Every once in a while, I find myself with a case of the mommies. No one likes to talk about it. Rarely do mothers sit around discussing their different symptoms and solutions. It seems like something that just happens privately and we suffer alone. Sometimes, we don’t even let the people around us know, the ones that love us the most. Then, there are other times when you want everyone to know and you have no problem telling everyone that you see.
A case of the mommies can describe a lot of different things that mothers experience. It can be the feeling of being taken for granted by everyone. It can be the feeling that no one sees you. It can be the feeling that no one cares about what is important to you. There are lots of different emotions that attach to a case of the mommies. It can be disorienting if you are usually an upbeat and positive person.
I would venture to say that every mother at one point or another has had a case of the mommies. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom or a working mother. I doesn’t matter if you have one child or fourteen. It just comes with the territory.
One of my favorite books about being a mother is The Invisible Woman: When Only God Sees by Nicole Johnson. It tells the story of a mother with a severe case of the mommies and how a friend steps in to help. The friend doesn’t change anything except the woman’s perspective. She gives her a new way of looking at her life and the family that she is working for. This is a must read for all mothers. (If you are ever looking for a gift for someone who is a mother and you aren’t sure what to get her; this is it!)
So I came up with some of the things that I do to rid myself of the mommies.
Drop everything, turn on the music and dance with your kids. You may feel silly at first, but it is so liberating. It feels like you are just shaking off all of those bad feelings. You can see your kids having such a good time and it puts life in perspective when you can’t do that for yourself. (Here are some of my favorites: Fever and Save the Last Dance by Michael Buble, You Give Love a Bad Name – the Blake Lewis version J, and Eye of the Tiger by Survivor).
Treat the grocery store like a red carpet event. This one is specifically for the stay at home mom crowd. Lots of times we get into the routine of wearing clothes that are functional for the day. We get drooled on, covered in food and the occasional booger (just being honest) and some days it feels like the idea of clean is impossible. We are in the sandbox, cleaning the bathrooms, and then if we are lucky we may run through the sprinklers. Obviously, Vera Wang is not going to last the day with me. However, you just don’t want to get too comfortable with this being okay. (If you are in doubt – ask your husband.)
So, get dressed up to go somewhere ordinary. Go the whole nine yards. Hair done, make-up, and even clothes that are not made out of t-shirt material. It may be time consuming. It may take a lot of effort. I personally find that the television can be a huge helper in the fight to get mommy out the door in a presentable way. But it will be worth it.
I have a tough time explaining this to my husband. He believes that it is all in my head, but honestly, people treat me differently when I am dressed in my mommy uniform as opposed to when I have taken the time to get dressed up. This isn’t an every day occurrence. But, it is one of the quickest ways to send that case of the mommies packing.
I can thank my mom for that tip. Sometimes when I look nice at church or a family event, she will say, “I don’t see why you don’t just throw that outfit on to go to the grocery store. It looks great and it’s easy to throw on and go.” And this leads me to my final suggestion.
If you are lucky, you are surrounded by people around you that care about you; some of whom are mothers themselves. And so, tell them what’s going on. They have been there and they will understand. I don’t even have to go into detail with my mom. I just tell her that I am getting a case of the mommies. She usually chuckles a little and I know that she is thinking back to that time when she too felt the same way. And then, she always does something to make me feel better. Sometimes she offers to have the kids spend the night. Sometimes, she takes me shopping with her. One time, she mailed me a magnet that said, “You are so important.” But, the best thing she does is tell me about a time when she felt the same way. It makes me realize that I am not alone and that I am not the only mother to face this and that I will live through this.
This is not a complete list by any means, but I think it is a start. I would love to see this post filled with comments about what you do to get rid of the mommies! If you don’t feel comfortable commenting, you can always email me with your ideas and I will add them to a follow up post.