We hope you all remembered to call your mother today. Mother’s Day is the only Hallmark holidays that I like. And not just because my husband and kids are extra kind and thoughtful (which they are). See, many mothers I know dedicate their lives to taking care of their children, their spouses, their aging parents, or anyone else in need. Some of it is probably cultural, some of it is almost certainly just how we are hormonally wired. They are true givers and selflessly make sure everyone else is taken care of before meeting their own needs. While this is a noble and admirable trait, sometimes it can also be detrimental. You see, sometimes the compulsion to take care of others overpowers the commitment to taking care of oneself. It becomes our identity and we don’t know what to do if we aren’t caring for someone else. Repeated over and over, this becomes a pattern that results in negative consequences for the caregiver’s physical, mental, and emotional health. We can be better than that.
So this Mother’s Day, I have a challenge and a message for all you selfless mothers out there. First, thank you for all you do. Second, take care of yourself. It is okay to put yourself first sometimes. You will be a better mother, teacher, doctor, friend, teammate, worker, student–if you commit to regularly refilling your own bucket. For me, that means prioritizing exercise and getting outside; even if dinner isn’t started yet and laundry needs to be folded. For you, it might be something completely different. Because you see, if you wait until all the chores are done before you meet your own needs, you will never get there. It has to be a priority.
Happy Mother’s Day