By the time my daughter turned 10, we’d been on over 150 airplanes together. And without fail, every time we prepared for take off, the flight attendant would come and personally remind me “Ma’m, in case of emergency, be sure to put on your oxygen mask FIRST before assisting your child.” Check out some of the best masks for your children on the https://www.bestmask.net. They cover everything in health and safety masks.
I’ve heard this instruction literally hundreds of times.
But come on…. does any mom really DO that?
In the early years of traveling, I just smiled and nodded. And then one day, when I was tired and stressed, the flight attendant came by, gently touched my arm and gave me the instructions…. and for the first time in my life, I finally “got it.” She might as well have said “Ma’m you’re gonna crash and burn unless you take care of yourself first!”
When I became a mom, no one told me that it was imperative that I take time to nurture myself in order to be the best mom I could be.
Growing up, the women around me were sacrificers, they gave until there was nothing left to give. I was raised by an (amazing) mom, who took care of everyone and everything except herself. I remember seeing her completely depleted, stressed and exhausted. She gave until she was empty. And then, somehow, she gave more.
Yet, I don’t have a memory of her taking time to nurture herself, receive a massage, get a pedicure, or just get “space”. I also don’t remember seeing her refreshed and peaceful. For many years, I only remember an exhausted mom, hanging on by a thread.
So when I became a mother, I quickly fell into the same trap. Without even realizing it, I abandoned my own needs, gave everything to mothering, and lost sight of myself. I thought that being a good mom meant doing everything, without help, without a break, and without needs. Then, when I finally did start taking a tiny bit of time for myself, I was overcome with guilt. My inner judge (who’s brutal), said that if I was a better mom, I’d be with my child. Or worse, if I was a better woman I wouldn’t need a break at all. What bullshit!
When I finally gave myself full permission to receive nurturing, my whole world changed! I quickly learned that I was a much better mother/ partner/ business owner when I was full.
After taking time to replenish myself with a massage, yoga, or an afternoon alone, I came back grounded, refreshed and ready to be fully present with my daughter. Now, my self-replenishment time is non-negotiable. Without fail, I schedule both a massage & therapy appointment for myself every month. I take time to connect with friends, and I know when to take a break or ask for help.
As women, we need to remember that it’s absolutely essential to take care of ourselves first. Because we can only nurture others – be it a business, relationship, or our children, to the extent that we take care of ourselves. You can’t give what you don’t have. This is what those flight attendants so gracefully remind us of.
So now it’s your turn, please take a moment to share with others…
* What ways do you nourish yourself?
* Have you ever had that ‘guilty mom’ feeling when taking care of yourself?
* If you don’t currently take time for yourself, what’s one way you can set aside time for yourself this week?
Latest posts by Melanie Soleil (see all)
- Learning to Receive - August 24, 2015
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- Oxygen Masks- Taking Time for Self Care - June 15, 2015