Moms have to be about a thousand things at once. A chef, a therapist, a nurse, a teacher, and countless other things. We spent most of our time looking after our loved ones. Anticipating the needs of our children, providing emotional support for our partners, and trying our hardest to keep our heads on straight. While all of these things are admirable, they don’t always allow for a lot of individuality.
Being devoted and committed to your family is an important part of being a mother, but maintaining your sense of self is just as important. Even as a wife and mother you have have wants and needs that are all your own. Your family doesn’t benefit from you constantly shoving them aside. Being a good mother doesn’t mean constant self-sacrifice or losing yourself completely. Sometimes, putting yourself first is necessary for your mental health and the growth of your children. Here are five simple, but extremely effective, ways to make sure your needs are always met.
1. Start Saying “No”
A lot of people have a problem saying no. We feel like we will come off as mean or ungrateful if we refuse our time or services to people who ask for them. But we can’t let other people’s perceptions of us lead us down a path of unhappiness. You are allowed to say no. If your little wants the last bite of favorite dessert, you can deny them. If you are asked to host the next Girl Scout troop meeting at your home, you can decline. Life is full of being forced to do things that you’d rather not do- this is only natural. But it is always okay to put your needs first at times, especially when someone is asking something big of you.
2. Take Time For Yourself Regularly
Those once a month date nights or five minutes of reprieve after your kids fall asleep before you pass out for the night aren’t enough to count as real time to yourself. You need some time where you aren’t constantly worrying after your kids or making mental checklists about what needs to be done at home. It may seem weird to actually put “me time” into your schedule, but it is a great way to keep yourself from copping out of your plans. Have a weekly brunch date with your girls, head to your favorite coffee shop for an hour every Saturday morning, sign up for a yoga class, or give your family something to do so that you can have the house to yourself for a while. Let yourself enjoy life without feeling the pressure to constantly do and fix things.
3. Stop Trying To Be Supermom
Growing up, I watched my mother juggle four kids, a marriage, a career, responsibilities within our church, and seemingly countless other things. As a new mother, she has been an endless source of inspiration for me. The older I get, the more I’ve come to realize that she was able to do all of this because she took time for herself and learned to lean on others.
You have a family and a partner for a reason, a large part of that reason is due to the support that they provide. Being a good wife and mother doesn’t mean that you have to do everything by yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for accept help when you need it.
4. Be Indulgent
Money, time, and obligations keep us from jet setting off to tropical beaches anytime we get stressed or disconnecting from the world when we need some time to get ourselves together. That only makes the little things that much more important. Be indulgent with yourself. Eat chocolate cake when you want, spend money on things other than your kids and house, do anything that makes you feel happy. Your indulgences don’t have to be huge or expensive, but as long as they make you feel good, you’re doing something right.
5. Squash The Mom Guilt
Mom guilt is so, so real. Whether we’re being made to feel guilty by other moms or by ourselves, it can cause a lot of pain and self-doubt. One of the main, and maybe most important, rules of putting yourself first is letting go of the guilt. You shouldn’t feel bad about needing help or making yourself a priority. Every family benefits from a happy, healthy mama and the best way to stay happy and healthy is to take care of yourself.