Restless Mom Syndrome

I can’t wait for the day when I can sit down for more than one minute without feeling guilty. Because for some reason I have it stuck in my stay-at-home-mom mind that if I sit down for longer than it takes to tie my shoes, I am doing something wrong; some child or some chore is being neglected.

In fact as I am sitting typing this blog post I am feeling a little guilty that I am not playing with my boys who are setting up super hero/villain clusters throughout my living room in preparation of a giant battle.

They haven’t noticed I am not playing with them, so why should I care?

The truth is, I miss being OK with sitting and chilling. I miss things like watching hours of television just for “fun” or sitting on a blanket in my back yard soaking up the sun.

What happened to me?

Now I sit down to watch TV and can’t make it more than a half hour before I notice something in the room that I need to pick up or clean. I go outside to enjoy nature and end up sweeping up the patio or raking the flowerbeds.

Why can’t I stop?

I used to have hobbies – doing puzzles, cross stitching, playing the piano, to name a few. And heaven knows I LOVED getting lost in a good book.

But these days I don’t even dare open the cover to a new novel. I am afraid I will be hooked and therefore neglect all of my “mothering” responsibilities as I waste my time reading for pleasure.  You should have seen me (and my house) a year ago when I read the Hunger Games Series. We were a mess!

It’s not healthy for me to think I can’t take time for myself. I’ve got to find a better balance in my life – A cure for my restless mom syndrome.

Most of the time I think, “I’ll sit and relax when I get everything done.” NEWSFLASH: I will NEVER be able to get everything done. The sooner I realize that the sooner I can relax.

I’ve read some great articles recently from moms who talk about “living in the moment” and “cutting yourself some slack.” I love reading other women’s advice on how to deal with being a mom. But for some reason I only remember what they say for a few days. Then I go back to guilting myself into running around like the energizer bunny never stopping, never resting.

I’m worried that some day my battery will run out.

Heaven help me realize that I don’t always need to vacuum the floors and wash all our clothes before leaving on vacation. The beds don’t always need to be made before we leave for school in the morning.  And the dishes don’t need to be washed before I head to bed at night.

How do you make time for yourself and what do you do with that time? How do you let yourself relax?

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jenny
    May 17, 2012 @ 08:28:57

    Whew! Hard one! I’ve found the same thing out about myself. I sometimes drive my husband crazy when he just wants to sit and relax in the evenings but I’m doing this or that cuz I don’t want to waste any time. I think I’ve gotten better though… I still don’t sit through a TV show or movie well without doing something (still have a hard time not finding it time wasting…) but I have been able to start reading books and such.. Though occasionally a really good one sucks me in and nothing gets done, but my husband has been very supportive and occasionally tells me to just relax and take the day off (yeah right… Haha I may read some but there is always something those little kiddos want 🙂 but just recently I’ve started being ok with occasionally going to bed with a sink full of dishes…. Or a messy living room… Most of the time I can’t handle it… But lately I’m getting better at letting it go sometimes when I have too much on my plate. Really I think it will probably be a lifelong battle… But at least I’m thinking about it and working on it, right?


    • Natalie
      May 17, 2012 @ 14:46:37

      I think you are totally right. We might not be able to find a complete balance all of the time, but at least we are aware and are working toward it!


  2. Carol Greenland
    May 17, 2012 @ 10:32:18

    If you ever find the answer let me know. I still feel that way.


    • Natalie
      May 17, 2012 @ 14:52:47

      LOL Carol, IF I ever find the answer, I’ll let you in on the secret. I have a feeling it may have something to do with medication 🙂


  3. Jess
    May 17, 2012 @ 20:40:04

    Give yourself 15 minutes to sit down. Set a timer. No chores, no obligations. Feel free to enjoy yourself fully for those 15 minutes. Totally guilt-free.


  4. Elise
    May 18, 2012 @ 09:00:54

    If Curtis is sitting down, not doing anything, I don’t feel bad doing the same, so at night we usually cuddle and watch some tv or a movie. Otherwise I have a hard time with it (except yesterday, when I decided to “start” a book… and ended up finishing it too). I try to remember a few things – time for myself (so long as it’s not to excess) is better for the family in the long run, kids need to have some time playing without me as well as with me, and no one’s perfect – each day we get a chance to try again. If you can’t even sit through one half-hour show without doing something, try “doing something” you like to do – like cross stitching, and keep it to just that half hour so it feels like an indulgence, yet an okay one because you’re still accomplishing something.

    Good luck giving yourself some time too. I know it’s hard.


    • Natalie
      May 23, 2012 @ 22:41:35

      I think I need to chill because I have the opposite reaction. When Travis is sitting down, not doing anything, I wish he was helping me, lol. You are right, kids do need to play by themselves sometimes. I need to remember that!


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