A “normal” Saturday for me usually involves spending most of my day running from store to store, shuttling my kids to practice, a friend’s house or to the mall. However, yesterday was not a “normal” Saturday. I left the house at 11:30am, didn’t return until after 7pm and neither of the kids were with me. As I got ready to leave, I gave them a hug and said I’d be back after dinner, they looked at me with puzzled looks on their face.
“You’re going to be gone the whole day?”
“Yep, I sure am. See you later.”
Now, I’d be lying if I said I walked out of the house with zero guilt. Even after all these years, there’s a part of me that still feels like I should be spending more time with them. But it was important for me to do this for me, so off I went.
First, I went to get my hair cut, an appointment I booked months ago. As I sat there, I realized how luxurious, and completely underrated, it is to have someone else wash and dry your hair. One less thing for me to be responsible for, for one day. Until someone does it for you, it’s help you don’t fully acknowledge or appreciate.
Next, a friend opened her home so her friends could spend the afternoon enjoying fun, food and shopping. Like me, many of these women left children at home and all of them surely had other errands they could have been doing. Instead, they treated themselves to a day where women business owners not only shared their products, but their personal stories behind their passion. We made new friends and had a chance to support each other with our attention, time and money.
Lastly, I headed over to an event hosted by a local group I have following on social media for about a year. On their website, 4th Trimester Arizona describes themselves as a group founded to “support ALL parents, to be real about the challenges we face, talk about the stuff that never gets talked about, and connect our village to support each other.” In speaking with the members, they all embody this mission. We talked about how so many moms (and dads) don’t ask for help. They either don’t know it exists or they feel like they are the only ones who must be feeling this way, so they stay quiet. We talked about how everyone’s experience is valid and feeling like you have someone you can reach out to can make a huge difference. This group is ready to inspire a cultural revolution for all parents to have the resources and support they need at any stage in their parenting journey. I’m so excited to have connected with them and can’t wait to see how we can work together in the future.
How we spend our time is something I’ve written about numerous times. A big part of my parenting journey has been learning how to manage my time effectively and efficiently. I’ve learned to be extremely mindful about what I say yes to, because “yes” always means I’m saying no to something else. Yesterday that meant saying no to spending time with my kids, triggering feelings of guilt. On the surface I said yes to a little pampering, an afternoon with friends and a networking event, however that yes led to so much more It was a reminder of the support we all need. As we get ready for a new week, remember to ask for the help. No one expects you to do this alone. There are plenty of people surrounding you ready to provide you with the encouragement and support you need.
Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash
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I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.