Mother’s Day is this weekend. It’s a day where if you have young children you’ll be awakened to giggling kids delivering you burnt toast and spilled coffee in bed. You’ll get up and clean up the mess and go about your normal mom duties because moms still have to be a mom, no matter the special day.
Maybe you’ll treat yourself to a frappacino that day or maybe your significant other will send you off for a pedicure. But there’s a gift that as a mother of young children, you can give yourself that will top any other gift.
For Mother’s Day this year, give yourself the gift of YOU.
What does it mean to give yourself the gift of YOU? Simply it means that it’s time to find your identity again.
You’ve spent the past years taking care of babies as they grow into toddlers. Nothing about that time has left you time to be who you once were and honestly, you probably don’t want to be that person again. You’ve changed and now you have kids that are totally dependent on you.
Chances are that somewhere along the way, who you are has gotten a little fuzzy or lost altogether.
It never fails that while spending time with other women you’ll find women that talk non-stop about their kids. A local group that I’m involved with has a group of women that talks about nothing but their kid’s teachers. Even though we homeschool I can tell you the names and personalities of every single teacher at the local elementary school. That group of women talks non-stop about what teacher their child will have next year or about what teachers their kids currently have that are disappointing and which teachers the parents love.
Let me say this – it’s OK to be proud of this awesome child you’re raising. It’s OK to talk about them a lot. But when you can spend the past three years with another woman and know nothing about them except their child’s school staff roster or every small detail about their child, something is wrong.
So many times we as mothers take on our kid’s identity as ours. We don’t have a schedule, we have the kid’s schedule. We don’t have activities for our interests, we have extra-curricular activities for their interests.
Don’t misunderstand, devoting time to helping our kids grow in their hobbies and activities is an amazing gift!
But where are we? Where is the woman that inside of the mom?
It’s not selfish to grow yourself into something other than just their mom. Give yourself permission to find the woman that you have become since you entered motherhood.
Many years ago my husband used to beg me to leave the house once a week, just to get away. Back then I would get so mad. This was my family that I had wanted for so long and I just had to be there every minute. If you would have asked me then about myself, I would have told you about my kids.
Finally I started taking his advice. I don’t get away from the family weekly because I want to spend as much time with them as I can. But I do try to have at least one night a month with other people that share my interests and don’t ask me to wipe their nose.
Somewhere between the me I was way back then and the me I am now, I’ve learned that I am way more than I thought I ever could be. Yes I’m a mom and I’m pretty awesome at it if you ask me – just don’t ask the kids. But in the past few years I’ve also figured out that I’m able to call myself a blogger because I make time for it and work hard at it. I’m also a business owner and Founder of Blog Elevated. I actually have friends that won’t ask for a playdate. Some of those friends have older kids that I can go to for advice, some I don’t know anything about their kids but I love spending time picking their brains on professional matters.
Yes there’s times that I have to be away from home but what my kids see is a mom who is showing them that they can be what they want to be. By finding myself, I’m setting an example for them.
You don’t have to be a business owner to find yourself. You don’t have to work outside the home or do anything but raise your children. But you do have to know who you truly are.
What do you want to do? Is there a book that you’ve been wanting to read? Have you always wanted to learn a new skill? What about that knitting Pinterest board you started and then never taught yourself to knit?
Who are you? It’s ok if you can’t answer that question right now.
The next time someone asks “how are you?” listen to your reply. Is your response only about your kids? The next time someone says “tell me about yourself” what will your response be? Will you give them your carpool schedule and a quip about how many kids you’ve potty trained or will you be able to tell them about your likes and dislikes?
You don’t have to know who you are tomorrow. But work towards it and let your kids see you grow! Just as you work so hard to raise a kid that you’re going to be proud of, work just as hard to make yourself into a parent that they’ll be proud of one day. Be their role model by being you.
The best example we can set for our kids is by being confident in who we are but first you have to know who you are.