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When Mom is happy, kids know they are lovedAs a mom, we have a lot of responsibilities and can feel like we are being pulled in many different directions. And it is hard… really hard to know if you are doing everything you need to for your kids.

We do everything we can for them because we love them and want them to learn all that they can at our hands before they are out in the world on their own.  When they are young it feels like we will be caring for them forever.  People always tell you it goes by fast, but when you’re in the middle of it, that just doesn’t even compute as reality.  How many days go by where you just don’t get enough sleep, and you just long for some adult conversation again?

When my kids were little, I remember feeling like I just needed to be filled up myself. I could give and give to my kids, to the neighbors, to my church calling, to the classrooms that I volunteered at, but eventually, I needed a re-fill of my own.  Spending time with friends helped, but what really gave me the extra jolt that I needed was going to Women’s Conference or Time Out for Women about once a year.  I often learned new techniques for being a better mom, but I also had time with other women doing something for me.  I was able to re-fill my spiritual and emotional bank so that I could give in a better way to my own kids.

I think that of all the things that we teach our kids, the most important thing that they can learn is to feel that they are loved and they are worthwhile.  If we give and give to the kids, but never take time for ourselves, they will notice.  Kids are way more observant than we give them credit for.  If we become run down, it won’t matter how many books you read to them, meals you cook, or times you tell them you love them.  If you’re not happy or content with your life, because you are not taking care of yourself, they will know. And think about how that may make them feel about themselves? My greatest fear is that they will think “If caring for me makes Mom unhappy, then I must not be worth much.”

It’s definitely a tricky balance. You can’t just take care of your own needs at the expense of your kids, but you can’t just care for the family at the expense of yourself either.  Give yourself permission to be happy, and do a few things for yourself each day, and let the kids be a part of it.  Either let them know that you need a few minutes of quiet time to read or study or just to take a bath, or you can let them know that you want to do something fun, and see if they want to join you.

I think each of us have to come up with plans that work with our own family’s needs.  For me, it helps to make sure to do something fun with the kids that I enjoy, so they can see me having fun and being happy to spend time with them.  But at other times, I need to have a little time just to myself, and come back happy to be with them again.

Think about how filling some of your own needs may be of benefit to your kids.  Make that a part of your parenting plans. By taking care of yourself, you teach your kids that you are important too, and give them permission to do the same when they are grown.

ps: our friends at “the Power of Moms” have put together a video training on this topic that you may want to check out here

 

1 Comment

  1. This is so true and valuable to know and recognize.

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