My goal as a mother is to give my children the proper tools to live a good life and function as an adult in this ever-changing world. I want them to have a good education, be able to handle difficult situations if the need arises, and find love and grace in all things. But the absolute, number one lesson I want them to learn is to LOVE THEMSELVES and PUT THEMSELVES FIRST.
I realize there are times in life when you have to put others before yourself but you should always be able to come back to numero uno, and allow those times to be part of your own growth as a person. This lesson is one that as parents we will be helping them learn constantly throughout their lives, but when they are young, one of the main ways to do so is to lead by example.
I make an effort to put myself first for myself and for my children to see. Me, Myself and I. They see that I do things for myself to make myself happy, to keep my body healthy, to boost my confidence, to have fun, to have a life experience, to live life to the fullest really. I try to show them what loving yourself and putting yourself first looks like on a daily basis.
“Why are we taking a bath when we took one last night Mommy?”
Because Mommy needs to do her hair and make up so she doesn’t feel like one of the characters on Sesame Street and I don’t trust that you won’t make the mess of all messes while I do so.
I find that a lot of moms don’t do things to make themselves feel confident (whatever form that takes) and chalk it up to being around the kids. Maybe this gets easier when they get older and we can spend more time pampering then, but that doesn’t work for me. It boosts my confidence levels and makes me feel empowered to conquer the day and my children see that I do that for myself.
“Mommy, I want to listen to the Trolls Soundtrack.”
There is a time and place for that sweetie and it is not when I am driving my car. This is me time that you get the privilege of experiencing too (insert cheesy grin while I crank up my tunes).
I find that they end up liking what I listen to anyway. Growing up, I always loved listening to “Mommy’s music” in the car and can remember all the lyrics to this day. As an adult, it resonated that I should do the same. My mom was teaching me something and I didn’t even know it.
“Where are you going Mommy?”
Mommy needs some me time so I’m going shopping all by myself, which makes me happy.
Everyone needs a break every once in awhile. I know it is not always easy to do so or maybe you don’t have anyone that can watch the children, but if you do get the opportunity to let your spouse or family watch the kids for you, take them up on it. Your kids see that you take time for yourself, and that is an important life lesson.
“You look silly Mommy. What are you doing?”
This particular pose is called Downward Dog, what I am doing is Yoga (Yooooo-gahhhh) and it helps keep my body healthy.
Showing your children that you are working on keeping your body healthy in whatever way suits you is incredibly important. When they see you taking the time to physically keep yourself healthy they are much more likely to carry that lesson into adulthood. Maybe exercising seems like something you should be doing anyway, but also think about how it effects those little minds you created to see you taking care of yourself physically.
“Mommy, why are you going on an airplane while we stay with Daddy?”
Because Mommy wants a vacation and time with her friends to rest and rejuvenate and just be me, myself and I for a few days. Don’t worry I will be back soon and ready to snuggle with my babies.
Mothers, fathers, couples, everyone just needs some R& R sometimes. Children will see that you need time with others, and in adulthood, will understand better for themselves and in their future relationships that having time for yourself is important.
So don’t feel guilty for spending time away from your children, or that you need to be spending time working on their letters, colors or reading instead of exercising. Remember you are teaching them a fundamental life lesson to do things for themselves and put themselves first. Not all the time but when it’s needed. You are teaching them the balance.
This all helps children understand that they have to do things that make themselves happy, healthy and that adds to the greater picture of LOVING YOURSELF. When you love yourself, you are in tune to what makes you YOU and therefore more likely to take great care of yourself and live a happy life.