Tonight, I hope you’ll help me welcome another friend of mine – Meagan. She’s a fellow Btowner, writer, and blogger (go visit her). And she’s very good at making you think. Help her feel welcome, won’t you?
I’m so much more than a mom. Don’t get me wrong, being Mom is great and I wouldn’t change it. But, like most moms I know, I have a life beyond my kids – and I think that’s a good thing.
I have met moms who can’t imagine being away from their little tykes, but is that healthy? What happens when little Johnny grows up? If your whole life is defined by your kids (or anyone else), what does that say about who you are? And how do you adapt when you have to define yourself?
I’m outspoken, as a mom, as a woman, as a person. And I’m all those things. I think that’s something we sometimes forget – that we’re people in our own right.
When you spend so much time taking care of your children, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. It’s easy to brush aside your relationship with your spouse or partner, deciding you can work on that later when the kids grow up. It’s easy to lose track of your SELF, thinking this is your self.
I think I am a much better mom when I take care of myself. What do they tell you on an airplane? Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Why? Because you can’t help someone else unless you can help yourself. (Ok, on an airplane losing oxygen, there’s a practical reason because you’ll pass out if you don’t put your mask on, but I still think the parallel applies.)
When I have time to do things I enjoy, I’m calmer. Dealing with tantrums and histrionics is rough when you want to join them.
When my husband and I spend time alone together, it builds our relationship (and makes us happier), producing a stronger team. And it’s easier to parent when you have a strong team.
When my kids see me doing things I enjoy, I think it sets a good example. They see me read and hopefully that inspires a love of books. They see me happy and passionate about what I’m doing and that hopefully inspires them to be passionate about something – sports, music, art, math, it doesn’t matter what.
I want them to know that I love them and support them, but I also want them to be independent. Because raising happy, well-adjusted, independent children is my ultimate goal.