There’s some crazy myth out here in these Motherhood streets that part of our job of being a good mother is that you sacrifice all of your time, money and resources for your family. You must do all of the chores, spend all of your money and devote all of your free time to your family. However, before long you are so mentally exhausted that you become one of those moms. You know, the ones who are barely matching, hair is all over their head and they're secretly wishing they could trade places with their single friends.
As a mother of three, I’ve been there. When I had my third child my life fell apart. I had two small children less than 15 months apart and I had gained 60 pounds. To top that off, I was working a demanding job with a crappy salary. Before long I was spending Saturdays in my pajamas instead of out getting some time to myself. One day I walked past the full length mirror in my bathroom and I said, “What have I done for myself?” I had become a frumpy, unmotivated, depressed mother and wife.
Sitting around the house in my pajamas, continually eating and not taking care of myself is not only out of order but will quickly make you feel bad and quite possibly send you into a depression. According to the Research Agenda for Psychosocial and Behavioral Factors in Women’s Health, women are approximately two times more likely than men to suffer from major depression. The risk is even more significant for women of childbearing age!
So what does that mean for you? We mothers must take care of ourselves first so that we are emotionally available for our families. Here are some good tips to help you get through the rough times and get your life in order.
- Take time out for you and only you. Every Saturday I get up and leave the house for a couple of hours. Sometimes I get my nails done while other Saturdays I go to the local park and read my favorite book. During those two to four hours I’m alone, it allows me to reflect on my week and take some time to make me better.
- Make it a point to look pretty. This is a simple enough rule to follow but so many of us mothers disregard it to take care of others. I make it a point to go and get my hair done, nails painted or to buy something I like. As a mom sometimes our appearance is the last thing on our minds, but improving our outer appearance can do wonders for our emotional well being.
- Don’t stress out about things you can’t change. As mothers we’re stressed about bills, our children’s schooling, the nosy neighbor, etc. That stress can make us no good to anyone—especially ourselves. Instead of being worried about thing you can’t change, worry about things you have power over.
- Learn to walk away from stressful situations. Sometimes we can be put in stressful situations through no fault of our own. Things like worrying if you’re going to get a promotion or if you’re going to get your dream job can leave us crippled with stress. Instead of worrying, walk away from the worry and continue to do what you are good a——being a good mother.
In the end, mothers have to take time out for themselves – we’re queens, remember! Now my Mommy Noire family, what do you do to take care of yourself?