love of self
As a mother, I have struggled over the years with the popular term:
I know that I am not the only one and that is why the discovery of self-love is so important to discuss amongst all parents, but especially moms. Before I go any further, please let me be clear, I have not ever struggled with self-confidence, self-esteem or being self-conscious. The reason that I am calling out moms particularly regarding this topic is because we are natural nurturers. We not only want to do it all, we actually try to do it all and for some reason if we get 99 of 100 things accomplished on our to-do list, some of us feel like we failed. This post is for those who share in my balancing act battle.
the oxygen mask
It is a well-known fact that most people know I love to travel. When I first started to fly, I would listen to every word the flight attendant said. The first time that I heard the pre-flight instructions that stated in case of a sudden drop in cabin pressure that it was important for people that are traveling with small children to put the mask on themselves first instead of the child, my mouth had to have dropped wide open. Why? I did not understand the concept of making sure that I was okay first so that I could make sure my child was okay later. As parents, we are conditioned that our children and their needs come first and we are second. Theoretically that is true but it does not mean that we get permission to neglect ourselves in the process. So often, I am guilty of this self neglect and didn't really realize it.
love is a verb
Love is an action. Earlier I mentioned that I did not have a problem with self-esteem, self-confidence, or being self-conscious. Well, I honestly thought that I did not have any deficiencies in the self-love department either and that was not correct. In 2009, I had what Oprah would call an “a-ha” moment. I was at a crossroads in what seems every area of my life. I was spread very thin. Then I discovered something that I had only heard about but never really experienced: “Me Time!” Up until this breaking point, I hardly ever took time out for myself. I only took time off from work when I had an appointment or I had a sick child at home. I rarely went anywhere unless it was a family function or a holiday. I was trying to be all things to everyone and failing miserably. It is impossible to be all things to all people and even harder, if you are not taking care of yourself. That was the point the flight attendant was making. As a parent, you must take care of yourself by putting on your oxygen mask first. Before you are in a position to help your child. Another example, as a parent you should take care of your health and wellness. You need to take time for yourself to make sure you are not over stressed. These are all acts of self-love. Being a healthy parent, means that you get to live a little longer and spend time with your kids. If that’s not appealing, then maybe the thought of possibly not having your kids have to take care of you. It’s hard for me to get mine to keep their rooms clean now!
I have come to realize that “me time” is another form of self-love. Over the past few years, I have built some of this healthy self time into my calendar. This one simple decision was the best act of love that I have ever done for myself. I no longer feel guilty when I take time out for myself. My family knows in advance if I have a spa appointment, if I am reading my current book or if I have a girl’s night out planned. They also know that after I have had a little me time I’m more relaxed. The world moves fast and schedules are hectic. Running a household and raising children is not easy. It is very easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed, please make it a point to show yourself some love. It’s the best thing you can do for the people you love and who love you.