Kristen Hewitt had been having a difficult day when she made a decision that some people may call “selfish.” But she has no regrets.
As the reporter, blogger, and mom-of-two wrote on Facebook, she chose to miss her daughter’s honor roll assembly so that she could go to the gym and work out. However, while she badly needed time to herself, it wasn’t an easy decision at first.
Then she remembered everything she’d had on her plate in the past few weeks:
I started to feel the guilt creep in as I made this tough decision, but then I remembered ME, and how hard Thanksgiving and the week that followed was with my husband traveling.
In addition to dealing with “never-ending” tantrums, Hewitt had been experiencing hot flashes due to a “new healing protocol.” And that wasn’t all. In the past weeks, she’d been preoccupied with “anxiety, the house, the kids, the pets, and work.” And in that time, she hadn’t had “one single minute to myself.”
As Hewitt told Dearly, she’d been there for her daughter at every ceremony until now. But this time, there were other considerations:
“I hadn’t missed an assembly in eight years, and on this morning, I chose not to ignore my health issues and take care of myself.
I had to work a long night that day, and my daughter had her dad and grandmother in attendance, she was well-loved and represented.”
Of course, Hewitt didn’t send her daughter off to the honors assembly with no explanation. She wrote:
I talked to her about how proud I was of her, but let her know I have to work a game tonight and needed to take care of myself this morning.
Rather than being offended that her mother wasn’t coming to the honors assembly, Hewitt’s daughter was grateful for all the things that her mom does:
She understood, gave me a hug, and thanked me for all I do for her. She also learned by example today that SELF-CARE matters.
With modern parenting culture stressing the importance of being there for every moment of your children’s lives, Hewitt wanted other moms to know that taking care of yourself isn’t a sin.
After all, it isn’t healthy to neglect yourself in order to make children the focus of every moment. She wrote:
Sometimes as parents we have to make hard decisions and show up for ourselves instead of showing up for our kids. And you know what?
It’s not selfish — it’s called self-love.
Hewitt told Babble she was aware that putting her decision on social media meant opening herself up to criticism. And there were some commenters who felt that choosing a workout over an honors assembly was the wrong parenting choice.
However, there were many who disagreed and applauded Hewitt’s stance.
Hewitt told Dearly that she has no regrets about what she did:
“I stand behind my decision and don’t regret missing her assembly or posting it on social media. My hope is that women reading this will be inspired to maybe take care of themselves a little more.”
While she was disappointed to see some of the negative and judgmental comments, Hewitt turned the opportunity into a teaching moment for her daughter. She told Dearly:
“I’ve shown our daughter some of the comments and she’s learning about kindness, compassion, not judging others, and to love herself. “
As Hewitt explained to Dearly, if opening up about her parenting choices encourages others to take better care of themselves, then it’s worth it:
“I am grateful that this message of self-care is being discussed and hope more mothers find the time for them. We all matter.”