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Moms, you are appreciated. You are loved beyond measure. You are your children’s rock and safe place. Motherhood can feel all too thankless and we often forget to care for ourselves. Alexandra reminds us how much we matter- and that practicing regular self-care is critical to be your best self in all that you do.
Alexandra is the founder & blogger of The Happy Life Formula. She is passionate about living a happy life through wellness, love, fun, lifestyle, money, gratitude and purpose. You can check out her blog or follow her on Facebook or Pinterest!
I distinctly remember being in the car with my mother when I was 22 years old and home for some time off from college.
In the car is when it is easiest to have conversations that are difficult, awkward, or meaningful since the other person can’t exactly run away and is forced to listen to whatever you have to say.
Usually, it had been my mom having one of these conversations with me. But on that day, I took a moment to let her know something that had been on my mind after conversations with all of the people and friends I had met at school.
Mom, I just wanted to thank you for being the parent that you are. You encouraged, inspired, enabled and loved me through my years and I wanted to say thank you.
Mamas, while I may not be a mother yet, I am a daughter. In that moment I realized how much time, energy, love, and sacrifice my mom gave to me. I was finally able to express my sincerest gratitude to her for mothering me when I was 22.
It took me 22 years to put into words the thank you that she deserved for shaping me into the person I am today. So I want you to remember a few things as you continue your journey with motherhood (and I hope I remember to take my own advice when I become a mother!)
You have to love yourself first
I know, you’ve probably heard this advice a million times but sometimes I think we need to remind ourselves of this a million more times!
Yes, I know you have tiny humans relying on you to meet all of their needs, but in order to do so you need to be well taken care of yourself.
You know on an airplane, when they are going through the safety instructions and they always remind you that in the event of an emergency, you need to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help others? That same example applies to every day life.
What does this mean?
Find some time to practice self-care. Ask your partner to watch the kids while you take a shower alone, without little ones prying the door open. Link up with your neighbors to take turns watching the kids so that you can take a nap or read a book for pleasure. Have grandma and grandpa take the kids for a weekend so you can visit a spa or hang out with your girlfriends.
I promise you, it is OKAY to take time for yourself! It will make you a happier person who will bring more to your interactions with your family. You’ll have new experiences to share and more love to give if you are filling your own bucket with love.
Your children’s opinions are the ones that matter
I thought that when middle school and high school were over it would mean the end of drama and judgmental people. Turns out, some of these people never grow out of middle and high school.
But guess what? Who cares what these people think of you! I know it is tempting to feel mom-shamed by other mothers who are posting photos of the handmade dresses they sewed for their daughters while making them organic bento box lunches and hosting Pinterest worthy birthday parties for their 2 year olds who won’t remember them. But the only opinions you need to listen to?
They are the ones that matter. They are the ones who should be driving your decisions and they are the ones who you want to make happy. And I promise you, in their eyes, you are doing an amazing job.
You don’t have to be perfect
There is a quote by Voltaire that sums this up beautifully:
“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”
What this means is stop letting the fear of not being perfect paralyze you and prevent you from taking any action towards something that can be good!
Baking a cake for your child’s birthday is an act of love, it doesn’t have to look like the perfectly frosted creations you see in the bakery window. Doing something and enjoying the process of spending the time with your loved ones is what matters.
Besides, I bet your kids and your family think you are pretty perfect already!
My hope for you, moms, is that you stop being so hard on yourselves. You may not hear the thank yous or the profound proclamations of how wonderful you are for many, many years but I promise you that a mother is a precious gift to a child. You may never know how loved you truly are, but I promise you, you are.