Moms: Self-Care is not Selfish
I think one of the reasons mother's have a hard time implementing and committing to self-care is because they view it as selfish, and selfishness is not a desirable trait, especially as a mother. Thinking that doing something for themselves is somehow detracting from them caring for their children leads to feelings of guilt and sometimes even over compensation afterwards. For example, if a mother goes out and buys herself a new pair of shoes, most often she'll return with a new outfit for her child as well, even if they didn't need it, as a way to help lessen the sting of guilt.
It's so important for us to understand however that taking our own well being into account as a mother isn't being selfish; it's necessary. I'll shout this from the mountain top over and over, because us momma's often forget anyone. Self-care is not, I repeat, NOT selfish. It's crucial that we understand this, because it's one of the main barriers keeping us from tapping into our full potential as mothers. One of my favorite cliche' quotes to remind myself of this is "You can't pour from an empty cup."
By taking the time out to care for yourself, you're making sure that you can perform at the best possible level you can as a mother. A tired, overwhelmed, unhappy mommy can react based off of those negative emotions towards her children and project these onto her kids. A happy, rested and centered mommy is much more likely to respond to her children and their needs in a loving and patient way and the inner peace within her will fall onto her children as well.
A well rested mommy results in:
- More patience
- More clarity
- Contagious joy
- More energy
- Improved mental/physical health
There is a different between selfish and self-care, neglect and mommy time, self-love and narcissism. It's all about balance and consistency. You can make your well being and happiness a priority with the well-being and happiness of your family. They don't have to compete with one another and this is where mother's struggle. They think that caring for themselves means placing their children on the back burner which acts against every motherly instinct. The truth is they can in fact coexist.
My goal is to help moms understand that they are the pillars holding their family household together. It's such an amazing, beautifully difficult role and should the mother crumble, the household most definitely feels the repercussions of this. This is why it's so important for mothers to invest in their well-being.
So yes, book that mommy get away retreat, set aside non-negotiable mommy time, start taking those creative courses you've always wanted to take. Make sure you're taking care of you, your family depends on it!