A Florida mom of two is making headlines for daring to do something far too many moms don't: take care of herself. On Monday, December 4, TV reporter and producer Kristen Hewitt took to Facebook to share a simple selfie from her car, explaining that she had opted out of attending her 8-year-old daughter's school assembly that day, in order to hit the gym.
"So I did something that some may think is selfish recently, but I really needed it," Hewitt confessed. "I missed my daughter’s honor roll assembly, so I could work out. 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. How hard it was to deal with the tantrums that were never-ending. How hard it was to feel 100’s of hot flashes as I am transitioning to a new healing protocol. How hard it was to manage my anxiety, the house, the kids, the pets, and work. And how hard it’s been to not have one single minute to myself."
Hewitt went on to explain that she sat down with her daughter and discussed her schedule for the day. "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," she noted in the Facebook post. "She also had her father and grandmother attending in my place. 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. 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."
How many times have mothers heard that they need to put their oxygen masks on first, before they can care for their L.O.s? And yet, in the wake of her honest, powerful, all too important post hitting social media, Hewitt has been targeted by a cruel wave of backlash. According to ABC News, the proud mom has been called everything from a selfish b**** to a narcissist.
"For eight years, I have been at every single event for my children," Hewitt tells Parents.com. "I held their hands when they were scared at night, I took them to dance, swim, school, showed up for concerts, assemblies, and Mother's Day teas. I decided after a long week, to take one hour to myself. To miss one assembly before I had to work a 15-hour day to run and meditate and put me first for the first time in nearly a decade. To say I'm shocked and dismayed at the negative response is an understatement."
It also bears noting that Hewitt spent seven years trying to conceive, and when she did, she put her work on the backburner in order to devote her time and energy exclusively to her kids. She told ABC News she "lost herself" for a time. With that experience under her belt, it's understandable that she would find the backlash particularly frustrating.
Ultimately, though, Hewitt is choosing to see the silver lining to the situation. "As for the negative comments, well, they are a gift," she tells Parents.com. "I showed them to my daughter and she learned about kindness, compassion, not judging others, and why social media is no place for children."
And if given the choice, Hewitt wouldn't have done anything differently. "I stand by my decision and have no regrets posting this on social media," she says. "I hope my post inspires other women to say yes to themselves and say no when they need a break. My children are loved, appreciated, cherished, and I made sure to celebrate with my daughter after school that day."
The mom of two contends that prioritizing self-care on Monday was a win, explaining, "I showed up for myself that day; I need to do it more often." To say Hewitt's outlook is empowering doesn't even begin to cover it!