Owning Your Guilty Pleasures

GalitBreen-MomMyself&I-AMomsGuideToOwningGuiltyPleasures

The sun is at its highest point. I tip my face toward it; a toast.

It warms my shoulders as I sit back in the plastic chair, my feet crossed at the ankle, a book in my hand.

Brody rests by my side. He’s wrapped in a pool towel and in a position that I’m sure is uncomfortable, but that he assures me — again and again — is not.

If I tilt my head and shade my forehead and squint my eyes just right, I can spot my girls at the tippy top of the line for the water slides. Small spotlights of my heart in summer shades of purple and pink. 

I sit even further back and read my book, consider an iced latte.

A woman in a black swimsuit steps in front of me, shades my view. She’s carrying a baby, a toddler walks by her side. Her bag is heavy, she sets it down. It announces her arrival.

She shades her own forehead and takes care of her own heart spotlights with sunscreen and reminders and promises of snacks to come.

Carefully, meticulously, she covers each of their tiny fingers and toes and delicious knees with sunscreen. It leaves a film on their brown summer skin. I recognize this form of mothering protection.

“I bet you feel guilty about that,” she says — not unkindly — noting my book, my rest, my quiet.

Out of breath, she settles into the chair next to mine. The metal legs hit against each other with a clang just loud enough to be noticed.

“I bet you feel guilty about that,” she says — not unkindly — noting my book, my rest, my quiet.

I smile her way. “Actually, I don’t,” I confide.

“Good for you,” she smiles back.

And we laugh in the good way that strangers do when they know just enough of each other’s stories to only look for what threads them together.

I remember those days of sliding into motherhood. When protecting my children’s tininess felt like my only – and the very best possible – job. When a moment to myself did, indeed, feel like an indulgence. Something to feel guilty about.

But as my children have grown – putting on their own sunscreen, making their own fun, getting their own snacks – I’ve found a way to relish moments of quiet as my own, no guilt required.

I say we make this the summer of indulgence. The kind where we slip into self care without a second thought or a look back, and certainly, no guilt.

A Mom’s Guide to Owning Guilty Pleasures

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  1. Eat a piece of dark chocolate – no sharing.
  2. Watch a reality TV show.
  3. Read two chapters of a book – back to back.
  4. Order takeout, just because.
  5. Nap.
  6. Have your groceries delivered.
  7. Let your kids watch one more TV show and don’t get anything done in that time — at all.
  8. Buy that dress (and those shoes!)!
  9. Spend an extra hour on Pinterest. Or Instagram. Or both.
  10. Look in the mirror for an extra second, and find something to compliment, and love. (How about one more?)

What do you think?

Owning Your Guilty Pleasures

Galit Breen is the bestselling author of Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes you can get your child a phone and still create a grass-beneath-their-bare-feet childhood for them. Galit’s writing has been featured on The Huffington Post; The Washington Post; Buzzfeed; TIME; and more. She liv ... More

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5 comments

  1. Jenna says:

    Oh, yes, I have a lot of these! Napping as a new mom was my favorite. Now my guilty pleasures are watching trashy TV (like Trueblood), reading late into the night and yes, clothes and shoes 😀 I suppose my favorite pleasure, guilty or not, is travel. I will go anywhere – whenever I can!

    Jenna Z

  2. This is a great article! My guilty pleasure is having a glass of wine!

  3. Olga says:

    Galit,

    Beautiful piece, as always.

    I’m wondering at what age did you let your kids put sunscreen on themselves? My son feels he should do it himself. He is eight.

    Thanks!
    Olga

  4. cyu888 says:

    I love this Galit. My boys are starting to be of an age where they are taking care of themselves more and more. I’m definitely one own my guilty pleasures and realize that it’s important way for me to step back and take a breath, a real breath. My fav? A mid-day nap 🙂

  5. Alison Lee says:

    I am happy to own my (not) guilty pleasures!

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