I know a few martyrs. Mommy martyrs, to be more specific. I am talking about the kind of women who NEVER put themselves first. Who are always thinking of others. Most times it’s their kids, but it can be other family members, friends, strangers, and even animals. This seems like a very admirable and selfless trait to have. Society puts a lot of value in this position. But I am here to tell you that it is not great for you. I am going to ask you to stop. I am not going to ask you to stop loving your children or helping your family or being an upstanding member of your community who helps others and loves animals. All of those things are great. But you just might be taking it a bit too far.
If you are not sure whether you are sometimes a mommy martyr, here are some signs that you MIGHT be.
1. Your kids are signed up for 3 different weekly activities, and yet you can’t find the time to do something that you love, even for a little bit of time each week. Our culture seems to be obsessed with kids keeping busy. And I am talking about LITTLE kids as well as the bigs. I’m not sure when this happened, and I am all for a kid being exposed to different activities and learning about sportsmanship and teamwork. HOWEVER – I am also a big fan of balance. If you want to try yoga but you can’t make it fit your schedule, maybe it’s time to scale back on your kids’ activities and carve out some time for you. If you complain that you can’t find time to read, maybe it’s time to reevaluate and really look at where you are spending time, and recalibrate. Cause lady, YOU are important too!
2. You have gift cards that you have been given as gifts that you can’t find time to use. What are you waiting for? Someone thought enough of you to give you a gift of a manicure, or chance to buy yourself something, and you are not honoring that. Pull out those cards and figure out a way to use them. Girl, you deserve it. And you owe it to yourself and the person who loved you enough to give it to you. GO USE THAT CARD.
3. You don’t shower as often as you would like to. To be clear, I am not talking to moms of newborns. This in only for those of you out there who have kids that are sleeping at least 6 hours at a stretch. And I am not suggesting that you take an hour-long bubble bath each day either. I take 5 minute showers every day and only take a longer one twice a week when I wash my hair. The point here is, if you aren’t able to fit it in, this may be more an issue of time management. That, or you haven’t quite embraced the fact that you CAN leave small kids in a room safely for 5 minutes while you give yourself the gift of feeling clean and putting on clean clothes.
4. Your kids have a wardrobe of name brand expensive stylish clothes, and yet your threads? Not so much. OK – So I hear you. You bought all those Ralph Lauren clothes for your toddler on a tag sale site and they were not nearly as expensive as if you had bought them in the store. Or they were gifts. Or hand me downs. Or Zuiliy. That’s cool. But girl, you deserve some nice duds too. Treat yoself.
5. You have clothing hanging in your closet, some maybe even with tags on it, that you don’t wear because you “don’t have anywhere to wear it.” Ladyfriend, today is the day. Wear the damn dress to drop off. Rock some skirts in the summer, or a maxi with boots. The worst thing you are going to hear is, “Why are you so dressed up today?” and your answer can be something like, “I found this in my closet and decided to take it out for some air.”
This entire post could have been encapsulated to say: GIRL YOU DESERVE IT!
Please. Start treating yourself as well as you treat your kids, your friends, and your neighbors. One day, it’s gonna be just you again. When you look in the mirror when your kids live elsewhere, who would you rather see? Your best friend, or a sad depleted stranger?
So, are you a mommy martyr? What do you do just for you?
See you at the spa!