I have a running to-do list. Actually I have a couple of them, one for work, one for my house, one for my personal stuff.
The thing about our to-do lists is that, as moms, we often forget to put ourselves on them.
Years ago, a therapist told me, “Nina, the problem is not that your needs are on the bottom of the to-do list… the problem is your needs aren’t even ON the to-do list.”
I was astonished at that statement. I’m allowed to have needs? Wait, you don’t understand… I have 4 kids. I have a business. That’s a lot of needs for one person to handle.
It turns out my therapist was correct. My self-care sucked. I wasn’t exercising enough, I wasn’t taking time for myself, I wasn’t tuned in to my needs at all.
As a result, I was giving from an empty container. And, unsurprisingly, it didn’t work out very well for me or my kids.
My kids sometimes joke about how cranky I was in those days. It stings, because it’s true.
By putting the kids’ needs first at all times, I thought I was being a good mom. But it turns out that self-sacrifice and “martyr mothering” doesn’t benefit anyone.
Trust me, I know.
What I’ve learned since then is, the kids are happy when you are happy. When your physical and emotional and spiritual needs are being met, when you nourish yourself with healthy food or exercise or downtime or sex or whatever it is that YOU uniquely need, everyone in your world benefits.
For Mother’s Day this year, my wish is that you make a to-do list just for YOU.
Think about what would delight and thrill you to no end… and then go do it. Leave the kids with your partner or your mother or your neighbor. Do whatever it takes.
Let’s make it a goal to feel amazing this Mother’s Day. And please write in the comments and let me know what you have planned.