A typical “Mom” is usually pictured as someone who neglects her own needs to put those of her family first.
Many people picture a frazzled, stressed out crazy woman, running around like a chicken with her head cut of to get dinner ready before running the kids to dance class, or soccer practice, doing the laundry…you get the idea!
So many mothers think that being a parent means sacrifice, and while you do sacrifice many things for your children, your self-care should not be one of them!
I had a real eye opener this year while reading “Scream-Free Parenting” (I’m a Parenting book junkie…I’ll admit it! But this is truly one of my favorites to revisit again and again!) and I learned something life changing…
You are not responsible for your children, you are responsible to them!
Think about that for a second.
Your first reaction (as was mine) is probably “that doesn’t make any sense! Of course I am responsible for my child, I am responsible for taking care of her, feeding her, teaching her….”, but try and take a second and really look at this.
You are responsible to your children…
…to show them how to care for others and themselves
…to set an example in everything you do
…to be a calming authority figure in your household
I am not often one to yell at our daughter (She’s too damn cute!), but I would constantly catch myself getting frustrated with little things she was doing, and I know it would come across in the tone of my voice to her.
If I was having a bad day, was tired or stressed out, suddenly I would start “noticing” that “she never listens”, “she’s getting into everything”, “she always throws a tantrum when I say no”…hmmmmmm….
Never did I think that the solution to all these “problems”, would be taking care of me!
We all think we are saving the world and our family by putting ourselves last, when really you are doing them a great disservice by giving them a worn down, spread too thin, stressed out, distracted version of the parent/wife you could be!
Make a “self-care” list!
Separate your list into 2 columns, one is a list of things you enjoy doing, such as getting your nails done, meeting a friend for coffee, or just reading a book quietly by yourself!
The second column is things that you may not necessarily consider your favorite things to do in the moment, but they always make you happier/less stressed once they are done! My second list contained activities like organizing a room, putting away laundry, or hopping on the treadmill for 20 minutes!
Make it your mission to complete at least 1 item from each column EVERY DAY!
I am speaking from personal experience with this, taking that few minutes for myself each day has changed my life!
I am able to focus more on what’s happening around me, am more relaxed, happier, present, and these changes are reflected in Maddie as well!
Not only does this help me in my responsibilities to Maddie, to show her that life doesn’t need to seem hard and exhausting, and that it’s possible to choose your mood and reaction no matter what the situation, but it eliminates that big bad feeling that can pop up very quickly when you’re always putting yourself last…resentment!
Never should you feel resentment toward your family, spouse, anyone for “putting you last”, your role is always in your own hands, so it’s up to you to take care of you!
Next time you catch yourself falling into a cycle where you are worn out and spread too thin, remember your responsibility to your children…do you want them to think that is a how a person should be living their life?
Would you want to see them that way 20 years from now?
What are some things you do that make you happy? How do you “de-stress”?
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