Mom, Are You On Your Own Priority List?

{Guest Blogger}

Life Coach Susan Liddy, MA, PCC, CPCC

I’ve always said that moms have the toughest job on the planet. Not only do they care for their own children, but they often willingly take on responsibility for their children’s friends, their relatives’ children, and any other child who comes along needing mothering! In Mom’s heart, there is room for everyone and plenty of nurturing to go around… also for a husband or boyfriend, and one day maybe even her own parents.

It’s easy to see how a Mom could put herself last on the priority list… or worse… forget about herself entirely while she looks after everyone else.

Do you remember how you took care of yourself before you had children? What were your dreams? Ambitions? What was your daily routine like? Chances are, you made your needs important… and you allowed yourself free time just for you.

Of course, once you’re a mom, it’s no longer easy to fit in that workout, let alone make time for daydreams and other simple pleasures that you once took for granted. These days, you’re busy planning your day carefully, trying to fit it all in before time runs out.  A busy mom quickly learns to go with the flow in her tumultuous life. School meetings and appointments are often rescheduled; kids fall sick unexpectedly; soccer games get rained out and friends break plans. Not to mention, the unexpected surprise of a forgotten overdue bill that needs attention, a car breakdown, or any number of inconveniences that can wreak havoc on your day!

Despite all this… you must remember one thing. YOU are still just as important as you ever were. In fact, let me rephrase that. YOU are even MORE important than you ever were. So, Mom, please don’t forget, in the midst of caring for everyone else, that it is critical that you make time to take care of YOU!

Ways to care for yourself:

Plan out your schedule a day or two in advance so you can fit yourself in there somewhere. Develop a routine that you can stick to during “off hours” when things are the least hectic. For example, maybe you designate Sunday as shopping and cooking day. This way, you can prepare nutritious meals for your family in advance, then freeze single servings that they can heat and eat as needed. This will free up so much dinner making time Monday through Saturday, which will make your life a whole lot easier.

Have backup babysitters available. Wouldn’t it be great to know that there’s a stay-at-home mom in your neighborhood who has room to watch more child on a day when you really need it? Or how about having the freedom to take a Saturday night off while the kids stay at home in the care of a local teen or senior? Interview your sitters in advance and get referrals. If you can’t afford babysitting, do kid swaps with other parents.

Have once a week date night with your S.O…. and make it something special. Just because you’ve been married many years or had yourself a bunch of kids doesn’t make you any less deserving of a night out alone with the one you love. Go out to a nice restaurant, catch a movie, meet up with friends or have them take you out dancing. Wear that new skirt you bought and don’t forget the lipstick. Having a social life and a little romance now and then will keep a spring in your step and a sparkle in your eye. Mom needs that every once in a while!

Schedule group play dates for your children and other moms. As the kids socialize, so can you. This is also a great way to make new friends if you’re new to the neighborhood or just haven’t had the time to meet people. Seek out child-friendly places to take your kids, that you’ll also enjoy. If you have preschoolers, get everyone together for lunch at the local park where the little ones can swing and slide while you chitchat.

Take a day off! Even Mom needs to recharge her batteries every once in a while. If your children are in school, maybe instead of spending the day working, cleaning and paying bills, you can play hooky from your responsibilities for a spell. Hit the beach, spend the afternoon window shopping, meet an old friend for lunch or take in a local museum or other culture.

Finally, consider that you are a role model for your children. How you take care of yourself reflects not only on how they will treat themselves when they become adults, but also how much effort they’ll expect their own wives or husbands to put into self care. You want your kids to grow up feeling fulfilled and happy as adults, yes? Taking care of you is NOT selfish; it’s actually a gift to yourself and others. After all… the more you put in, the more you’ll get out in the way of a happy and fulfilled life.

About the Author:

Life Coach Susan Liddy, MA, PCC, CPCC is the founder and CEO of AspireLifeCoaching.org, a life coaching company on a mission to empower women globally. Susan is the author of the “Secrets to Ultimate Living; What you wish you knew when you were 20!” and an active contributor to many blogs, including her own blog, SecretsToUltimateLiving.com.

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