Being a parent is a rewarding yet time-consuming and stressful task. It’s doubly-hard for a working mother, who must balance her career with raising well-adjusted children. The stress of providing for your children is even more magnified during the holiday season, where you are expected to bend over backwards to your child’s every want and need. Well, one mother decided that she needed one day to not be there for her children, but to be there for herself. And the internet has mixed feelings over her decision.
Kristen Hewitt is a two-time Emmy award-winner TV sports reporter who covers the Miami Heat for FOX Sports Sun. The 41-year-old is also a blogger and a mother of two girls. She’s clearly a busy woman who has found a way to achieve success while also being a good mom. But, something she recently posted made a lot of people call her “selfish.”
Listen, everyone needs a “me” day. Life is stressful enough, and if we constantly just devoted all our time to every single one of our responsibilities, we would go insane. Working moms have more responsibilities than most. So, if anyone needs a break, it’s them.
Hewitt chose to skip out on her daughter’s honor roll assembly to go for a run. Yes, your initial reaction might be to say, “Well, that’s kind of a BS move.” But, you have to hear it from her perspective. It’s not like the kid didn’t have anyone there. Her husband and mother went to support her. But, after the ceremony Hewitt started getting questions as to why she wasn’t there.
“I lied and told them I had to work. When I went home that afternoon I was so mad at myself for lying and hiding once again behind my truth. It’s not selfish to take a break when you need it, it’s called self-love. And I was even angrier that I felt I had to hide the need to nurture myself,” she wrote. So, Hewitt decided to own up to the actual reason why she didn’t attend and wrote a lengthy Facebook post about it.
"So, I did something that some may think is selfish recently, but I really needed it. I missed my daughter’s honor roll assembly, so I could work out,” she wrote. “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.”
She then went on to explain how difficult it is to deal with all the responsibilities in her life, including the children, domestic duties, pets and work.
Hewitt said that she explained to her daughter why she wouldn’t be going to her award ceremony. She explained that she needed a day to herself, and that she would have her grandmother and father there for her. “Guess what. 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,” she wrote.
Well, as you could imagine, a lot of people immediately jumped down her throat. People started thinking that her decision to workout was egotistical. “Very selfish. You have lots of other days to workout, your daughter won’t have that many special award night, I never missed any of my kids award nights, all I felt was proud wouldn’t miss it for anything especially to work out. You need help,” wrote one commentator.
Some people went from critiquing her to straight trolling her. Some people had the audacity of accusing her of not loving her children. “I feel sorry for you daughter. All the other kids have their parents there and she has no one,” wrote one commentator. “Just wow. You can’t get more selfish than that. Disgusting. Why even bother being a parent if you don’t love your child enough to bother going to their awards ceremonies.”
This person clearly didn’t read the entire post, because the little girl did have two family members attend the ceremony.
Despite all the hate, Hewitt did have a bunch of people come to her defense. “Yes! Huge props to you for taking care of yourself,” wrote one commentator. “It’s a necessity in order to be the mom and wife yoru family deserves to have and the happy, healthy woman you deserve to be! Also, huge props to your family for knowing how important it is for you to take care of yourself!”
Also, some people brought up a very important double standard. Would this even be news if a dad opted to skip a child’s ceremony to focus on himself? “Seriously people. How is she a bad mom,” asked one commentator. “If dad didn’t show up, no one would bat an eye. Oh wait, because she’s mom. I hope all these other moms saying how bad she is. You better [be] perfect. And I mean PERFECT.”
Dads missing plays, graduations, spelling bees is all too comically displayed in pop culture and is generally an accepted notion in our society. So, why are dads not the bad guys when they decide to skip out on their kid’s events? It’s because women are still unequivocally tied to the household in the majority of our society’s point of view.
In a blog post about the incident, Hewitt said that where kids need us to show up the most is in the home. “To be there to teach them to love themselves. To encourage them to work hard and show them the discipline it takes to get good grades. To model kindness and gratitude, and value those traits more than the letter on their report card. And to not be everything for everyone else, but forget to first give to ourselves,” she wrote.
Hewitt’s daughter is not unloved, it is quite the opposite. In fact, her daughter probably learned an important lesson in self-love. Let’s not ignore the fact that it’s not necessary for BOTH parents to be at every. Single. Function.
And for the haters, well, Hewitt thinks that they should probably focus on their own lives at home. “It seems more children in this social media age need their parents present and more focused on what’s right for them, instead of what society may think,” she wrote.
So, what do you think about Hewitt’s decision? Was she in the right to focus on herself, or should she have attended the ceremony?