I recently was texting with a friend who told me she desperately needed a serious break from things. She was working full time, had two young children and was just trying to keep up with all the demands being thrown at her. It was too much and taking a serious toll on her. She rarely got a break… even for only a few hours at a time. Sadly, I hear this so very often among moms, friends and clients.
It is a very real struggle, especially for moms.
Then, within this same period, I was chatting with an older gentleman that works (like a dog) at the co-op where I shop and he said something to me that made me choke up. He told me how he wanted to email the president (yes, THE president) and tell him that to make a lasting positive change in this world, mothers should be paid for all they do. He continued to say that if mothers had less worries, imagine how much better things could be… for them, their children, and others they support. As I thought about it, I truly imagined what it would be like to have a paycheck for being the household chef, the housekeeper, the event chauffeur, the project manager, etc.
Wouldn’t this be wonderful?
As I entered into 2018, I found myself very tired and overwhelmed. Just like my friend. As I try to build my business, run a wellness group, and continue in my career, I still have the roles of mom, daughter, wife… but I haven’t established the consistent way to have the role of “self-carer”. (Yes, totally made up word.) Over the last 5-6 years of self-health discovery, learning and teaching wellness, the one that is still the hardest is fitting in holistic self-care. I know I’m not alone. This isn’t just physical health, but emotional, mental and spiritual. It’s not just finding the time (which is a real issue), but learning to turn off the hard-wired way we have been taught that if we are a mom, we put ourselves last.
This is total B.S.
In this 21st century the role of mom is so much demanding. We are the daughters or granddaughters of a generation of women that pushed hard for us to be noticed in the world and workforce. So not only are we wanting careers, we want families too. We deserve to have it all. We deserve all that life has to offer… yes, even us moms. Just because we are moms, doesn’t mean our lives end… the life of who we truly are. Yet, this day and age has its newest set of “rules” that so many mothers try to keep up with so they don’t look like they are neglecting their children (working outside the home or not).
Here are a few…
- Kids get birthday parties… every… year. (the bigger the better)
- Moms should participate as many school activities as possible
- You really should volunteer for committees and parent support activities too.
- Don’t let your kid get bored. Put them in as many activities as possible… like non-stop and at no expense.
- Oh, and while you’re at it, you better volunteer to support the sporting activities in some way too. (Team manager anyone?)
And on top of all of this, you need to work full time (or even part-time), take care of family and house needs, eat, sleep, and take care of yourself too. If you have any other “dependents”, like aging parents, good luck to you.
I have learned that this is totally unrealistic and by trying to do everything, I’m not being a good role model to my children. I’m only showing them that I’m burnt out, not taking care of myself, running around ragged, and not teaching them how to prioritize things that truly matter… like THEM AND MYSELF.
Every year I keep getting better and better with self-realization but this year is truly about me. Sound selfish? Well, that’s OK. I have finally learned that the one person that should be prioritized is me. I am no good to anyone else if I don’t take care of me. My time needs to be of value. I will only have so much time here on earth, with my children, with my parents and in the process I don’t want my own health and well-being to take a backseat either.
I have promised myself to say “no” more, value time over giving gifts, family over parties, sleep over work, exercise over cleaning, life fulfillment over a paycheck, and most important from all of this, just be present more and in a clear and peaceful mindset. The things that don’t truly matter need to REALLY not matter anymore. Period. No matter what anyone thinks of me.