Becoming a mother has given me a whole new appreciation for my mother. Motherhood has shown me I can give unconditional love, what it means to be selfless and a heart aching worry I had never experienced before. All things that my mother had experienced and still does today. I am truly grateful for my mother. My mother was always calm, caring, and supportive. My mom did a lot. I have had many conversations with her about how she did what she did, something that I am just unable to achieve at this time, but I am okay with that. I am learning I do not need to do it all. My relationships with my family are the most important and some areas of my life are just not going to get all of me.
As Mother’s Day is approaching, I cannot help but think my mom deserves more than just one day. Mother’s Day is the one day that we celebrate mothers. It is the day that we take the time to share our appreciation. In my journey to be a calm, supportive and mindful parent, I am learning how taking care of myself supports these goals. This Mother’s Day, I challenge my readers to think about it differently this year. Instead of just indulging in one day to take time for yourself, take a small amount of time each day during May. I am not suggesting to only think of yourself, but rather, take time to do something that makes you happy and see how this can benefit your family. When I am happy, I am more likely to turn on the music and sing and dance with my kids, I am more likely to read books for an hour, or want to spend the morning at the playground. I try to remember this quote each day, “In the end…I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life” – Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard. My children deserve that. All children deserve that. When my children look back at their childhood, I hope that they look upon many happy memories and a mother who was there for them, supportive, happy, had gratitude and enjoyed life.
How do we become happy moms? I believe the answer is through self-care. So what exactly is self-care? Wikipedia states “self-care refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to the maintenance of well-being and personal health and promote human development.” I previously stated that for me, self-care is about taking care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually with the purpose of becoming a better happier mom. I was never unhappy, but being a mom of two toddlers is stressful (which directly impacts happiness) and I felt that I was losing myself with all the roles that I had to play each day. I am learning to be happier by taking care of myself physically with exercise and eating healthier, emotionally by connecting more in my relationships and spiritually by praying, asking for Grace and attempting to practice mindfulness. But this is only what I am doing. There are so many different things mothers can do reduce their stress to enjoy more moments with their kids. Maybe it is taking 5 minutes to do a meditation in the morning or get up before the kids to have coffee in silence. Maybe it is calling an old friend or just asking for help. It can be anything. Throughout May, I plan on posting various ways to take care of your self more and hopefully inspire mothers to take at least 5 minutes a day for themselves. Remember we have many choices throughout the day, just make one of them about yourself and choose happiness.