It's so easy to get caught up in the motions of life and before you know it, 4 days go by, you're still in the same outfit, and you're not entirely sure the last time you actually showered. At the sink does not count. My husband told me so.
Those were things I never even fathomed before I had kids. I was always dressed up, even if my only plans for the day included sitting on the couch. I had extra money to put into myself, and I made it a priority. Time travel into the future a bit, and sometimes when I look in the mirror, I do not recognize the lady looking back at me.
I admit I get into ruts and legitimately lose myself. I don't think it's uncommon, or I am alone. However, when I'm going through it, I do in fact feel alone. I look at other moms going on cute play dates, or spending money on themselves getting their hair and nails done. Meanwhile I look like Gollum from Lord of The Rings, and if you would ask my nail color, I could reply " Oh this is from the Annie Sloan line, Paris Grey is my color of choice these days. "
Once you have kids it's like someone stole 12 hours of your day from you, and you don't know how to keep everyone's head above water. So, you do what any good parent would do, put your kid's needs first. This leaves minimal to no time for yourself, and you learn to live with it, because everyone else's needs are taken care of, and isn't that what moms do?
As the woman of my house, I notice a distinct difference between the days I am at my best, and the days I am, well, lacking. I notice it not only in myself, but in my whole family. If I am not 100%, chances are neither is my husband, or my kids. And that does NO one any good.
I truly believe in order to be 100% ( or close to it ) you need to keep doing the things that made you happy before you had kids, and here's a few reasons why.
1. Happy Wife, Happy life.
Or in this case, happy mom, happy life. When you are happy and at your best, your kids thrive. Life is peachy, and way more enjoyable. Sounds like a no brainier for sure, if you're not happy, your kids will know it.
2. They will see you as a person.
This one seems silly, but imagine back if you will with me for a second. When you were a kid, you saw your mom, as a mom, not as her own person. Believe me, my kids are one of my favorite things about myself, but I still have my likes outside of them. When you do things you like to do, and your kids see that, it will help them put their priorities in perspective. Well some days anyway. Other days they will still want McDonald's even though they know you don't like it.
3. It will give your kids confidence.
Growing up is so tough, and it seems like even more so now will technology and social media. When your kids see you taking care of yourself and being happy, it will give them confidence. Confidence to go after something they didn't think they could. After all, monkey see, monkey do. If they see you putting yourself out there, they may want to as well.
4. It shows them balance.
Of course it is wonderful to be selfless, and the moment you become a mother, everything becomes about the child. Rightly so. It is great for them to see you take care of your responsibilities and still be passionate about your interests as well. Balance is so tough and I hardly ever get it right, but those days I do make it all worth it. Even if it is only once a month.
5. Your kids need their oxygen mask.
When you're flying and the flight attendant tells you to put on your mask before you help those around you, that applies in your life as well. Metaphorically speaking. You will not be helpful or good for your kids if you can't be what you need for yourself. Every once in a while it's okay for you to tell your kids " no ". Even if it's just so you can have time to shower, or read a few pages in a book.
There are ultimately so many reasons why your kids need and want you to be happy. They love you, and seeing their role models at their best will help them want to be their best. So set that timer for 15 minutes and go paint your nails. You will feel better, and so will your kids. After they stop screaming about that dang McDonald's. What is it about that place?
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