for them. I'm never NOT with them, kwim? Like right now my DH is out with the older three but I have my youngest with me. I'm always holding somebody or comforting somebody, playing with somebody, cooking for somebody. I've never let them cry, at night or otherwise. Sometimes I don't eat breakfast until 11am because I'm so busy with them. And when I get a little money, which is not often, I spend it on the kids. Always. They get clothing or a cute new cloth diaper or a small toy to share. Outside of basics like grooming products, medication, etc., I buy myself something once a year, maybe.

Here's the kicker - I feel terribly guilty when I buy myself something!! Yes, that one little once a year thing. It brings guilt. :banghead: Like, my birthday is 9 days from now. I have sold off a bunch of my diapers so I had a small amount of money in Paypal, and I decided to set up an account with Soap.com and I've been browsing through the site. They have free shipping on your first order over $25, and there's a lot of beauty products on there that are actually a pretty good price. And, like I said, my birthday is coming up. The kids have a lot of diapers on the way, and toys & everything else they need. So no big deal right?

Well, instead of just buying something for myself I hemmed and hawed for three frickin' days and finally this morning, I bought a few items. The total was like $26.35, and I got the free shipping, and it was my own money, and I even have some money left over. But I'm sitting here feeling guilty about it. Even though that doesn't make sense, right? I don't know why I feel this way. I just keep thinking about the diaper I could've gotten DD instead and things like that.

My kids aren't selfish or bratty but I'm starting to worry that I will cause them to become selfish or bratty if I don't stop bending over backwards for them all of the time. They are really, super demanding but only with me. I notice that they never pull the super needy, whiny, constantly-in-your-face stuff on anyone else, not even my husband. It's like they already know that nobody else is going to jump through hoops for them. Nobody but Mommy.

If you used to be this way, can you tell me how you snapped out of it and learned to put yourself first sometimes? I've never been able to do this.

CaliRoll 01-15-2012 12:35 PM

I hired someone to clean my house the other day. :blush: I thought for sure that DH would look down on me or that it was somehow a failure on my part to keep the house clean, nevermind that I WOH and still do all the household chores.

I told DH how guilty I felt spending money on something I should be doing myself. He looked at me like I suddenly sprouted a second head. "If we can afford it, then its a great way to use your resources, and frankly, I'd rather see you spend the extra time playing with the kids then worrying about the floors."

You have a common case of mommyitis. We all go through it. Make a point of buying something for yourself once a month, even if it is just new socks. Otherwise you will snap one day.

:hugs:

julesbulia 01-15-2012 01:02 PM

Re: I don't want to be a Mommy Martyr anymore
 
You've already made the first step! The important thing now is to be at peace with your decision. You sound like an awesome mama, and you always will be. Your children will always be blessed to have you as their mom. And they will be happier when they see you are happier. I have found that to take care of myself in very good ways= taking care of my children. They need our love and guidance, but they don't need our souls, they have their own, and need to nurture their own trust in themselves.

Never feel guilty giving to yourself! If you see that in effect you are giving to them, you have nothing to be guilty of.

chandni3 01-15-2012 01:05 PM

Re: I don't want to be a Mommy Martyr anymore
 
What if you set aside time for yourself once a week. Maybe just an hour just for you. No kids, nothing. I'd suggest doing something away from home so you don't hear the kids and feel like you need to go to them. But it could be a bath, reading a book, a walk, something and no one is allowed to bother you during mommy time, unless they're dying. No exceptions. You're husband would have to agree to it cos he'll probably be the one looking after them, but then you get time for you and your kids learn that you are a person will needs too, not their servant.

pine_apple_goat 01-15-2012 02:26 PM

Re: I don't want to be a Mommy Martyr anymore
 
Honestly, I'm right there with you and I only have one DD. But, I can never seem to get myself anything, I always get her or DH something. I'll walk around the store for 30 minutes with something in my cart only to turn around and put it back on the shelf before heading to the checkout with something for LO. Ugh...:banghead:

You definitely did the right thing in buying something for yourself. You deserve it! Don't feel guilty. We all need to get ourselves something every once in a while. Keep it up!

Almacham 01-15-2012 03:17 PM

Re: I don't want to be a Mommy Martyr anymore
 
Thanks, ladies! I appreciate everyone's responses.

This is totally new territory for me but I am definitely going to start telling them to back off for a little while. I like the suggestion of putting aside some time for myself each week or buying myself something once a month - I'll see what I can do about that. It'll probably help a lot.

Whew. I feel so much better after confessing all of that and getting some support & encouragement! :) It was just getting to be waaaay too much.

ulawolf 01-15-2012 03:38 PM

Re: I don't want to be a Mommy Martyr anymore
 
i have had this problem my whole adult life. It was aweful in my first marriage because If i even bought a bra (which mine were aweful to the point of a nurse buying me one when dd2 was born because mine was so worn) I felt aweful and my dh would make it worse by asking me if I really needed the item I bought for myself. To the point that EVERYONE in the family got all their needs met besides me. I never got time to myself, never hung out with friends, spent my all my time working or taking care of kids. My current Dh noticed this right away and just started buying me things now and then. Even things I need but he knows I will wait until the last possible moment to buy. He also takes ALL the kids away or takes me out to just browse. I always tell he doesnt have to do it but he insists and it actually has made it easier for me to buy things for myself sometimes. It has made me a lot happier and I think a better mom because I am teaching my kids to take time for themselves and that they can't take care of others if they haven't taken care of themselves first. I think this is a lesson that moms forget to teach their kids and "mom" syndrome gets passed from generation to generation.

MamaJax2010 01-15-2012 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ulawolf
i have had this problem my whole adult life. It was aweful in my first marriage because If i even bought a bra (which mine were aweful to the point of a nurse buying me one when dd2 was born because mine was so worn) I felt aweful and my dh would make it worse by asking me if I really needed the item I bought for myself. To the point that EVERYONE in the family got all their needs met besides me. I never got time to myself, never hung out with friends, spent my all my time working or taking care of kids. My current Dh noticed this right away and just started buying me things now and then. Even things I need but he knows I will wait until the last possible moment to buy. He also takes ALL the kids away or takes me out to just browse. I always tell he doesnt have to do it but he insists and it actually has made it easier for me to buy things for myself sometimes. It has made me a lot happier and I think a better mom because I am teaching my kids to take time for themselves and that they can't take care of others if they haven't taken care of themselves first. I think this is a lesson that moms forget to teach their kids and "mom" syndrome gets passed from generation to generation.

I was that girl too...and my Dh is the same. Aren't they wonderful? He has really helped me feel better about NOT being "super mom" and helped me to relax a little. Of course, I still get mommyitis, but not nearly as often or as bad. I have come to realize that if MY needs are met then I do a much better job of meeting theirs.

Janine 01-15-2012 04:41 PM

I'm in the same boat. I wish I had answers. I enjoy shopping, but feel incredibly guilty buying anything for myself. And so I am always buying a little thing here or there for the kids. They aren't spoiled but I feel like I'm leading them down that road because of it. When my birthday came around I had a few things that I knew I would love to have, but I couldn't bear to ask for them. Instead I asked for accessories for the stroller like seat pads to make the kids more comfy. I feel like I'm neglecting them if I'm not in the room with them when they play and focused on them even though in my heart I feel that they need to play on their own once in a while and they obviously enjoy doing so. I would love to read or crochet while they are playing nicely on their own, but the guilt prevents me.

I WOH which adds to the guilt of wanting "me time" when I am home with them. If DH offers to take them I feel intense guilt about it especially since he is with them all day during the week. I feel like I simply cannot be apart from the kids when I'm not at work. To do so would make me a bad parent. And yet depriving myself of any autonomy away from the kids is making me an impatient and bad parent anyways. Heck, I feel guilty taking a bath or shower without the kids. Taking one with them is okay because it isn't something exclusively for me. Taking one by myself is just selfish. I just can't seem to make myself stop thinking this way. I'm so jealous of moms I've met who talk about the books they are reading or the crafting they got done or how they go to yoga. I want that too. And yet the sad thing is that it is completely within my grasp. I can find the time. But I just can't allow myself those pleasures.

kocho 01-15-2012 04:49 PM

Re: I don't want to be a Mommy Martyr anymore
 
((HUGS)) Mama. We've all been there. Be sure to do something for yourself. go for coffee with a friend or a job, whatever each week just so you have some "me" time.

As moms we are so tied up in nurturing the kids that we forget about ourselves until we're at a boiling point. Don't let it get that far. You have wants a nd needs too.


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