From the very beginning I decided I was going to do this mom thing perfectly. I was going to mother from sun up to sun down. I was going to put aside the things I use to do, the hobbies I use to enjoy because hello I am a mom and this is my life now. I was going to stop spending time on myself and shopping for myself was out of the question. Spending time with friends? No way. Date nights OUT? Don’t you remember I am a mom and great moms do it 24/7 therefore I didn’t have time to go out. Plus if I did go out, I would just end up feeling guilty spending those 120 minutes away from my kids…
Great moms didn’t not need a break, I told myself, because great moms somehow got refreshed by spending all their waking time with their kids! If I was having a day where I was not feeling completely happy in this role of being a mom, then I obviously was not doing something right. I would get upset with myself because I needed to be like those other mom’s who were always smiling and laughing with their kids. I made myself feel terrible for even having desires to have time apart from my kids. Since I am a mom now, I needed to do the responsible mom thing and that meant forgetting anything outside of being Mom. I even had people close to me act like I was doing something “wrong” to want to spend any time away from my children. So for years I was just a mom and forgot about ME.
Then I had someone question me one day and say, “So tell me, who is Krista?” I smiled and said “I am a mom.” “No, I already know you are a mom, I can see that. Tell me, who is Krista?” she replied. I was kind of confused why me telling her I was a mom was not enough. Should I be offended? If this lady only knew what I did at home…. She went on and asked me to answer her questions without referring to being a mom. She asked me what did I like to do for myself? What makes me happy? What are my hobbies? (Yes, I was thinking the same thing, what is a hobby at this point in my life?) I finally understood what she was saying and started answering her. I love being outside. I love talking to my girlfriends. I enjoy playing sports. I love reading. My all time favorite thing to do is thrift shopping! She said good, now make sure you are making time to do those things because you will never be able to pour into your family if you do not pour into yourself first!
I am so thankful for wise and kind ladies who are willing to speak into my life. Sweet friend, you need to make sure you are allowing yourself to be who you are inside. Yes you are a mother and that is wonderful, but you are also much more than that. Being a mom, that is a huge “giving” role, taking care of those around us in a sacrificial way. We are not to forget that we need to give to ourselves as well. We will never be the healthy person to fill any “giving” role unless we are pouring into ourselves FIRST. Those “giving” roles in our lives are special. Being a mom is the best role to have but our children are the ones on the receiving end. What are my kids receiving from me? What are your kids receiving from you? I know I will never be able to pour out anything of quality to my children, if I am not first taking care of me. I am actually being selfish to not take time for myself. Me, not taking time to fill myself up with things I love, I am going to burn out, and my kids will end up with one scary momma! Now it is your turn to answer the questions. Who are you? What do you do for yourself? What makes you happy? Make it a priority to make time for YOU. Remember, you are more than “just a mom”!
I look forward to seeing your responses on who are you and what you do for yourself? What advice do you have for a mom struggling in this area?
Tip: Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking too big. Keep things SIMPLE. Not everyone can just get away on a fancy trip but we can all find time to go for a walk alone around our neighborhood! Going to get your hair done at a salon may not be affordable right now, but have fun (be brave) and do it at home with a friend. Your hair may not be exactly how you want it, but hey, the laughs and the memories are what will warm your heart! You may not be able to go and volunteer at a local place but maybe there is someone in mind you could invite over for coffee during nap time? Girls night out might not be practical right now but once the kids are in bed, pick up the phone and call your girlfriend! We need to change our mind-set and allow these SIMPLE things, to be just as great!