Tag Archive: motherhood


Love. Yo. Self

This conversation happened recently with my 4 year old daughter:
E: Mom, who in this room do you love?
M: I love you, Will, and me (husband wasn’t home I promise)
E: You love you? That’s weird!
M: Why is that weird? Do you love yourself?
E: Yeah, it’s just weird…
And then she moved on to wondering why I gave her the red cup because she wanted the yellow cup and when are we going to Nana’s again. 4 YO attention span, amiright?
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But, it is a little weird. It is something that isn’t talked about very often because it makes us uncomfortable. It is especially hard for women. Loving yourself ‘out loud’ makes women worry “am I coming across as conceited?”, “is this intimidating for others?”, “do all women hate me now?”, etc. And then there are the mommy martyrs out there acting like if you’re not miserable, exhausted, and depressed, you’re not trying hard enough.

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IS it weird to love yourself though? I would argue that it is weird NOT to love yourself. You are the only you that has ever been on Earth, and you are the only you you get to be! What a travesty it would be if you spent your one lifetime not loving the only you you are! That was a little hard to follow but I think you get my point…

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This doesn’t mean that every second of every day you love every single thing about yourself. You can love yourself and wish that you were a little stronger. You can love yourself and not love a part of your past. You can love yourself and be disappointed with the way you behaved that day. Really, loving yourself is like loving another person.

How do you treat the people that you love? With respect, kindness, forgiveness, understanding, etc. Do you treat yourself the same? Would you tell your sister ‘you look ugly today’? I certainly hope not. Would you tell your husband he was failing as a parent because he yelled at the kids too much that day? Not likely. So why would you say that to yourself?

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Let’s do an experiment! Say the 2 sentences below out loud and notice the way they make you feel when you say them.

1. Of course I give my kids their vitamins! I love them and would do anything to keep them healthy!

2. Of course I take my vitamins! I love myself and I would do anything to keep myself healthy!

Or…

1. My kids are in soccer and baseball all summer long. It’s hard to find the time, but their health and fitness is my number 1 priority!

2. I make it to the gym and yoga 4x a week. It’s hard to find the time, but my health and fitness is my number 1 priority!

Gets a little squirmy feeling doesn’t it? It really shouldn’t though. Should you love and cherish your children for the enormous blessing they are? Of course! Does your life change and do you make sacrifices for them daily? Duh! But does your life cease to exist? No! Do you become less of a priority? You shouldn’t. Think about it this way… Does your first born become less important when your second child comes? No. There is just more love! All of the sudden your heart just starts pumping more out. That’s the amazing thing about love- we never run out. We just keep making more.

So trust me, there is enough for you. You might need to practice a little bit. It comes more naturally to some vs. others. But it’s there. Take yourself out on a date, buy yourself a drink, and treat yo self real nice…
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I think, after 5 1/2 years, I have found my sweet-spot of motherhood.

I had an amazing son 5 1/2 years ago and my delightful daughter 2 years ago. I have loved them with every ounce of my being since then, but, if I am being honest, I didn’t enjoy every moment.

If you’re a mother, you know you can’t take 3 steps without a stranger telling you to enjoy every second when they are young. And, half of these women follow that up with some kind of passive-agressive threat like ‘soon he won’t hold your hand like that’ or ‘tomorrow she’ll be a high-maintenance teenager’ or ‘eventually he’ll stop returning your calls and you’ll be all alone’. Yikes! I could have done without that last one. But, they didn’t enjoy every minute and either do I.

When we first brought my son home I was terrified, I struggled nursing, and I couldn’t sit down for 3 weeks. Didn’t enjoy that.

When my daughter was young I felt trapped in my house because getting everyone out the door and ready felt like too much work. Didn’t enjoy that.

When I was on maternity leave, I would sit and pray for the time to move faster and hope my husband would come home just a little early today. Didn’t enjoy that.

I wasn’t good at bonding with babies. I was bored. They don’t talk, they don’t have personalities, I don’t know what they want…. You see, I am not one of those moms who can just stare contentedly at her baby in her arms for hours. I am not the kind of girl that goes, “awe…let me hold your baby”. I like to enjoy babies from across the room, or better yet- through photographs. It’s not that I don’t like your baby, I just don’t want to take care of it. I know some of you are thinking- That’s the best part! I get it. In Will’s terms, it’s just not my favorite.

Does that sound horrible? Am I the only one? I’m not all evil though, I swear. Keep reading…

So, back to the sweet-spot. The other morning I was home with the kids and it was LITERALLY perfect. My daughter wasn’t being a terrible two year old, my son was as sweet and affectionate as ever, no one was rushed, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, yada yada yada. It was everything you think motherhood will be before you have children. I was helping Will work on some kindergarten prep work, sipping coffee, Ellie was dancing happily to her magnetic fridge toy and prancing around the house, I had made a healthy breakfast that no one complained about, I think you are getting the picture.

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This time, I was looking at the clock and wishing it would slow down. I knew my work day was coming and I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to interupt the magic of the moment.

Later in the day, when I had a chance to reflect, it all kind of made sense. This is my sweet-spot. My children say funny things. They have little personalities. They play with me and each other. They are also independent enough so that I can have one G-D moment to myself now and then. Every day I think of new cool things we can all do together: tennis, foods, games, back yard camp outs (more to come on this after the weekend). It’s fun! It doesn’t seem like work any more.

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I don’t know what to expect next. I don’t know if I’ll keep finding new sweet-spots along the way; I’m guessing yes. I do know that I won’t enjoy every moment, but I will try not to feel guilty about that and I’ll be grateful for the time, and continue to love these kids with every ounce of my being.