Moms, let me share something with you. In order to be a great mother you MUST nourish yourself. Once you do this, you will have the energy, enthusiasm and patience to be that great mom you truly want to be. This may seem contradictory to what your brain is telling you – isn’t it child first, then you? No.
You know you want it. Deep down you remember laughing with your girlfriends in a living room that wasn’t overrun with toys or children. You remember going for a coffee with a friend after work and chatting about life and the new lipstick you discovered. You remember lying on your bed on a sunny afternoon and reading a romantic novel, and you remember feeling sexy and womanly. You want it, but you think that if you take time for yourself it means time away from your kids, and that would possibly make your kids feel like you don’t love them as much as you say you do.
It’s this guilt that is stopping mothers from truly living their authentic life. Yes, giving birth is one of the most life-changing experiences in the world. We finally know and understand what it feels like to love someone unconditionally. We also feel a deeper connection to the world and all it encompasses because we now have a child. However, a child should be an enhancement to our lives, not the end all and be all.
We are still Janice, or Sandra, or Beth. That hasn’t changed. We still love doing the same things and reading the same things and listening to the same things as we used to. After having children, however, we tend to become so engrossed in their lives that we forget our own. The funny part is that our children were given to us for a reason. It is our individual likes, hobbies, and interests that brought our children to us specifically. Our children’s lives were meant to be influenced by us in particular.
We mothers actually have a responsibility to show our children how we play, what we enjoy, and how we take care of ourselves. Children need to know this! Where else are our children going to learn how to love themselves? Where else are they going to learn how to value themselves? Where else are they going to learn how to go after their dreams?
Show your children how to live a balanced life because they won’t learn it from anyone else but you. A balanced life brings happiness and every mother I’ve ever talked to has said she wants her child to be happy, so doesn’t it make sense to show your child how to be happy instead of just talk about it?
Close your eyes, sit alone in a quiet room, and think about all the things you used to do that you would love to do again. Don’t limit yourself; let the thoughts flow. Then, once you have a clear picture, write down 5-10 things that you love doing and that you want to start doing again. Then, get a calendar and start scheduling in activities that will fulfill your wishes.
Being a fulfilled, happy person is one of the BEST and BIGGEST gifts you will ever give your child. So, stop the guilt, stop the martyrdom – if you TRULY want to be the best mother you possibly can, then the first step is to start taking care of yourself.
Erin Kurt, parenting coach and author of Juggling Family Life and The Life Balance Formula teaches Working moms a 3-step system that shows them how to discipline without yelling, spend quality time with their kids and finally achieve work/life balance.
Receive Erin’s complimentary Video Series “8 Secrets to Stress-Fr.ee Parenting” at ErinParenting.com