Many moms out there make a huge mistake. It’s fundamental, and tied to a pervasive cultural myth.
It not only hurts our children, but also us.
What is it? The belief that always putting our children before ourselves makes us better parents.
There’s probably some part of you that’s absorbed this damaging cultural mythology. It’s the root of most mama guilt (at least the root of mine).
Sisters, we need to get over this.
Because in reality, the truth is just the opposite: Taking care of ourselves makes us better mothers for our children.
Think about it. When your cup is full, when you are feeling good, then you have energy, attention and can be present for your kids. When you are tired, drained, depressed, or anxious – are you giving your best to your kids? Didn’t think so. You probably don’t even have the energy to pay attention to what’s going on with them.
Plus, good parenting is all about leading by example. Children do not learn from our lectures, they learn from how we live our life. Modeling is the most potent form of parenting.
If we live a life of purpose, service and vitality, guess what? Our children will think that’s what life’s about. But if we slog through the days always meeting other’s needs; if we feel almost constant stress and worry… we will NOT inspire our kids to live with purpose.
And we will NOT be teaching them to value themselves.
Thus a generational pattern perpetuates.
Do we want our children to value themselves, believe in themselves, and live with purpose? Then we must value ourselves, we must believe in ourselves, we must live with purpose. The thing to hold in your heart is this: your needs are just as important as your children’s. Not more important. Not less.
Our kids deserve the best mama they can get. When we meet our own needs and living an awakened life, then our cup is full, with plenty to spill over into them. I’m talking about the deep needs we have for health, moving our bodies, meaningful connection with others, creativity and learning, and time alone.
You don’t have to be perfect at it. But take a step today. Practice. Do it for yourself and your kids.
Hunter Clarke-Fields, MSAE, RYT, is a mindfulness mama mentor. She has 20 years experience coaching smart, accomplished, over-stressed moms through mindfulness and yoga and shares life with her husband and two daughters. To learn more and read her blog, visit HunterYoga.com.