Motherhood Personal Posts

What a LASIK Consultation Taught Me about Myself as a Mother


After I had my LASIK consultation and made the appointment, I had a rather unexpected side effect. My kids freaked out (especially my youngest) and my feelings about it surprised me. This is rather personal and that’s always a bit scary, but I chose to share it in case any other Moms are feeling the same way. If you are, you aren’t alone. I don’t think my situation or my feelings are that unusual for a Mom.

I understand why my kids would be upset about me not wearing glasses anymore. After all, I’ve worn glasses as long as any of them can remember, and mom just isn’t mom without them. On the rare occasion they’ve seen me without them (immediately after getting out of the shower), they’ve said I look “weird.” (Thanks, kid.)

I’ve tried to explain what it’s been like for me to have to wear glasses for 27 years, never being able to see clearly more than 4 inches in front of me, and how amazing this is going to be for me. They weren’t having it.

What really surprised me is that I felt angry (The reason wasn’t really there, just the feeling) and I realized how resentful I am sometimes that I am the mother/default parent and that my life is so, so different than my husband’s. Not resentful towards my kids, but toward my husband, which is weird, but bear with me.

I give more than enough of myself to my kids. It is incredibly rare that I get any time to myself. I don’t often shower or use the bathroom by myself. I’m up at 6:15 at the latest every day (including Saturdays since my daughter has gymnastics practice early) making lunches, breakfast, emptying the dishwasher, starting or finishing laundry, wiping counters, making sure everyone is ready for school with homework done, the right things packed, dressed and teeth brushed. I usually try to check emails and get some work done before everyone is up. Throughout the day I’m paying bills and budgeting, grocery shopping, taking care of the dog, chickens and guinea pig, getting kids to and from school and practices, getting dinner ready and cleaning it up, more laundry and dishes, getting homework done, gathering up trash/recycling and taking the cans to the curb/bringing them back up, trying to do some work and attempting to put some food in my face at some point.

I’ll be honest that I’m really looking forward to the ABC show this month. Even though it’s work, and it causes me a lot of anxiety to travel and deal with crowds and lots of chit chat, I’ll get to sleep, shower alone, eat, think and talk to adults, woo-hoo!

If I get to take just 1 or 2 kids somewhere, it’s like a vacation. Rarely, I’ll get to go to the grocery store my myself and that’s a “break.” I was going by myself to pick my daughter up from gymnastics (not much of a break, but at least a few minutes to hear myself think), but when I got home, the boys were still awake and overtired, so I then had to put them to bed, dealing with cranky kids up 1/2 hour+ past their bedtime. So I’m hoping my husband will go get her from now on so I can get the boys to bed on time.

In contrast, my husband can roll out of bed when he feels like it, usually letting his alarm go off for at least an hour. He takes a leisurely shower, makes himself some breakfast and heads to work whenever. He can go out to nice restaurants at lunch and comes home whenever as well, stopping somewhere on the way home if he feels like it. He’ll usually eat dinner, then tinker around in the yard, basement or garage, go for a bike ride, run or walk by himself. (I can’t even put sneakers on without one or more children freaking out that they want to come with me.) I get the kids to bed and then we will watch usually some Netflix before we head up to bed. Naturally, I lie there thinking about the kids, work and what I need to do the next day while my husband snoozes. On the weekends he is very rarely up before 9:30-10 AM and if he wants to go somewhere or go out with a friend (usually an overnight, gone for 24+ hours thing), it’s just assumed that I will be here and watch the kids.

If I want to do something with my sister (every few months at most, very rare and recent, usually also bringing my daughter), I have to plan ahead, ask him if he’s going to be here, and change my plans or find other arrangements if he’s not. Yes, I’ve tried to talk about all this and yes, I know it’s my own problem. It is what it is.

In any case, this has made me realize that I really, really need to find a babysitter and carve out some time for myself where I’m doing something, anything by myself (But what? I have no idea other than exercising), with no children talking at me. My only adult interaction is about once a week and is usually a grocery store or gas station cashier.

It’s not healthy. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. My parents do live nearby but it’s very rare that they are able to help. They have a lot going on themselves, especially with helping my grandmother, and they have a hard time handling all 3 kids by themselves.

I know I not only need a babysitter, but I should probably get some counseling to deal with my resentment and feelings that I have to do it all myself. I wish I could just let things go, or skip doing laundry, leave the dishes, not worry about the mess, but I can’t. That just not me.

How do you get time for yourself? Where did you find your babysitter? What do you do when you have time to yourself?

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • October 11, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I HEAR YOU! Our dichotomy is not so wide spread as yours appears to be, but I home school, too, so there never really is a break from ANY of the kids.

    Still, my husband has had lunches out with his buddy once every month or so for the last 8 years and been to at least a dozen movies. The last I saw was in 2011. We have had one ‘date’ since then and it was during bible school in 2015 while I was preggo with #4 and we had an hour and a half time slot to do it in, because they kept our toddler. So, you know. He’s had more ‘me time’ with his work buddy than I’ve had with any of my friends EVER. The last time I did something with a friend was also about that same time period. Ridiculous. Definitely feel your pain.

  • October 6, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Do you have a local gym that offers childcare? We toured the YMCA not far from our house and they stressed that the kids can be in their childcare area (which they thought looked AWESOME!) for 2 hours a day as long as I was on site (so they specifically said that I didn’t even have to work out – I could take a leisurely shower and work on my laptop if I wanted, just as long as I was there in case the kids needed me!). We haven’t signed up yet (everyone keeps getting sick, so it hasn’t seemed worth the money!) but I KNOW I’m mentally better when I work out regularly, and being able to sit alone with a smoothie and a book or something after a shower definitely sounds glorious (and is cheaper than hiring a babysitter and then driving somewhere to do the same thing!).

    Also, I was REALLY sleep deprived and resentful about it for a long time. My husband is one of those people that pops awake at 7 no matter when he goes to bed, and can exist on very little sleep. I get my deepest sleep probably between 6 and 10 AM and could sleep 12 hours a night if I was allowed to! So my husband just didn’t get how hard it was for me to be the one getting up early with the baby EVERY SINGLE DAY! (Which I’d thought was a system that made sense, since I stay home and he goes to work . . . until we had the baby. Then I changed my mind!). My life was much improved when I flat out asked that we each get 1 weekend day to sleep in (he wasn’t picking up on my hints or even my pleas for more sleep. It wasn’t until I proposed a solution that he got on board). I figured that was a good compromise – he didn’t have to get up on the days he had to work, but on the weekends we should at least split the responsibility! He’s a pretty deep sleeper so it would still drive me nuts that he wouldn’t HEAR the baby and voluntarily get up in the morning with him, but on the days we’d agreed that I would get to sleep in, I felt comfortable waking him up to let him know the baby was crying (and then I’d go back to sleep for a few hours!). Not sure if that would work with your hubby, but it might be worth trying. Or maybe you just start assuming he’ll take care of things when you are gone and just let him know when you book yourself a hotel room for a night to yourself 🙂

    • October 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Unfortunately, we are 30-45 minutes one-way from any gyms (not that my budget could fit a membership in!) Sounds amazing though!

      Sleep deprivation is the worst. None of my kids slept through the night consistently until 2+ and I wanted to murder my husband every time he was snoring while I was up & down, up & down all night!

      Love the idea of a hotel room to myself! Pretty sure I’d come home to a disaster though. Thanks for reading!

  • Katy
    October 5, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I’ve started *trying* to go to the gym. We put my oldest in half-day daycare/preschool and if I’m able to get out of the house by 9, I can go to the gym & drop my 9 m.o. off at their daycare on site. I get to workout, swim, SHOWER and use the bathroom in peace for that hour and a half before I have to pick up my 2 year old. Dome days I can’t get out of the house because I don’t have enough clean diapers to put in the diaper bag or my gym clothes aren’t clean because I washed hubby’s work clothes, or the baby won’t stop crying/nursing/pooping. I try to go 3x a week, but usually only make it once

    • October 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      A month ago my youngest started preschool for 2.5 hours but between drop off/pick up and the 15 minute drive each way (more if I have to wait to turn) means I get hardly any time at all. So I spend 6:15-Noon rushing around with school drop offs/pick ups and have a small window to do some laundry or do a tiny bit of work.

      So I guess I shouldn’t complain since I’ve had a tiny bit of “time to myself” in the past 3 weeks or so.

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