Every time I express exhaustion or frustration, I get told that I should find time or make time for myself. Sometimes, I don’t even express my state of mind. My tired, bloodshot eyes do the talking, and some “helpful” individual suggests this time-for-yourself theory. And, really, it’s a great idea. It’s a nice suggestion. Except that when you suggest this to me, I want to smack you in the face.
You might be thinking, “Excuse me? Who do you think you are?” To which my response would be, “I-don’t-even-know-what-month-it-is-what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about-“time”-for-myself?!” And, if you’re thinking that’s a mouthful, that’s because it is. It’s probably also the most interaction I’ve had with a person all week (albeit fictitious).
The problem with telling a mom to “find time” for herself is that it’s really inconsiderate. You’re assuming that: 1) This lady doesn’t want to take care of herself. 2) She hasn’t lusted after a half hour shower. and 3) Since she had a child, she forgot what being a normal human being was like. Also, in the time it’s taken me to type these three tiny paragraphs, I’ve been interrupted 7 times by my tiny human as follows:
1. Dropped pacifier.
2. Wanted a bottle.
3. Pooped his pants.
4. Pooped his pants again.
5. Wanted to be held.
6. Wanted a pacifier.
7. Does not want a pacifier. Anymore. Or ever again.
Every time someone tells me to “find time” for myself, I feel like smacking that person in the face, because if they really cared about me finding time for myself, they would offer to babysit. Or change his diaper. Or feed him a bottle. Or change his diaper. Or hold him for two minutes so that I can use the toilet sometime this century. Or change his diaper.
Is it sinking in yet? Ingenuous suggestions like “find time” suggest that time is not a magical miracle gifted from some mighty clock wizard. No, suggestions like “find time” imply that I’m mismanaging the very finite amount of time we’re all given. These suggestions are offensive because you’re suggesting that what I decided to do with the time I have (which is equal in time to your time) is less significant. I feed, clothe, change, clean, protect, and care for a life. You did your make-up. Guess what? I win. Looks like you should “find time” to do something a little more meaningful that micromanage my life, because, really, what have you done lately? Game over.