I always wanted to be a mother and it was such a gift. My children are now 17 and 14, and I have loved every stage. They haven’t all been easy, but being a Mom was who I was meant to be, but that is not ALL I am. I am a wife, a creative, a writer, and author, a speaker, a child life specialist, a great friend, a gardener, a dog lover, and a beach/water lover. Create a list for yourself, who are you?
Society and patriarchy have created a norm that once you become a Mother this is your only identity. You will no longer have time for yourself, you’ll be too busy making lunches, organizing playdates, and being there for your child. You are to protect them, comfort them, be there for everything and spend as much as much time with them as humanly possible because they grow up soooo fast!
These expectations put us into burnout. Over and over again we spin in the stress cycle. Resentment, overwhelm and exhaustion set in with no way to handle the emotions in helpful ways. Then it feels as though whatever we do isn’t appreciated. Burnout and real and when you are in your snowglobe of stress the last thing you feel you have time for is your own needs. Every little step counts. Taking a pause. You don’t have to jump in to fix and rescue. You don’t have to do it all, but when we are burnout we can’t put the pause button on.
Before you become a parent you were a person, remember her? It took some time to get there as well. When my son was born, my daughter was three and I felt more in control. I remember it was just the two of us in the hospital one night. I cuddled with him and took in the moment. I had been here before, this was my second baby and I was settling in. I started going on outings with the children, hung out with friends, and even started stroller fit. With each year I added more time to what I loved.
I took writing courses. Joined stroller fit. Started running with a friend. Changed my job. Started writing a blog. Hung out with my friends more. I started reading more books. I joined FB groups and a networking group. I spent more time outside
It didn’t happen all at once, just one step at a time.
The First Steps to Your Happiness
- Learn to feel comfortable with being uncomfortable. Pause, don’t jump in to fix it, stop being the peacekeeper.
- Plan ahead. Make a date with yourself to read a book, take a bath, meet up with a friend, or go for a walk.
- Step outside of your comfort zone and ask for help.
- Focus on one thing at a time, and then add to it. Notice how good it feels.
- Self-compassion is a must. You must feel worthy of this time, fun, and new experiences. Guilt will hold you back, tell it to BE QUIET and do it anyway.
Why Not You?
You can give to others, but not yourself? You can do amazing things, you just have to take the next step. Do what feels good, do what makes you happy. If you’re not sure what that is anymore, explore the opportunities around you. What would you love to learn more about? What are you passionate about? Do something with a friend. Accept a compliment, write a letter to your younger self about how far you have come. Rememind yourself how amazing you really are. Ask your friends, partner or children what they love about you? Write it down. Put those messages around you, on Post It Notes, or a dry erase board, create an image to add to your home screen.
Take the first step today. You can do this. Download your free self-care workbook here: https://momthemanager.ca/newsletter-registration-self-care-workbook/