Historically, women stayed home and cooked, cleaned and cared for the children. We were defined by our roles as a home maker, wife and mother. Luckily, things have evolved and women now have choices. Unfortunately, those “old school” values are ingrained in us as Moms and in society. No matter how we slice it, the care of the children remains to be mostly the mother’s responsibility, or at least others perceive it this way. Unfortunately, there remains an underlying judgement of women who choose differently: a career over being a stay at home mom, to take an hour a day to exercise, whether to breastfeed or not. We moms are bombarded by criticism and expectations, and we are often our own worst enemies.
Mom guilt is becoming an epidemic! Surprisingly, in a time where awareness of mental health is rising (which is fantastic!), no one is talking about the pressure on mothers to be perfect. If you aren’t seen an insanely busy mom who has no time to do anything not related to her children or her household, it’s a bad thing…
I’m going out on a limb here and saying Fuck Mom Guilt!
With all of the pressure mothers already have on them, let’s give ourselves a break. Stop worrying so much about the need to make your kids perfect lunches, the need to purchase the latest name brand fashions, or having all of your children in multiple activities! When I was a kid, we played outside everyday. We played rain or shine, cold or hot. And guess what? My parents were hardly ever outside with us. Shocking I know! Kids used to have imaginations. If we cut ourselves a little slack and say, “Hey kiddies get the heck outside cause Momma needs some me time” we might actually be helping this generation of kids gain imagination again!
After years of trying and failing to be Super Mom, I have decided it’s time I free myself from the stigma that self-care is selfish. Making me a priority is necessary. One very important thing I have learned is I am not responsible for anyone else’s happiness, only my own. Yes Mommas, you heard me right! Your job is to treat yourself as number one and take great care of your well being. The rest will follow. You will be a happy, shining version of yourself and the result will be happier, healthier kids! You will be a role model for your children. You will teach them that the most important relationship in life they have is the one they have with themselves. Therefore, by Momma being happy, the family is happy.
I am certainly not saying to ignore all responsibilities as a Mom. I am simply saying to choose wisely where you direct your energy and cut yourself some slack sometimes. Teach your kids how to take on some simple responsibilities, like making their own lunches and cleaning up their rooms. If you are tired sometimes, let them watch too much TV. No one is going to argue if you have breakfast for supper to make it easier on yourself. Your partner should be chipping in too! Don’t get sucked into the life I lived in my first marriage where I was the only one who cooked, cleaned, and did the majority of the “kid” stuff.
As Women, and Mothers, we need to embrace self-love, care and respect.
Simply put, love yourself.