Today is Mother’s Day, as I am sure you already know. There are probably many articles surfacing your feed, articles that share what moms really want on this special day, letters to the mamas with empty arms on this day, and thoughts and reflections on what celebrating this day means. While all those are very beautiful and much needed, I want to speak something differently to the mamas’ hearts today.
I’ve been on a journey the last couple months. This journey isn’t one I wanted to be a part of my story, this isn’t necessarily a road I wanted to walk. I didn’t ask for postpartum anxiety to come knocking at my door, but it did. I have been in a battle fighting the hidden and buried scars from childhood abuse that resurfaced when my daughter was born in fear that I couldn’t protect her from the same things. Of course, that isn’t true. I can’t protect her from everything, but I can give her a very different life.
In this fight there is something that I realized to be true:
When I became a mom, I started taking care of everyone and everything else and I stopped taking care of me.
It’s natural to us women to step into a motherhood role with such determination because at the heart of who we are, we were created to be nurturers. We rise up to take on the challenge of taking care of those entrusted to us and we don’t let anything keep us from being the best mom we can be, even if that means ourselves.
We often keep running and running never catching time to breathe.
Now, what I’m talking about here isn’t a trip to the spa, a fresh new hair-cut, or even a mom’s night out. What I am talking about is allowing who we are at the core of our being to still have a place in our life.
The part of us that dreams.
The part of us that seeks adventure.
The part of us that does something we love.
The part of us that remembers who we were before we became a mom.
I didn’t see how I could take care of myself, heal from past trauma, and grow all while being a mom at the same time. As if taking care of me made me a bad mother. As if focusing some time on me meant I couldn’t be the mom my kids needed me to be. I didn’t see the place for me inside of this life of motherhood.
Then I realized there were so many areas of life that I had forgotten about me.
I had forgotten to dream.
I had forgotten to find adventure.
I had forgotten about diving into something I love.
I forgot about me outside of motherhood.
And I shared some thoughts on Instagram and realized that I wasn’t the only one.
So there is something that I want to say to you this Mother’s Day.
You were someone before you were a mom. Being a mom is only part of who you are, part of what makes up you. On a day that is all about celebrating you as a mom, I want you to remember the important part is celebrating you. I want you to remember every day after that to keep celebrating you. You are more than just a mom. There are dreams you are meant to keep dreaming. There are adventures you are meant to keep taking. There are things you love that are worth chasing after. Don’t forget about you outside of the role of mom.
I know it isn’t easy. I know it may not come naturally. But as I stood in the dressing room trying on clothes for me, not for my husband or children, for me tears filled my eyes and I realized taking care of me was important too. Taking care of me makes me a better mom. Taking care of me shows my children to value themselves. Taking care of me doesn’t mean I am a failure.
Taking care of you doesn’t mean you’re failing. You can be a good mom and take care of yourself too. In fact, you might even be a better mom.
Put your oxygen mask on first mama, than you can save everyone else.
Happy Mother’s Day.