Mother’s Day is a day we celebrate Mothers. If you are a mom, this is the day chosen for others to show you honor for the countless ways you pour love into the lives of your children, and those whom you treat as your children. You do this in immeasurable ways, and in most cases without limitations or restrictions.
But what about you, mom? Regardless of whether it is Mother’s Day on the calendar or not, do you take time to love and honor yourself in this same way?
Practicing love for yourself to yourself keeps you “full.” This allows you to effectively have something worthy to pour into your children.
As a twin mom myself, I encourage you, Mom, to use the following three ways to love yourself:
1. Think about what YOU need. Maybe you are the “Supermom” who is ALWAYS going above and beyond for her children, perhaps even over compensating with activities so her child doesn’t somehow feel he or she is “missing out” if mom isn’t doing these activities. Although you may have great intentions and think this is what being a “good mom” is all about, the backbreaking effort may not be as necessary or as appreciated as you think. Instead of putting so much stress on yourself trying to maintain unreasonably high expectations, think about building a mutual relationship with your child(ren). If you ask your child(ren) what they would prefer, you may be surprised to find out that, more often than not, they really don’t care as much about many of those activities that you break your neck to make happen for them as they do about spending more quality time with you. They can see when you are suffering, and believe me, Mom, they really don’t want to watch you suffer. They want to support you too.
2. Have a “date” with YOUR chid. Making intentional time to spend with your child helps them see (not just hear) that they are important to you. After all, aren’t we ultimately trying to communicate their importance to us through all of our efforts? They already know that you are too busy; they see that. But what is all this busyness worth if your child(ren) don’t know or believe that they are more important to you than your to-do list? And how much would your stress levels reduce with half of those activities removed from your calendar and replaced with special dates for you and your child(ren) both to look forward to? The sky’s the limit in what activity you can do with your child(ren), but the important thing is that your efforts of love will be noticed and will prove fruitful in enriching you both.
3. Take back control of YOUR schedule. I encourage you to intentionally add activities to your calendar that you actually look forward to doing. There is a difference between juggling schedules around your family members’ events and planning around a time of relaxation. The difference: there’s less stress and more fun for you in relaxation! Take control back from all the other things that are trying to take control of you, and schedule activities that benefit you. Take time for yourself. And, when you come up with an idea just for yourself, don’t just put it on your calendar; show your family so they, too, can HONOR it. Just like you would honor a doctor’s appointment, soccer game, dance recital, or math competition by moving things around to accommodate it, do the same for what you enjoy. Your family will not only learn the importance of mom having time for herself because you honor it, but they will also see the difference of a happy mom and a relaxed mom who has more to give to the family as a result.
Move from just being busy to consistently thinking about what you need; intentionally enjoying the time you spend with your child(ren), and take back control over your time. Doing the things that you truly enjoy doing will keep you full and enable you to pour more joy and happiness into your family’s life, because you actually have it for yourself.