Motherhood is a beautiful experience but it often comes with excessive demands. Often times, Mothers face countless expectations: to make sure their children have all their needs met at all times, to have discipline down to a science, to never let their children get hurt, to make sure their children are never too loud in public, to always make sure their children are well dressed, etc. Motherhood is indeed an extremely important experience as it is one that can shape the entire life of a person. However, many women take on that role with the expectation that they are only to give and never to receive. If not properly addressed, this can cause serious imbalance and produce “stressed-out Mothers.”
So why in all of our list of demands and expectations of Motherhood do we tend to leave out self-care? It can be said that this is the most important component. Why?
If we don’t learn to care for ourselves, we cannot properly care for others.
In a recent interview, Jada Pinkett Smith made this remark about Motherhood, “I’ll tell you something about being a mother. And some of the messaging that we get in this country about being a mother. That you have to completely sacrifice everything. And I think that the re-messaging that we as mothers need to have and gravitate to is that you have to take care of yourself in order to have the alignment and the power to take care of others at the capacity that we do.”
Her words reflect a sentiment that is not often uttered but is so critical to understand. In order to truly take care of others to the best of our ability, we have to learn to take care of ourselves. Imagine how hard it is to express love and nurturing when you yourself are hurt and struggling. Self-care allows for the proper relaxation, rejuvenation and reviving of energy needed to provide positive energy to others.
It is also about a balance. Motherhood will always take much of our time, but there is always time that can be set aside for self-care, if it is made to be a priority.
This Mother’s Day and beyond, we encourage all Mothers and caretakers alike to prioritize self-care. Take some piece of the day to do something that you enjoy or something that helps you relax. Even 5-15 minutes a day spent meditating or having quiet time can make all the difference.
Try to incorporate one of these self-care activities into your life daily: http://marchingtoadifferentdrummer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/The-big-list-of-self-care-activities.pdf
Never feel guilty for engaging in self-care. Taking care of yourself makes you a healthier and happier person, which in turn can make you a healthier and happier Mother.