In my time as a mother I have done a lot of learning. Some of the lessons have come easily, while some have taken a little more understanding. Of all the things I have learned over time, these are the ones that have resonated with me and have become my rules of Motherhood:
*Make-up can help you look less tired.
*You will forget all the chaos and frustrations of the day when you look at your sleeping children.
*Your best is good enough. Your love is all they really need.
*Swearing doesn’t make you a bad mother.
*Taking a break from your children doesn’t mean you don’t love them. It just means you love yourself, too.
That last point.
It’s the one we all seem to have difficulty with, yet it is the most important thing to remember to make sure we can do our job well.
As mothers, we give. We give our bodies, minds, and souls to our children. We do everything in our power to make sure that they are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy, that they’re educated, rested, and experiencing opportunities to find themselves so they can develop their unique personalities. We sacrifice things we want and need so that they can have what they want and need. Our desires get pushed to the backburner. We lose ourselves in the world of motherhood by giving 100% of ourselves to our children, and we seem to forget that there is still “you” underneath our identity as a mother.
We love our children. This is evident in the way in which we treat them, but when was the last time you gave yourself the same treatment?
Mama, you need to take care of your body. Sure, cleaning the house and carrying children keeps you moving, but you need to elevate that heart rate. Do cardio. Do yoga. Eat proper, healthy meals. You wouldn’t let your children skip lunch so they could tidy the house, and they would certainly never be allowed to fill the void in their bellies with a third cup of coffee. Sleep. Shower. Paint your nails.
Mama, you need to take care of your mind. Read . Write in a journal. Meditate. Allow yourself the quiet time you need to be able to accomplish this. Send the kids outside or to watch a movie. Ignore the mess. Put on your favorite song and let go. Sing. Dance. Do a crossword. Learn how to make kombucha. Create.
Mama. Your soul. Take care of your soul. Do whatever it is that brings you joy. Knit. Climb mountains. Volunteer. Think about the things that make up “you” other than being a mother, and embrace them. Don’t let them fall into the abyss of the chaos of life. When your children are less dependent on your care you will be able to regain your individualism. Don’t let that be a struggle. Maintain your relationship with “you” so “you” can flourish when the opportunity arises. Thank yourself. Tell yourself what a great job you’re doing. Buy yourself flowers.
Mama, you MUST do this.
So many of us are running on an empty tank, or even on fumes. It doesn’t take long for that tank to become depleted. You need fuel. Premium fuel. Taking good care of your children requires you to have energy, imagination, and patience. You simply cannot accomplish this if you, yourself is not filled up.
You are teaching your children by example. Your children are aware of what you are doing for them. They are aware of the countless hours you put into ensuring they are cared for. They’re also aware of the bags under your eyes and the exhaustion in your voice. You are teaching them the importance of taking care of others. Give them the opportunity to understand the importance of taking care of themselves, as well. Taking good care of your children begins with taking good care of yourself.
Mama, you’re amazing.
You love your children.
Don’t forget to love yourself, too.