“I’ve given up so much of what made me who I am. But I can’t say that because… I’m a very bad person if I say that. But I feel it. I really do.”
I have been trying to write an article for weeks now about why it’s so important for moms to take time for themselves. I was really struggling with it until I was inspired by a part of the movie Marley & Me, when an exhausted mother of three sobs about motherhood. If you haven’t seen it, you should… or at least the part where the quote above made my eyes gloss up.
The thing about motherhood is that it can make us feel both happy and helpless at the same time. Does that make any sense at all? I love spending time with my kids and even though I write about some of the crazy times we have… I wouldn’t change a thing about our moments together. What I would change is the time I spend focusing on myself… or should I say not focusing on myself. I’m sometimes so tired and stressed from the pressures of motherhood, I lose track of who I am outside of being a mom. As mothers, are we so focused on our family that we forget to take time for ourselves?
I have gained so much from being a mother that I feel a tremendous amount of guilt when I think of what I have given up. But the fact of the matter is that when I don’t take time to focus on myself I feel like I have forgotten who I am. I fill my days making sure everyone else is enjoying themselves, yet I feel guilty about going out for a quick run or doing something for myself. I looked in the mirror the other day and wondered, who is this person? My hair is beyond what I would call a disaster, my eyebrows are bordering on becoming part of the amazon jungle, and the dark circles under my eyes remind me of something you’d see off of a zombie horror movie. I keep telling myself that I don’t have time, but really I think I just stopped noticing. I spend my days so focused on getting everyone put together, I never take the time to do the things that make me feel good about myself.
I think its important for all moms to take time for themselves and even better yet… stop feeling guilty about it. The one thing that I do make a point of is making it out to do something I enjoy once a week. I get that not all moms can get outside the home, but I still think its really important for there to be that time, even at home, where a mom can do something that she loves to do. Something that reminds her that although she is a ‘MOM’, she is also a woman who loves to learn, exercise, relax… or whatever is unique to what makes her who she is.
Something I wish more moms did for one another is encourage each other to take time for themselves. It seems like we’re all so busy trying to outdo one another that we don’t want to admit to each other that we really do need that time for ourselves. We should be able to focus on ourselves every once in a while without feeling any judgment from other moms. We’re supposed to be supporting one another… not setting each other up for an emotional breakdown. The best advice I give other mothers is to take care of themselves the same way they do the rest of their family. You don’t need to lose who you are when you become a mother… you just add to who you are.
Tell another mom to take time for herself. Its so important for us to encourage and support each other, especially when it comes to our own health and well being. And if you know anyone like me, tell them to go out and get their haircut, trim their eyebrows, get some sleep… oh and maybe fit in a quick run!