Like most moms out there, my plate’s more than full.
I’m a wife to an amazing husband who I fall in love with daily (well, most days anyway). I’m a mother to an incredible, happy little human being whom I just adore. I’m a daughter, a daughter in-law and a sister to a loving, slightly crazy, ever-growing family. I’m a Creative Director to an advertising agency that likes to keep me on my toes. And I’m co-owner of Mammas’ Meeting Place, which I guess one could call my other baby.
I am all these things to all these people. And all these people require some form of emotional investment, time, thought, energy and effort from me. This I give willingly and happily. But being so many things to so many people means I have no idea who I am to myself. There simply isn’t enough time, thought, energy and effort left for me.
I’m not alone in this. Many moms I talk to, no matter their situation, feel stretched beyond recognition. It’s the blessing/curse of being a mom. Putting others before themselves. Giving up their time. Their money. Their sleep. Their food. Their gift cards. Their clothes. Their yoga classes… They give, give, give, give and give some more. But they never give to themselves.
A mom’s ability to be selfless and multitask are her greatest superpowers, but it can also be these superpowers that ultimately kill her. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. You see, if you keep being a martyr, if you keep adding more, and more and more to that plate of yours, at some point it’s going to crack right down the middle, and everything you piled on to it, is going to come crashing to the floor.
I learnt that the hard way.
I recently spent some time in hospital. A short, agonizing stay that helped me gain a little perspective. I can’t say running myself ragged put me there. But it certainly contributed.
So this is where all ‘this’ is coming from. This is why I spent the day that celebrates the Multi-tasking, Superpower-wielding Mom, plotting how I could become a more selfish individual.
Now before you call Social Services on me, I’m not planning on abandoning my child, divorcing my husband or returning to a ‘student’ life of self-centered indifference. I’m just talking about investing some of that time, energy and effort I give to others, in myself.
So, from now on I’m going to start squeezing myself in. I’m going to start saying ‘no’ a bit more, because one really doesn’t need to go to two birthday parties in one weekend, do they?
I’m going to ask for help when I need some ‘me’ time, want to finally get round to shaving my legs in a toy-free bath or when I just want to read the end of my book.
I’m going to opt for the easy option every now and then when I don’t feel like cooking, or I’m too exhausted to come up with something fun, stimulating and educational for my child to do on the weekend.
I’m going to stress less because it really isn’t going to make that much of a difference if my little one goes to bed 5, 10 (ooohhh, living dangerously) 15 minutes later because he was having fun in the bath.
Heck, I may even take up Cross-fit and dedicate 3 hours a week to FINALLY getting my pre-baby body back. If that’s even possible?
Why? Because it’s going to make me a better me. And if I’m a better me, I’ll be a better wife, mom, daughter, daughter-in law, sister, colleague and business partner.
And, because in the immortal words of Loreal, I’m worth it. And you know what? You are too.
If you enjoyed this post, why not take a look at I’m sorry I judged you iPad mom?
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Kate Royce is an advertising copywriter, co-founder of Mammas’ Meeting Place and adoring mother to little Ethan whom, she is convinced, is set to be the greatest adventurer and explorer the world has ever known. Her dad once described her as “having the ability to find beauty in the strangest places,” which she thinks is one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said about her.