Motherhood is scary. It’s a responsibility felt from the moment of your child’s birth and you can’t simply expect to be FREE!
Motherhood is not for all women. It requires sacrifices beyond what one can conceive, yet sadly societal norms have created guilt around women who choose not to have kids, or not place kids as their first priority.
It’s OK if your children are not your priority. It’s OK to have a life outside children. Admitting that takes courage, and we women are not very good at acknowledging the “I” in the word “family”.
As mothers, we want the best for our children. Natural nurturers, we instinctively sacrifice our sleep, time and put ourselves last in order to give more towards our children’s well-being. However, as the flight attendant’s instructions to put on your own oxygen mask first goes, we need to take care of ourselves in order to better take care of others.
Not convinced this is key, check out this video:
To be our best, and I don’t mean striving for perfection, we need to give ourselves some compassion and self-care. That means carving out time to put yourself first, whether it’s sleep, nutrition or to exercise. Staying healthy allows you to have more capacity to be physically able to take care of your children.
Suzzanne Laidlaw puts it well here in reminding us to care for our mental well-being too. Afterall, motherhood is for life and you don’t want to burn out and start resenting your children.
In a similar/ slightly different context, a mother I spoke to yesterday shared that she wanted her daughters to grow up being financially independent. Yet, coming from an Asian patriarchal background where she defers to her husband for financial decision-making, she doesn’t know how financial independence looks like. In that tune, she is uncertain then how to parent her daughter for financial independence. This mother puts it beautifully-
You are your child’s role model
If your desire is for your children to grow up healthy and happy, then you need to embody that. Care for yourself both in body and mind so that your children can learn too how to take care of themselves.