We all joke about it. The morning cup of coffee in order to function when dropping the kids off at school and rushing to get to work on time. The immediate passing off of the baby to your partner when he or she gets home late from work for the fourth day in a row. The glass of wine and a Netflix binge when all of the kiddos are finally in bed. But it’s not really a joke, is it?
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Some argue that being a mother is the most difficult job a woman could have. Others argue that motherhood is a choice, a calling, a purpose – not a job. Either way, moms work hard every single day. We work hard to support our partners in this journey of parenting and raising a family. We work hard to provide our children with safe, healthy, and happy living environments.
We work hard for the present moments, as well as for our children’s futures. We try to be superheroes and keep pushing ourselves to do more –to do better. But we are human. As much as we love and appreciate the fact that we have families to care for, we are human, and we need to be cared for too. And sometimes we break because we simply need a break.
When I became a mom for the first time more than six years ago, I became a new person. I experienced a new type of love, a new sense of purpose, and it was overwhelming. I wanted to be a good mother in every way possible, but everything was so new and I didn’t know what else to do other than everything for my son.
My husband felt neglected, and I neglected to take care of myself. I stopped doing all of the things I had loved to do before my son was born. I stopped biking, I only made it to a yoga class a handful of times during the first year of my son’s life, and the only book I picked up was a board book. I stopped taking care of my soul, and it wasn’t long before I broke and realized that I was not supermom. I could not be supermom and myself too.
Slowly, I began to incorporate some “me time” back into my life. It wasn’t easy. It was a learning process of letting go and accepting help from others. It was a learning process of allowing myself from time to time to put my needs before the needs of my family –and not feel guilty about it. Six years later, I’m still learning how to take care of myself, but I know now that I’m not making a joke when I settle down at the end of the evening with a local craft beer, some Lana Del Rey playing in the background, and the keyboard at my fingertips while my three kiddos are snuggling on the couch with daddy watching a cartoon. It’s no joke that we need our “me time.”
This journey of motherhood is complicated, fulfilling, messy, and beautiful. We work hard every single day. Sometimes it feels like a job, and sometimes we joyfully accept this calling. But we are not superheroes. We cannot do it all. We cannot do it by ourselves. And every time we try to be superheroes, we lose a little bit of ourselves.
Enough of the jokes. I am a mom, but I am my own person too. I want my kids to know who I am. I want my kids to see what I can do.
Who are you? What are you going to show your kids today?