It’s pretty normal that all us mums are out there trying to help our children flourish, we are absolutely trying to do our best! Often we do put our kids needs before our own because we love our children, we want the best for our children and by focusing on their needs we believe that is how we achieve this. By giving our kids the most opportunities in life. And somehow along the way we lose sight of ourselves… We have tiny babies who need us to take care of all their basic primal needs, we are on high alert from the moment they enter this world. When those tiny babies become toddlers and children, our brain is still wired to protect them in that same way. Our brain is so used to protecting our children, we lose sight of our needs and we forget how important we are.
“The Best Gift You Have To Give Your Children is Your Own Happiness”
Parenting doesn’t come with a manual. I’ve tried to follow a few cheat sheets – attachment parenting, conscious parenting, the Montessori approach… No matter how hard I tried, how hard I researched, I never felt like I was the best mum I could be. I just needed to try harder. Right?
I don’t want to tell you how to parent. I want to gently tap you on the shoulder and say “It’s OK, your kids are going to be fine, you are the perfect mother for them”.
I want to tell you “you are doing your best and that’s all any of us can do, but in order to be your best, you need to look after you too”.
A great quote that I heard recently is “The best gift you have to give your children is your own happiness”. If you imagine what you can give your children if you are happy, if you come from a place of loving yourself and abundance, then you can see how true this is.
It took me while to realise this. I wasn’t looking after myself, physically or emotionally. Once I realised this, I started to look at my life, without guilt. I started asking myself what I wanted. I started to seek out more joy. I stopped worrying about what I couldn’t control. Because the truth is we can’t control our kids, we can only control how we act towards them, how we treat them and they get to decide how to interpret that.
If you feel like you want to start treading that path to self care, it’s not too late, it’s never too late. You can start by simply asking yourself those same questions. What do you want? Let yourself dream. How can you find more joy in life? Allow yourself to find it and experience it. And remind yourself that taking care of you, will enable you to be the best mum that you can be.
If you want your children to sleep next to you, if you want to eat dinner in front of the television, or offer your kids extracurricular activities every day – do it, just make sure you like your reasons. There is NO rule book! That’s a wonderful thing, but it’s also daunting. I believe that if you make your parenting decisions from a place of love (including love for yourself), you can be confident that you are being the best mum you can be.
Title Image by Kristopher Roller