Carrying, birthing, raising and maintaining children is difficult. As a mom, our main responsibility is to make sure we keep a human being alive and, after that, to teach them everything about life – manners, academics, kindness, etc. – so they can be capable adults and carry on. There’s a lot of work that goes into parenting, but I’m determined to not let motherhood offset my womanhood.
When I spend a day alone with my kids, by the end, I am exhausted and ready to hit the bed when they are – but I try my best not to. Instead of having a few more much-needed hours of sleep, I invest that time in myself. I’ll have a glass of wine, watch some TV shows, surf the Internet, chat with my hubby, do my own manicure or gossip with mom and sis over the phone.
Those hours of sleep are definitely tempting, but having some “me” time is more important, especially when dealing with small children. It’s so easy to get caught up in your child’s world, finding yourself with no time to bathe, do your hair or eat. I know this because it’s happened to me from time to time, but I don’t allow it to be my norm.
I believe in being a whole person and, for me, to fulfill that, I have to remember who I was before being a mom, and hold on to pieces of that. I may not have time to get a weekly mani like before, so while the kids are sleeping, sometimes I’ll do it myself – even if it’s just grooming my nails.
I also put thought into what I’m going to wear (except for when dropping my daughter off at school in the morning), have lip gloss on hand and try to reflect on my aspirations, as a woman, whenever I can.
I am a working woman outside of the home on most days, which I know can make it easier to be your own person than perhaps a stay-at-home mom, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Whether I am home or not, I am still very tired and try to make the effort because I think it’s healthy for yourself and your relationships.
For all the mothers, stay-at-home or not, I suggest making sure you put your kids to bed at a decent hour and taking a little time to remember, reflect and explore your own interests and aspirations beyond your children. So, once you’ve done the amazing job of raising your kiddies and they go off in the world independently, your transition to being and living for you again is not such an extreme culture shock.