#TogetherWeMother is a series meant to bring up an honest discussion about several topics and moments we collectively have experienced as mothers. I’m honored to be a part of this group and to read the moving and beautiful responses by the other women joining me. I hope you’ll take the time to read their stories as well and join us by sharing your own honest moments.
This week we are talking about how we balance the love we have for our children with the love we have for ourselves. Or maybe, how we take the time to love ourselves as mothers. Click through to read more….
You know when you’re on the plane and the flight attendant reminds you that “in the event of a change of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will deploy. put yours on before helping those around you.” I think as Moms that may be one of the hardest things to understand. In my head, my children come before everything. I would give them the last breath of air from my lungs if it meant it would save them. How could I possibly help myself first?
That thought right there was my problem. Of course I would die for my kids, but in this analogy, dying before I have the chance to help them is the problem. A few months ago I came to a serious turning point in my life with all of my relationships – with my husband, my kids, my friends, my family, and with myself. It seemed like everything was colliding all at once and I was sure that more than a few of those would not come out the other side still intact. This turning point literally brought me to my knees and while I was left sitting alone one night, feeling like a failure, like I had let everyone around me down, I thought that the person I had let down the most was myself.
It was in that moment that I realized this whole time no one had been getting the “best” version of me, not even myself. By putting myself last, and everyone else first, I couldn’t show up for the ones I love in the way they really needed me to. I need to make some serious changes and you know what? It’s made all the difference. Everyone around me can see how much happier I am and I know I’m a better mom because of it. Here’s what I did to show myself some much needed self-love.
+ I make time to go to they gym 3-4 times a week. It helps manage my headaches, gives me more energy, and has improved my sleep. It also helps that I feel good taking care of my body.
+ I take one night a week for myself after the girls have gone to sleep. I either try to grab dinner with a girlfriend, go to the gym, go see a movie by myself, or just go sit at a coffee shop and write. This way I save on a babysitter and get a little space from the house.
+ I make an effort to do what I love. This year I have been incredibly passionate about travel. So I tried to plan as many trips as I could this year. Having something to look forward to is really nice and feeling like I’m crossing places off of my bucket list makes me happy.
+ I went back to work. After applying to what seems like every open position in NYC, a new job stumbled into my lap from a friend’s recommendation and it is the perfect fit for my lifestyle. I get to work in the industry I love while still being able to be home with Lilah part-time and pick my girls up from school every day in time for dinner. It’s been so nice having something to give me self-esteem outside of the home.
+ I’m being honest. This one was probably the hardest for me. Being honest with others, and especially myself, does not come easy. I’m not sure why that is, maybe because I’d rather keep the status quo than be happy. But this year, I got honest. I cut out relationships that right now don’t feel good to me. That was extremely hard, especially as some of those are my closest family, but I don’t want to pretend that I’m not hurt or angry. And I also want to be honest that if that doesn’t feel right to me anymore, I’ll work to change that, but for now I feel good. It was also hard to be honest to my husband and for us to talk openly and without judgement about our relationship. I didn’t think we were going to make it out of that together but we have never been better. Honesty literally saved our marrriage.
I’d love to know, what do you do to show up for yourself? What makes you feel happy and fulfilled?
Be sure to check out the creative women in the #TogetherWeMother Series by visiting their blogs below: