For the Selfless Mom
C'mon ladies. You know who you are. I fully admit I am one as well. You give and give and give and you give. But you're not always given to. Your husband needs you. Your kids need you. And you, the selfless mom that you are, continue to give and give until your cup is empty.
But oh, momma. That cup needs filling. You cannot be what your family needs from you if you are constantly neglecting yourself. Everyone suffers and its an endless vortex of unhappiness.
Your physical and mental health? They matter.
Your hopes and dreams and desires? They matter.
Your sanity? It matters big time!
A weary mother cannot tend to anyone's needs, including her own
It's always been hard for me to rest. To sit down and take a break. Because when I do, all I see is the dishes piled in the kitchen with no dishwasher... The toys strewn from room to room... The meals that need to be planned... The floor that hasn't been mopped in I'm not really sure how long.
But this last Sunday, we came home from church and after cleaning up the breakfast we left behind in a hurry, I laid down on the couch with our oldest and took a nap. For like 2 hours while the littlest napped. And it was GLORIOUS. I didn't pick up toys or do laundry or clean floors and bathrooms. I napped.
And guess what? My Monday didn't fall apart. I wasn't "behind" like I always think I will be. The day ran as it usually did and I didn't grow tired or weary. I took care of business as usual and I never felt in over my head.
We need to give ourselves permission to take a break
I am so bad at this! I was a working mom for 2.5 years and now a SAHM for the last 1.5 years. I've lived both lives and they are both rough.
But you know what?
When I was a working mom, I tended to give myself more slack if I didn't get the dishes done before bed or emptied the bathroom trash cans before I headed out the door.
Because I felt like worked a hard job outside of the home and convinced myself to give me a break sometimes.
But as a SAHM, I work where I also live. I have a harder time giving myself a break. Deep inside, I feel like a failure at this mom thing if the house isn't clean and in working order for the next day.
Let go of the guilt
Letting go of the guilt I feel is hard. Like really hard. My husband doesn't care if there's a few dishes still laying dirty in the sink. My boys actually like it better in the morning if their previous days toy creations aren't put neatly away and they have to start over.
It may bother me sometimes, and there are definitely nights where the only way mommy can relax is if we clean the mess. Because sometimes the mess is just past the threshold where it will be a disaster the next day if it doesn't get at least partially cleaned. But those days are truly few and far between in my house as long as I at least slightly keep up with things through the day.
So moms, if you're feeling weary, take time here and there to rest. Give yourself a break. When I worked outside of the home, I took a "mental health day" occasionally to clear my mind and refresh. We still need those moments whether we are a SAHM or we work inside/outside the home. Your sanity (and your family's!) depend on it!