When you become a Mother something changes in your soul.
For me, it was taking the word “I” out of my vocabulary and revolving around the word “we.” Was it the same for some of you?
I had an interesting conversation with another Mother this week. A woman that inspires great conversation and is an amazing Mom! She said how she sometimes worries that she relies too much on her son for her own happiness and completion. Wow, did this ever hit home!
The minute you deliver your baby the doctor hands you this tiny little person and instantly it is expected that you know how to nurture and love them! Well folks, sometimes I barely know how to love and nurture myself…how on earth do you do that 24-7 for someone else on top of yourself?! As most Mother’s would say, it comes naturally. This is so true. However, for me as my love grew and grew for this tiny little person my love and devotion to myself hit a wall. Somehow it didn’t seem like there was enough time in the day to accomplish both. I mean come on…I eat leftover graham crackers from a carseat for breakfast so my expectations are quite low at this point.
Our society burdens Mothers with guilt. Our kids packaged muffins vs. the Pinterest worthy homemade oat bran apple crumble muffins the homeroom Mom made. Our family pictures in which have at least one child crying or picking his nose at all times vs. the poster boards of pristine children in matching holiday attire posing by a Christmas Tree. P.s. how do people get their kids to dress in designated clothes for photo shoots?! I barely am able to get my kids to wear underwear so how the heck do I get them to put on the rockin’ outfits I so carefully coordinated?
When it comes to taking personal time for ourselves why do we feel like this is not an option? For me, it’s the fact that I already feel like I don’t spend enough time with my kids. I am constantly working and trying to organize the household and I let so many moments slip by because I am trying to do it all. I feel like any extra time I may take for myself will take away even more time from my kids. So, the first thing to go are those self-care activities. Working out, reading that book, gardening. All those activities that feed your soul.
So true are the words of self-care. Without caring for our own emotional and physical needs it is going to be hard to stay motivated and have the energy to be a “present” parent. I use the word “present” because it literally stings my soul every time I think about it. So often I parent…but am I truly “present” while I am doing it? Between working full-time, extracurricular activities, remembering what day is “wear orange to school day,” and just trying to create a functioning household it is easy for us to get so far removed. I am 100% guilty of this. This is usually how it starts for me. I get so busy trying to create that “wowzer” dinner that the kids are going to love but then I get side tracked with cleaning the kitchen, folding the laundry, oh and why don’t I go ahead and do a deep clean on the stove while I am at it….that I lose all track of time and realize an hour has gone by and I just missed 4 games of Candyland.
Being a Mother is a blessing but it is not the only thing that defines us. We can love our kids soulfully and intentionally while loving ourselves as well. Find time to reflect on yourself and your needs. What motivates you? What makes you empowered?
I am surrounded daily with so many BEAUTIFUL and amazing Mommas. Take time for yourself today and know that you are not alone! We all struggle to find a healthy balance in life and Motherhood.