My kids are my life, and pretty much everything I do revolves around them. However, I’m a firm believer that you have to take care of yourself first and you have to have your own life outside of being a mother. Yes, it is my most important job and my highest calling. But I believe that in order to be the best mother I can be for my children, I must be healthy not only physically, but mentally. If I do nothing but parent 24/7 and do nothing that is enjoyable to me, I will get frustrated, irritated, annoyed, and burnt out. When this happens, you become like a volcano just building and building until an eruption. A lot of times you take things out on your spouse or your kids or your friends or other family members, and this isn’t fair to those people.
Take time for yourself.
Take time to relax and clear your mind. Take time to do things that you enjoy–that don’t involve the kids. When you do these things for yourself, you are helping release more of the good chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy and satisfied with life. If you are feeling satisfied, you will be in a better mood, have more patience, and will be more willing to read that dumb dinosaur book to your kid for the 57th time today.
Happy moms are the best moms and you can’t be happy if you never take any time for self care.
Another reason I believe it is so important to have your own life as a mother is one day, far too soon, these children will grow up and sadly, leave me. While I still hope to see them very often and be involved in their lives, I will need to have my own life. As someone who has struggled with depression, OCD and anxiety for a large portion of my life, I can see how parenting could become an unhealthy obsession.
An obsession where I give and give of myself until there is nothing left. Looking to the future, what’s going to happen when they’re all out of the house and living their own lives? What will I be left with? An empty house, an empty heart, and no friends or hobbies of my own. I can see that being a very dark time in my life if I don’t do things now to combat that. So I try to have things that I do regularly outside of being a mom. I believe all mothers should have hobbies and things that interest them besides their kids. It is so important to not lose your own identity for the sake of being a mother. You are still an individual and when your child grows up, you can’t live their life for them. They will become their own person and if you lose your own identity, then when they find theirs, you will be left with nothing.
So how do we keep from going insane as a mother and also keep our own sense of individualism? Here is a list of ideas to help:
- Go on a date with your significant other
- Go to a coffee shop by yourself for a while to read a book or online shop
- Have dinner with friends
- Go to the gym
- Get a massage
- Get your hair done
- Get your nails done
- Get a facial
- Go for a walk alone
- Go to a movie with your mom
- Go shopping without the kids
- Have your significant other take the kids somewhere and let you take a nap at home
- Go out for a drink with friends
- Take a bubble bath when the kids are in bed
- Take a local craft class
- Take a long drive to nowhere
- Have a show that you keep up with (that is not a cartoon)
- Have a podcast or radio show you keep up with
- Join a local club or group
- When all else fails, hand the kids off to your significant other and go to Target!!!
What are some things you do for self care and to keep your identity that I didn’t mention? Comment below or email me!
Let’s be friends! Life is so much better when we do it with others.