Think of the most stressful situation you have been in your life. Add exhaustion to the mix. Now, multiply that by a million. That’s how much work mothers do daily. You are a mom in the middle of the night when you can barely move a muscle, but your three-month-old wants his milk. You are a mom in the morning after only three hours of sleep, but your four-year-old feels like being all chatty. Lastly, you are a mom when while in a Zoom meeting with a client, your son spilled juice all over the floor, and two other kids are bawling their eyes out because of some unknown reason.
You are a mom, too, when they are sweet and said I love you for the first time. When they go to bed early, and you look at them and wonder how blessed you are for having them in your life. You are a mom during the good times and the most wonderful of moms during all the hard and painful truths of motherhood. And boy, are they painful. It sometimes feels like you cannot verbalize the pains of motherhood because society tells you to focus on the joys of it. Please don’t deny yourself the truth that motherhood is hard work. Denying yourself of that is a rejection of the physical, emotional, and mental toll of the work you do for your kids every day.
Moms always feel guilty to take a day off. Remember, you are not taking a day off from being a mom. You’re simply taking care of yourself. But yes, many moms feel guilty because they want to take a day off to rest. Self-care is the same as loving your kids even better. If you don’t take care of yourself, there is nothing more you can give your kids at home. Taking care of yourself is not a luxury. It is a necessity, and above all else, it is your right.
Physical Exhaustion Can Lead to Mental Breakdown
Have you noticed how you are snappy and moody when you don’t feel physically good? When your lower back is killing you and your kids want to climb all over you, don’t you snap at them and break down all of a sudden? Is it their fault that you haven’t been taking care of a persistent problem? Go to a chiropractic clinic. Leave the kids to their grandparents or a babysitter. You will feel so much better once you address your physical problems.
The truth is that some of the physical pains you might be experiencing are linked to the mental and emotional exhaustion you go through every day. That’s why you need to take some time off from doing all the things you do for the kids at home. You deserve a time out. Carve out time for yourself and commit to it. Never let anyone (unless it is an emergency) take that time away from you. A few hours each week will do you good.
You Cannot Give What You Do Not Have
It sounds cliché, but it is true. You cannot give love when you don’t have love for yourself. You cannot care if you don’t take care of your health. How can you lead your kids to eat healthy if you don’t? How can you persuade them to love themselves and love their siblings if they see you breaking down out of exhaustion and self-destruction?
People make great sacrifices for their loved ones, but that does not mean sacrificing your health and mental well-being of the family. In truth, your kids want and need you to be the best version of yourself. Only then can you become the best version of the mother you want to be. As a result, your kids will turn out to be the best version of themselves, too. Do you see it? It is a cycle. When you talk with your kids calmly and reasonably, they will be calm and relaxed. If you shout at them out of exhaustion, they will feel scared and anxious.
Your Child Is Watching You
Remember that your child is watching you. They could be emulating you. Do you want your daughter not to take care of herself when she has a family of her own? Do you want her to set aside her needs? Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you the kind of role model you want for your kids? Do you want her to think that it’s okay for her not to take care of herself in the future?
It is not selfish to care for and love yourself when you are a mother. Repeat that again and again until it is ingrained in your being. Being a mom is not the end of your life as a person and a woman. It is only the beginning of another wonderful journey.