Being a mother is a tricky position to play. It often means late nights, no sick days, and giving more of yourself to your family than you ever imagined.
One of the hardest parts about motherhood is answering the question that we are afraid to answer: Does loving my family mean that I no longer love myself?
Here are a few ways mothers sacrifice themselves for their families:
The first night we brought my daughter home, my husband and I envisioned a euphoric night of parenthood.
Yeah, that didn’t happen. She had gas, cried…followed by tears from me….and a long sleepless night. My kids are now 5 & 2, and I haven’t slept as soundly since having a family. Every cough, night terror, or cry for water wakes me from my slumber.
Family Before Friendships
I remember how frustrated I used to get with my single friends for not answering when I called them. Didn’t they know that when they called me back, I probably wouldn’t be able to talk, even though I’d love to?
In their single minds, 5pm-7pm is the best time to call. It’s right before all the evening sitcoms & reality shows. For me, it’s the craziest time of the evening. Between dinner, bath & bedtime, it’s a rat race to get everyone in bed.
Sometimes, they just don’t get it. And I don’t have the energy to explain it to them.
My husband likes to bring up all the wonderful loving time we used to spend together, and how he misses that when I fall asleep on the kid’s bedroom floors…repeatedly.
I miss that time too. However, I’m beat! He reminds me that he came before the kids. I know that, but it’s tough when little people and my husband are all vying for my attention.
We all vow to never become “that” mom. The mom that wears mismatched shoes (or ugly ones), never wears makeup and wears mom jeans.
Suddenly, between the sleepless nights and the never-ending balancing act of motherhood, we become the woman we said we’d never become.
SO HOW DO YOU FIND BALANCE THROUGH THE SACRIFICES?
Be Okay With Saying No
I know, it’s tough. Especially to people you love. And good causes. But it’s okay to preserve your sanity. For some reason it’s easier for us to give to others and tap out on ourselves. It’s time to put yourself first.
Have Some Quiet Time (AND DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT EITHER)
When I had my first child, I felt so guilty about being away from my family. Now that I have 2 little ones, I don’t feel as guilty. I know that it’s necessary. But I do rush when I’m out alone. I often don’t take the time to enjoy the quiet. I’m still working on that.
Make Time For Hobbies
Do you enjoy crafts? Yoga? Adult coloring books? Cooking? Whatever it is that sends you to your happy place, do it! Every now and then, when the kids are in bed, take a night off from folding laundry to indulge in your favorite hobby. You’ll be a much happier person, and your family will thank you too!
How do you sacrifice yourself for you family? How do you find balance through the sacrifices?