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You have permission to...
I asked some of my old-hand mom friends what message they could send to new mothers out there, or to women discovering that they are witches (welcome.) The message was one of permission—what you are allowed to do but don’t think you can or should. Some of these things take more resources than others, but the idea is that even after kids you are entitled to make your own life work for you however you can.
You Have Permission To:
Take a long shower.
Prepare your family the food that you want to eat.
Not volunteer, even if you technically have the time.
Buy a doughnut at the grocery store and eat it before you get home so you don't have to share.
Sit in a bar and read while your kid is at swimming practice.
Use a parental leave day, get a sitter, and go day-drinking with your partner.
Go straight into your room when you get home at the end of the day and change your clothes.
Go out with your friends on a regularly, pre-scheduled, no-questions-asked basis.
Go out of town and leave your spouse with a sick kid.
Stay home for no particular reason when your spouse takes the kids to see their parents.
Get a babysitter to go to the gym.
Hire a house cleaner or give your house cleaner more hours.
Not use all of your non-kid time productively—for example you can hide in your room and read Us Weekly for an hour on the weekend while your partner is with your child(ren). You don't need to cook or clean or work out or run errands or some other BS.
Have kids that are normal and average instead of gifted and talented or #deeplyrooted or whatever.
Scroll through your phone in a parking lot for however many extra minutes before going inside.
Put your kid in front of the TV so you can keep sleeping.
Get a babysitter two nights in a row.
Say things like "I do really love to play with you, but right now I'm enjoying [insert thing you like: a magazine, a crossword, staring out the window while I drink this coffee]."
Hire a babysitter when your spouse goes out of town.
Decline to visit your in-laws more than once a year.
Drop your kid at the birthday party and get a pedicure.
Assign things you don't want to make when people ask what they can bring.
Not tell your kids about Elf on the Shelf. If your kids find out from friends/family, an acceptable answer is “We don’t have one.”
Decline to sign up for an activity (sports, scouts, etc) because it is clear you will have to lead it if your kid is involved.