“I think women who live full lives are better mothers.” – Jada Pinkett Smith. This is the inspiration for today’s Monday Morning Motivation.Jada Pinkett Smith hit the nail on the head with that statement. This is not specific to single moms, but all mothers in general. You have to put yourself first. It doesn’t make you selfish to take care of your needs, it makes you smart.
We all know we can justify not doing certain things we want for ourselves because the kids *need* something. And the way we justify their needs versus our wants can sometimes be crazy. Do they really need the newest toy to hit the market? Do they really need another 5 outfits when there are still clothes with tags on them in the closet? Do they really need a cellphone or iPad at 5-years-old?
Obviously the answer to all of those is no, but somehow we equate these things with being a better mother. And they do make us great mothers if we’re basing it on how materialistic our kids will grow up to be. But I’m guessing that isn’t a goal most of us are striving for.
What does matter to our children is time. And not just any time. Quality time. That means you’re not too worn down at the end of a workday to actually enjoy an evening with them. That means you’re not too sick all the time to love on your children. That means you’re not so unhealthy, stressed, anxious, or all of the above that you can’t play with your children even if you wanted to.
How do we achieve these things? How do we live full lives?
By taking care of ourselves first. And yes, that means putting our own wants before these pseudo-needs we’ve created for our children.
Need Some Ideas on How to Live Full Lives?
So how do we live full lives? How do we care for ourselves before our children? It honestly depends on you and your season of life. First, you need to know what makes you happy. I know many mothers that can tell me all of their children’s favorite anything, but if asked the same question of themselves, can’t answer. If you don’t know, then you need to take some time to figure it out. Explore new things and see what brings YOU joy, not what excites the kids.
Here are some examples to get you started.
If a bi-weekly pedicure is what relaxes you, then do it, even if you have to DIY it for affordability.
Wake up 30 minutes or more before your children to get some much needed *me* time. There’s nothing I love more than the quietness of the house before my kids wake up. It clears my mind and allows me to focus on myself.
If you’re more of a night owl than a morning person, put the kids to bed at a set early time and give an extra hour to yourself each night. Use it to take a bubble bath, start a nighttime beauty routine, read a good book, or work on the project you’ve been dreaming about, but have managed to talk yourself out of time and time again.
Buy something for yourself! We tell ourselves that good mothers go without, so that our kids can have. But I already told you that the stuff we justify for our children, is literally just material things. It teaches them nothing and in the long-run it doesn’t make them better people. I have seen mothers not eat in order to afford something ridiculous, like brand-name sneakers, for their children. Little Sass and Laughs better get jobs if they want the latest Jordans, and even then I will still put my 5 cents in about how they spend *their* money.
The possibilities of caring for yourself are endless really. Do what you need to be the best you which will extend to you being the best mother. I want you to make today about yourself. Do at least 1 thing that is just for you and not the kids in any way. And don’t feel guilty about it.