Love yourself enough to live life for you And nobody else
- Destiny's Child “Dot”
This song came up on my playlist on my morning run this morning and that line keeps playing through my head. I'm always reading posts from moms saying “how do you make time for yourself”, “Mommy Time”, I get “No Me time” and other variations on the same theme. Many of my own mommy friends say the same thing to me, you are so “lucky” that you get time to yourself. It's not about luck, it's about putting myself first and making it happen.
It wasn't always that way, when my son was born I don't think I left his side for 6 weeks. It was 12 weeks before I had the courage to talk to my husband and admit I had PPD, it was a dark and hard time. We learned really quick that it is not healthy for a mother to spend 100% of her time with her children. It doesn't make me a bad mom and it doesn't mean I don't love my kids. But you need to be able to LOVE YOURSELF in order to love someone else fully. I stopped asking my husband if I could go run (which I need as much if not more then a moms night out to stay sane) I told him I was. We made a schedule and we stick to it. He has seen how it changes me and makes me a better mom and he now encourages it. It doesn't mean he likes it, or that it's easy. You should of seen him when I was running late and (gasp!) he had to dress the kids and pack for swim lessons. But that's life the road is bumpy.
Now I am sure Beyonce was not singing about moms, very few pop stars are. But it really relates. If you don't love yourself enough to take care of yourself. To be a little selfish and make time for yourself what are you teaching your children? Love is not about giving up all that you are one hundred percent and completely giving up yourself to another. Your children need to learn that they can get love, and comfort and whatever else they need from daddy, from grandma, from a sitter etc. Your children will learn what love is and what healthy relationships are from you. Do you want them to learn that love is something all consuming that it devours your life and doesn't let you be or do anything that you want, only what the thing you love wants? Think about that message from a teenagers eyes...giving up everything you want to do because the other teen you love wants you to...scary...that's how unhealthy relationships are formed. Children do what we do, not what we say.
So take time for you. Figure out what you love and are missing and find away to bring it back into your life and make it happen. It may be as simple as saying "honey your making dinner tonight I'm going to go take a bath", or go to the library, or go sit in a park and do nothing. If that means the kids won't get a balanced wholesome meal, oh well- they will survive and so will you! The point is that you are doing what you want to do for you. Enjoy it, you might be surprise not only at how good you feel, but how well your spouse does. While my kids sometimes protest they love their new Saturday morning ritual of a big fun breakfast with dad. Besides there is nothing better then coming home to the squeals of delight from a toddlers “mama home, mommy's home”, why should that joy be reserved for the working parent?