One of the greatest Mother’s Day gifts we can receive is…
Learning to love ourselves. The older I get (and the older my kids get) the more I realize how very true this is. For many years, I thought I knew what this meant and erroneously believed, I was doing it. Not even close. What’s interesting is that stereotypical mothering almost seems to run contrary to what having a healthy love for ourselves as mothers actually looks like.
For most of us, loving our children by doing, doing, doing for them is somehow an indication that we are a “good mom.” I probably spent more time in my car than anywhere else while raising my three beautiful children. And if I wasn’t driving to school (or back to school because they left their lunch at home!) I was cleaning, cooking, working outside the home all in an effort to be a “good mom.”
At the end of most days, I collapsed from exhaustion always trying to stay “on top of things.” Thank God, however, I eventually did recognize the inherent value of simply spending time with them. Something I learned from my dear mother. Whether it was checking them out from school in the middle of the day to take them to Disneyland or letting my son stay home from school so he and I could go fishing, these are the kind of moments I will always cherish. Not the running around till I collapsed, but the sweet memories when I allowed myself to just be with them. Cuddle them. Hold them close.
This is one way, and a very important way, that we as moms can learn to love ourselves. Balance. That word used to drive me nuts when I’d hear someone say, “You just need to learn to be more balanced.” I’d think to myself “You have no clue how crazy my life is!” But, truthfully, there is wisdom in this. Deep wisdom that can benefit us all.
If you were to reflect on this past week, do you see balance or imbalance in your life? Time set aside to allow yourself to rest (with or without your kids) and just BE. Learning to just BE is a gift we choose to give ourselves and it is a clear indication that we are learning to love ourselves in a genuinely healthier manner.
This will require dealing with erroneous thinking on our part. Identifying the faulty beliefs we hold as mothers.
What does it mean to be a “good mom?”
Today, I would answer that question much differently than I would have as a younger mother. Today, I would say that it requires learning to treat yourself with Respect. Kindness. Love. Patience. Compassion. It requires no longer comparing yourself to other moms. It’s learning to love who God made you and to accept that He made you beautiful. Not perfect. Perfect is not possible. Perfection is reserved for God alone. Thankfully!
So, if there was one thing I’d like to share with all the mama’s who read this message today, it is…Learn to love yourself! It’s okay to choose you. Loving you is loving your kids. It’s teaching them to value what God values…YOURSELF!
From one mama to another…
“Happy Mother’s Day! Go BE!!”
NOTE: I recognize and fully acknowledge that abuse takes place in all sorts of relationships. My heart breaks for all victims. However, because the majority of abusers are male and the majority of victims are female (of domestic violence victims, 85% are female and 15% are male [Source:Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence]), I have utilized the pronouns “she” to represent the victim, and “he” to represent an abuser throughout the pages on this website. I may also, at times, utilize “their.” This is not meant to disregard the pain experienced in other contexts, it is merely a way to communicate with clarity. To learn more about the truth of domestic violence or explore resources, click here.