In this post I’m helping moms work on putting themselves first. I know you might be thinking “what about my kids?! They always come first”. But what if we changed that narrative? Here’s why Moms Should Take Care of Themselves First and why that’ll help them be a better mom as well.
Moms: think about it…when was the last time you did something 100% for yourself, and felt 0% guilt while doing it? As moms, it kind of comes with the territory that we throw ourselves into our job (yes, motherhood is a job!) We’re always doing it for others. And it often truly does feel good, and that’s why we keep at it, yet, once you reach a certain point you get burnt out.
And, I’ve heard so many times from moms that when they do take time off for themselves, they tend to feel guilty over it. Well, I’m here to squash those guilty feelings! Not only that, but I’m here to tell you why you need to put yourself FIRST! That’s why today we’re talking about both HOW and WHY Moms Should Take Care of Themselves First.
Here are 7 reasons why moms should take care of themselves first:
Reason 1: If you’re not 100%, you can’t give 100% to those you care about
You need to be at full capacity to give your all to others! If you’re working from a cup that’s part empty, how are you going to be able to take good care of your kids, give it your all at work, etc.? When you feel good, and when you are at your best, that translates into more happiness in all aspects of life.
This is why placing ourselves first is NOT selfish. You shouldn’t feel any guilt because by taking care of yourself, you are filling up that cup so that you can better provide for others. So in a way, you’re doing this for your family as well. And if you asked them, they want mom at 100% too! So take that time for yourself, whatever that means to you. Whether it’s small stuff like waking up an hour early to enjoy your morning coffee in peace or staying up an hour late to read that latest novel you’re into, to bigger stuff like leaving the kids with your spouse while you head out to get your nails done, get a workout in, or take a refreshing walk, take that time for yourself.
Reason 2: You’re setting an example for your kids
This is a big one. If your kids don’t see you prioritizing yourself too, they will grow up with this idea of a self-sacrificing mom who does nothing for herself. That’s not the example you want to set for them! And at the same time, they’ll also have this idea that as adults or parents one day themselves, they have to put themselves last. Even if you’ve grown accustomed to it yourself, think about it. Do you really want your kids to grow up feeling like as adults they’re just expected to lose their hobbies and sense of self along with it?
If you have older kids, you probably encourage them to follow their dreams and get into some sort of sport, talent, or hobby. But as we know, we need to model making time for those things. You want your kids to continue to enjoy their hobbies and take them seriously. You’re setting the ultimate example by having them see you take time for your own stuff, whether that’s working out, running, painting, or whatever your hobby may be!
(And an added bonus if you’re working out, you’re setting a healthy example for your kids; teaching them to prioritize their health!)
So if nothing else, Moms Should Take Care of Themselves First to teach their kids how to also take care of themselves when they need too.
Reason 3: It will improve your self esteem
A good sense of self esteem is so important to our mental health. When we fall into a pattern of work, work, work, and then going home to take care of your kids and the house, you can lose your sense of self. You lose touch with what makes you who you are. But when you take that time for yourself, you boost your mental well-being. You automatically start thinking of yourself in a better way. Without having an outside identity, we may lose that sense of self esteem toward ourselves.
Reason 4: It will prevent resentment
Be honest: do you ever feel like you resent your kids or spouse? This feeling doesn’t come up suddenly. Resentment is something that builds up, despite our best intentions. Even if you tell yourself you love what you’re doing and how you’re doing for others all the time, this feeling of bitterness towards those you’re constantly dedicating your time to can easily creep in with time if you’re not taking time for yourself too. That resentment can boil over into arguing with your partner, little patience with your kids, and other negative effects.
In fact, you may not even truly realize you resent them until you stop and think about it. Again, this resentment did not show up overnight. It’s the result of placing yourself at the back burner. By the way, this feeling of resentment often comes with feelings of guilt as well. We don’t want to feel like this towards our kids or partner. So we feel the resentment PLUS we feel guilty for feeling it! Minimize or eliminate this by just taking that time for yourself.
Reason 5: It gives you a sense of self
Once you turn into a mom, it’s natural to throw yourself into the role. After all, you kind of have to be in the newborn and baby phase especially! We barely get a moment to ourselves…the day revolves around the baby and his/her eating schedule, sleeping schedule, and other needs. It’s very easy to get lost in this new role and consumed by all you have to do. Your life is pretty much controlled by this new little being! And then when the kids get older, there’s other things like potty training, school, homework, sports and other activities. But let me tell you this:
You need to have an identity outside “mom”.
While this is a 100% noble identity in and of itself, it shouldn’t be all-encompassing. Because one day before you know it the kids are going to be all grown up and leave to go to college and live on their own. Many moms report feeling lost around this stage, or even before as kids turn into self-sufficient teens who are out most of the day. Don’t let yourself become faced with this identity crisis. Remember what makes you tick, what makes you happy, and make time for that thing.
Reason 6: To stay sane
Let’s face it moms…we need some self care for our own sanity! Between crying babies and refereeing fights between siblings, our.plates.are.full! Take a load off and do something for you. Again, what it is remains totally up to you, but choose something that recharges you and has you coming back to motherhood feeling refreshed. Some of the past reasons apply mostly to bigger self-care habits, but this one can be small things too (and should include small, daily things!)
Without taking time for yourself, you’re only allowing stress to build up, and it will explode at some point. It’s in everyone’s best interest if mom stays low-stress and takes time for herself and get sanity!!
Reason 7: Plain and simple: You Deserve it
Reason #7?? You deserve it! It’s honestly that simple. You’re working as somewhat of a chef, nurse, teacher, referee, chauffeur, maid, and everything in between. Would you expect any sane person to take on all these jobs day in and day out without pay or breaks? Absolutely not. So why do we expect the same out of ourselves? Give yourself breaks. Hire that babysitter or leave the kids with dad so you can take some time to yourself. Give yourself permission to take a mental health day or sick day. Invest in your own hobbies and interests (we all know we tend to throw a bunch of money into stuff for our kids and what they want, set aside some of that for yourself!) Go ahead and buy yourself that bag you want or piece of jewelry, no need to wait till your significant other gets it for you! And so on and so forth! YOU ARE WORTH IT!
I hope that after reading these 7 reasons you should take care of yourself FIRST you feel inspired to take some time for YOU. What do I mean by self care? Again, that’s a highly individual choice, but make sure that you’re doing both little moments of self care throughout the day and bigger things as well. May I suggest an excellent form of self care? Working out! Not only do you get all the benefits listed above, but you also get the added benefits of great health, feeling good about yourself, extra confidence boost from added energy and the good feeling that comes with reaching goals, and more. I have my 5 Week super shred challenge coming up soon and I think you deserve it! Just give it a try and see how amazing you’ll feel afterwards. Sign up at the link and learn more!
Help other mama’s learn how Moms Should Take Care of Themselves First. Share this post to Pinterest to spread the word. We’re changing the narrative for moms! We’re prioritizing our own health and wellness as well.