As a Mom you probably feel that it is your ultimate responsibility to care for and nurture your child. After all you made them and you should be responsible for them. Sometimes though, taking care of your children means taking care of yourself first. I know, it sounds kind of funny but ultimately you cannot take care of your children in the best way possible if you, yourself aren’t being taken care of.
When I first became a mom I was eighteen years old. I was excited and scared at the same time. I knew the basics like how to keep my kid alive but for the most part I was clueless, overwhelmed, and sleep deprived. Even women who wait until their thirty five years old don’t know everything about parenting. It’s not like these little creatures roll out of the womb with an instruction manual.
Anyways, as a mom and especially as a new and young mom I felt that I shouldn’t ask anyone for help with anything. I was worried that it would be seen as a weakness or that it would prove what many thought….that I was “too young” to be a mom. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was in fact a good mom who had it together or at least, looked like I did.
With a few years of gained wisdom I however have come to realize that none of us really have it together. Like you might have it together but noone has it completely together. Every person has some kind of a struggle in their life and every parent faces new struggles with parenting often.
If you have read my posts regarding my history with mental illness and postpartum depression then you know I eventually HAD to get help from those around me.
One of the big parts of my postpartum depression becoming so bad was that I didn’t want anyone to know what I thought was my weakness. I hoped that eventually it would pass on its own or I could just sail on past it. Boy did that blow up in my face and catastrophically at that!
My point is, if you are overwhelmed and struggling don’t wait until you have completely lost it before seeking help from friends or family. If you are at the point where you are so tired that you’re falling asleep standing up then your parenting isn’t going to be as great as you are hoping.
I don’t know how many times I have been completely exhausted and frustrated to the point that my annoyances seep out of me and affect my children. I’ll be very cranky and the smallest things will make me snippy. Every single parent has had moments like this, even if they don’t admit to it.
Truthfully when you are tense your children are tense. They can sense your vibes even if you aren’t letting your frustrations outside of yourself. Have you ever noticed that when you’re having a really bad day it also seems to be the same day that your toddler is having back to back meltdowns or your kids are fighting non-stop? Next thing you know, a bad day has turned into an even worse day.
Give yourself a break every once in a while, for your own sanity and the sanity of your children. While being a parent makes your children you and the fathers ultimate reponsibility you also have a responsibility to yourselves.
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I’m not saying you have to drop the kids off with grandma for a week to go to Vegas. Just an hour or two to yourself every so often is necessary though. Asking grandma to take the kids for an hour so you can shower in peace is a life saver.
Another thing I want to note is if you are unsure about something go ask someone for advice or a helping hand. Your mom, grandmother, aunts, and friends have at one point been exactly where you are. They aren’t going to think that you are dumb for not knowing something.
Most of the time many Mothers are pleased to pass on wisdom to other Mothers.
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Leaning on your husband or significant other in times of strain is okay too. Just remember they’re probably under stress from time to time as well. Confide in one another.
Just remember your physical and mental health needs to be tended to regularly in order for you to be the best parent that you can be. Asking for help in no way makes you weak and taking time for yourself isn’t selfish.
Your kids don’t need a perfect mom they need a happy one.