How much do you love yourself? Do you love yourself enough to ignore your kids and your husband for hours at a time just to spend some time with yourself? Do you love yourself to have your own “Mommy Money” separate from house funds? Do you love yourself enough to ask for help or even…..hire help? Do you love yourself enough to NOT feel guilty about spoiling yourself?
Mothers are by nature sacrificial. We sacrifice our time for our family. We sacrifice our bodies for motherhood. We sacrifice our sleep. We sacrifice hours of doing absolutely whatever WE want so that the “house” can run smoothly. I know moms whose entire day revolves around the kids and spouse. They wake up to feed the house and to get everyone on their way. They complete school projects, budget the finances, cook and clean, be professional wives, all the while losing themselves. Everything in their life is running like a nicely oiled machine, but they can’t even answer the age old question, “What do you want for dinner?” Mothers are so programmed to caring about others that they sometimes forget how to care or themselves.
I love my family with all my heart. I have literally given them my blanket when it’s cold and my last Starbucks Bacon and Gruyere Egg Bite when they just want to repeatedly “taste” my food! I’ve bought snacks for the kids to enjoy. I’ve cooked dinners that the family liked. I saw movies that only the kids liked. I have put down a really good book to answer questions like, “Do you know what’s Zelda’s favorite sword is?”
But now, I’m all about practicing self-care. Think about safety instructions you are given when flying in an airplane. The flight attendants advise that you put on your breathing mask before you help anyone else, even your own children. Yes, in an emergency, they ask that you help yourself first. Why? Because you can’t help anyone if you’re helpless. I can’t be the best wife and the best mother I can possibly be if I’m not in the best shape, mentally and physically. I need to take care of myself before I can truly and thoroughly take care of anyone else. This is the basis of self-care.
I love myself enough to wake up before anyone else in the house to quietly enjoy a cup of coffee and scroll on Facebook. (Yea, no productivity.) I love myself enough to take myself out on a date. I love myself enough invest and manage “Mommy Money” so that I can always afford the things I want, or sometimes don’t need, without using “family” funds. I love myself enough to hire help when I just don’t feel like cooking or cleaning or even adulting. I love myself enough to go to events that I enjoy. I love myself enough to carve out time each and every day to do something that makes me unequivocally happy. I love myself enough to not feel guilty about taking time out for myself.
I used to feel like if I did something for myself, I HAD to do something equally fun for my family. For example, if I had plans to hang out with the “gals” on Friday night, I had to plan something equally fun on Saturday with the family. If I bought myself a new dress, I had to buy the kids some new clothes too.
But now I realize that is not the case. Just because I care for myself and show love to myself doesn’t mean that I love or care for my family less. My kids and husband will always have a special place in my heart. But before them, there was me. And it is this “me” that I must also remember to nurture.