How To Be The Best Mom I Can Without Losing Myself

FamilyI remember one evening, back when my kids were still young. Some very good friends invited us out to dinner. I remember that my immediate thought was, ugggh, instead of joy. My mind instantly raced to whom I might have come babysit, and who would need this or that and how much of a hassle it would be. My friend sensed my reluctance and joked with me about how I needed to get out and that the details would work themselves out. Guess what…they did. That weekend, I actually did my hair and wore a dress and my husband and I went out to dinner. At some point after the entrees but before dessert and coffee, a tear nearly came to my eye as I realized something. This is really fun! I thought to myself. And I almost feel guilty–why is that?! I had finally calmed down into the moment and realized, where have I been? When did I lose “this?” When did I let myself get swallowed up by mommyhood? 

The truth is that this happens to most, if not all, moms. Nature wires our brains to care for our offspring and our husbands or families, and often we neglect ourselves. And we really don’t like being told that! But self-care is so very important. We may not believe it at first, but it’s actually a key component of being that great mom we want to be–because in order to do all those wonderful things we strive to do, we need to be well-rested, well-nourished, healthy, happy and calm.

So, this is an exercise that I do with many of my clients. I want you to imagine, what would your life be like, if you cared for yourself the way you care for your kids? Wow, imagine that! Stylishly dressed, not a hair out of place, full belly, great night’s sleep, time with friends, good exercise, playtime, and a little healthy discipline. Now tell me this, what would your kid’s lives be like if you cared for them the way you care for yourself? Yikes.

This January, consider a New Year’s Resolution for self-care because you really do matter! So, put yourself into the mix and find just a few simple ways to incorporate it back into your life. Whether it’s making a point of never skipping breakfast, or going to bed just 15 minutes earlier so that you have time to read books like you always used to. Small changes, can make a big impact. And the most surprising thing you’ll find is that, rather than having a negative impact on your family, like we always imagine, you will actually be giving them something of infinite value–a happier, more energetic, and contented Mom.

Here’s an interesting article about rediscovering yourself and one woman’s story about becoming a New Kind of Mom.


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