image by Xavier Mouton
Before becoming a mother, finding the time to prioritize your health and wellbeing doesn’t feel difficult or like something you had to try to do. It was just what you did. You were the only person you had to worry about.
Once you become a mother, your first instinct is to care for your child and your family and make sure all their needs are met. Suddenly you find yourself adding take a shower to your to-do list.
Whether you are a stay at home mom and your day job is taking care of the household. Or a mom that has a traditional job, your first priority is always your children.
But it is absolutely essential to make sure you are taking care of yourself just as well as you take care of the people around you.
Mothers are extraordinary
Mothers do it all. No matter how they feel, if they slept or not, if they’re sick or not they just do what needs to be done.
Unfortunately, that also means that when it comes time to cut something out of the schedule, it's usually something you needed to do for yourself, not something you had to do for your children.
When that happens you often feel burnt out or overwhelmed with your day to day tasks. And this isn’t good for you or your family.
Don’t feel guilty or Do it feeling guilty
Mom-guilt is real. If you're a mom you know that all too well. But you have to remember that what is good for you, is also good for your kids.
Your family wants the best for you. They want to see you happy and not on the verge of a breakdown. So prioritize yourself, and take the time every single day (not just on “self-care” days) to do the things that make you happy.
I realize that saying “just don’t feel guilty” is easier said than done. But once you start to do things for yourself, you will see the difference.
It will improve not only your mood and your health but your relationships with your family. And if you still feel guilty knowing you’re doing the right thing, just do it feeling guilty! It will get easier.
You need a full cup
Have you ever heard the expression,“ You can’t pour from an empty cup?” It basically means that if you aren’t filling yourself up with the things you love to do and the things that make you happy your cup isn’t full. Then, when you try to give part of yourself to someone else there is literally nothing to give.
You need to be happy to spread happiness. You need to love yourself to love others. And you need to take the time you need to do that. Even if that means saying no to a few things you might usually say yes to.
So fill your cup. Find what makes you happy. And if you don’t know what it is, try as many things as possible until you figure it out.
Remind yourself who's watching
Sometimes our lives get busy and our kids become the reason we don't have the time. But the truth is we can find the time we just need to make it a priority.
Let them be the reason you do get up a little early to workout, or go to the movies alone once a month. Whatever you need to do to make you feel like yourself again and not just “mom!”
Your children will watch you doing the things you love, and see that you are happy. And you’ll be setting a good example by showing them that it’s important to prioritize your own wellness and your own happiness.
Prioritizing Wellbeing as a Mother
If you are a mother you know that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for your kids. So try to remind yourself that every time you take the time to take better care of yourself. Because really prioritizing wellbeing as a mother, you are doing something good for your family too.
You are making sure you can take care of them when they need you, and they are getting the best version, the version you want them to get.
Monica Stephens is a wife and mother of two living in Eastern Kentucky. She is a freelance health & wellness writer who tries to live by the content she writes about. She loves reading and being creative. Learn more about Monica or her blog. You can also find her on Twitter and Linkedin.