“Inspired mama’s raise ignited Children. You can’t light a fire if you’ve lost your spark.” MamaCentric.com
Most of us have been on a plane and we all know the rules. Fasten seat belts, store luggage under seat or overhead, in case of an emergency know where your nearest exit is and if oxygen levels lower put on your own mask before helping someone next to you.
The definition of being a mom (in my book) is embodying selflessness, always thinking of others before yourself, giving, caring, self-sacrificing, loving, showing kindness, the list is endless…
As a mom there is something built inside you the moment that precious little baby is born, a vow that you will take care of them no matter what it takes. You would give up anything and everything to make them safe and to give them the things you never had.
On a daily basis, most mothers get their children completely dressed with coordinating shoes and accessories, hair styled, teeth brushed, breakfast made and deposited into empty bellies, all before we are able to throw on our best sweats, get our hair in a pony-tail (yet again) and get our own teeth brushed (usually). We run errands, clean the house, organize playdates, drop off, pick up, the list is endless. I have friends who wonder why some people have set their profile picture on social media set to show just their kids, instead of themselves. Are you kidding me? THIS IS WHY! Our children (usually) always look cute (even if they are covered in dirt) because we put them first and us last.
At meal time, it usually looks like this for me; I cook the food, put plates down on the table, pray, kids begin to eat, the dog gets fed, I get my own meal ready, then, just as I sit down and begin to put that first bite into my mouth the baby is already saying “All Done!” Even the dog eats before I do!!
But after a recent trip I was reminded of something very important. As a mom, we tend to give of ourselves all day, every day. Give, give, give. If I were on a plane I know I would put my child’s oxygen mask on BEFORE putting on my own, putting myself at risk. But isn’t that motherhood?!? I mean, what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t save my baby before myself? That is why I would die on a plane crash, because I would be taking care of my children first (as any mom would do). But then I would probably have mom guilt even looking down from Heaven if anything happened to me and I left my children without a mom and my husband a widow. Oh the struggle. The guilt.
Hence the incredible amount of mom guilt I feel on an average day when I feel like I didn’t protect my baby from an injury, couldn’t take a cold away, got frustrated with them and they had to ask if I still loved them. I experience mom guilt ALL. THE. TIME.
But is being a mom never putting yourself first? Should we always be putting ourselves on the back burner? Always making sure everyone else’s needs are met before our own?
Recently I joined a gym that I had intended to bring my kids along with me while I worked out. I researched all of the local gyms and found out which ones were the most family friendly, with the best kids’ areas. Turns out in theory that sounds really nice, but reality is a whole different ball game. The first time we brought the kids they did fine, but the second time it was all tears and my husband spent the entire hour “workout” playing in the sandbox. Each time I have tried to go since then, the baby cries the second we enter the building. Enter mom guilt here.
I found myself making excuses not to go work out because I didn’t want my kids to be unhappy. I did not want to cause undue stress and anxiety on my children just because mommy needed to go work out. But what about my own happiness and well-being? Was I not allowed to think about that? After an internal struggle I finally came up with the answer; yes, I AM allowed to think about my own self. The saying “happy wife, happy life” It should also read “happy mom, happy family.” Even during the most difficult moments when the kids are crying and don’t want me to leave, I am now attempting to work out, for one hour, once a week. Some days they come and get me after only 15 minutes, other times I have made it for 45 minutes. Do I still feel guilty when I know she is crying? YES. Will it ever go away? I’m not sure. Maybe talk to me in another year or decade and I’ll let ya know.Maybe after putting on the oxygen mask of our children we won't completely forget to put on one of our own. Click To Tweet
I have said it before, and I will say it again, being a mom is the hardest job in the world. It is the only job where everyday you feel like you failed at least one person (and sometimes that person is yourself). But maybe, just maybe, after putting on the oxygen mask of our children we won’t completely forget to put on one of our own.