Getting Real With Veronica Monique Ibarra

I am not a high-strung type-A person. Most of my friends would say I am easy going and relaxed. However, when it comes to my children I transform into Mega Mom or the Mommy Overlord. I’m that mom at the park that has the eyes of a hawk trained on her young. I find it very difficult to stand around and talk with others while my kids are running wild. Now, they don’t actually run wild. They play, and get along well with other kids. I just don’t feel like I can take my eyes off of them. Isn’t that usually when disaster strikes?

One of the things I struggle with most as a mother is relinquishing control and trusting others with my children. Yes, this sometimes includes their father. I get stuck in Mommy Mode, thinking that no one knows my kids better than me, and no one can keep them safe the way I can. I forget that I’m not in it alone, and I don’t have to be.

With my first child I had to work, but any time off due to holidays, teacher workdays, or vacations my daughter was with me. I paid for weeks of daycare that my daughter never attended (because to hold her spot I had to); I never utilized those times to do anything for myself. I never left my husband alone with our daughter for more than the time it took me to shower or go to the bathroom. It wore me down.

Finally, my best friends talked me into a weekend girls’ getaway for my 30th birthday. We were all mothers with all our daughters around the same age. It was a liberating experience and a healing one, because guess what? My husband took very good care of our daughter, and I actually learned the value of taking some time for myself.

Sometimes, especially as first time mothers, we forget that we are also women with wants and needs separate from our children. It doesn’t make us selfish or uncaring. In fact, I learned that taking sometime every now and again makes me a better mother. Whether it be a girls’ night out with my friends, or a trip to the grocery store by myself, I am better at attending to my children in a loving, caring manner when I take the time to care for myself.

I still struggle with leaving my kids with the occasional babysitter, but at least I’ve learned to trust my husband. He doesn’t do things the way I do, but he does love our children. That means he will keep them alive and safe while I’m having my time. They may be living off of hot dogs and soda, but they will live, which is really all I need to know in order to relax.