Mr. Grey left for the weekend with his nerd friends. I wanted him to go. I encouraged him to kick rocks and enjoy himself. I even took a day off work so he could continue the fun an extra day.
But I’m jealous as hell.
Not because he’s having fun without me, or I’m stuck at home with the kids. (Okay, maybe a little bit). I’m jealous that he gets to have a life outside the house much easier than I do. (Or so it seems.) He gets to work on fine-tuning that identity, entirely separate from being a husband and father while being a wife and mother is all that’s defined me for years.
I’m not blaming him. If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s mine.
I’m jealous that he can skip town for three days and truly unplug from family life. No one will bother him for a playdate or ask him what’s for dinner while he’s indulging in his gamer identity.
I’m jealous that he can enjoy himself without being a dad all weekend, and I don’t know what it’s like to not feel like Mom.
When I search for an identity outside of the house, somehow, I always end up back at square one. I want to know what it’s like to disengage, let go, and not notice that twinge of guilt swirling around in my heart.
* * *
“Prioritize your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well being. Self-care is a vital part of your personal growth”. — Ruben Chavez
Sorting out my feelings on Medium helps me realize two things: if I want a weekend getaway, I’m going to have to set it up myself. And, jealousy is a deeper issue for me (to sort out on my own). Being aware of negative emotions is an opportunity to learn something about myself. I can listen to them, or be grumpy all weekend. My choice. But no one likes a cranky mom.
I’m working hard to be more emotionally intelligent by changing my tired-stay-at-home-mom narrative. I’m pushing back on that gate to stop my insecurities from barrelling through like a bull.
Thanks to Michelle Kildare, I discovered emotional mining is a thing! I had to ask myself, what’s underneath that first layer negative emotion?
I’m jealous that my husband has friends who will go on weekend getaways with him. Friends that he gets along with, that have similar interests, and are (more than) decent humans. I love my damn kids to bits and pieces but I wish I had more adults to hang out with that get me. (or at least make an effort to) I miss connecting with people as myself, the person I was before I became a mom.
A deep fear that Mr. Grey will forget about me and how important I am to this family. Deep insecurity that he doesn’t appreciate me and all I do while he’s gone.
I’m angry at myself for forgetting about me. I’m mad for thinking, even for a second, that I’ve lost my value and my identity. My (jealous) reaction to Mr. Grey leaving (when I encouraged him to go) is really me being mad at myself for abandoning my own needs. I’m upset with myself not taking better care of myself. For putting the needs of others in front of mine, often, and then feeling resentful when my husband follows through with doing something he enjoys.
I’ve made up my mind to be mindful.
I’m interrupting my negative emotional response with gratitude. I’m thankful for having the house to myself all weekend.
I’m grateful for a stay-cation with my babies. It’s motivated me to think about what I need, make a plan, and go get it.
* * *
My Weekend Self-Care Listicle (rapid-fire as usual)
- Workout. Hard. (endorphins, yay!)
- Write — A lot. (dopamine, yay!)
- Drink lots of coffee in MeUndies. (caffeine, yay!)
- Laugh with my kids.
- Daydream about the Spartan Race in June 2020 and revel in the glory of a weekend getaway.
- Talk/write to my cousin. — I miss her so much.
- Throw on some nice jeans (no workout pants allowed), put on some damn makeup, and take the kids out to enjoy life together.
- Ask the kids to sort the mountains of laundry in the garage, then praise them like hell for what a great job they did. #lifeskills
- Sit at the coffee shop for an hour (or two), kid-free, to think about life, and be me, not mom.
- Smile, and play my guitar.
- Eat a delicious sashimi combo (in bed) while watching Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce in a fresh pair of MeUndies.
- Chew on a few CBD gummies while I write about my feelings some more.
- Sleep in the middle of the bed, with all the covers.
* * *
A few weeks ago, Mr. Grey and I both agreed that I bear the brunt of the emotional burden of raising a family, and he bears the financial one. Neither of us will ever fully understand how heavy that weight is for the other. We have to work together as a team. Sometimes, I feel like he gets to escape his burden more often (and easier) than I get a break from mine. But like I said, I’m changing my tune. I can’t hold that against him. It’s not fair. It’s not healthy. I am happy to see him get a break from a demanding work schedule and the burden of providing for the family. And I know when I follow through with my plan for a weekend getaway, Mr. Grey will support me just as much as I have helped him enjoy himself without the kids.
Thank you for listening. ❤ D
Previously published on Medium.com.
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