Let me pre-empt this whole post with the idea that regardless of if you’re a working mom, stay at home mom, work from home mom, dream of having a job where someone pays you to leave the house mom, whatever mom you are, motherhood can be challenging. I say this as I am about to reference an article about women in the office, and although I love a good debate, I don’t want to hear about who has it harder. That is not the point if this post. So let’s continue.
As with most concepts that seem, well, rational, here’s another one that needed a study to be proven true:
“By putting self-concern on par with concern for others, women may feel less altruistic, but they’re able to gain more influence and sustain more energy. Ultimately, they can actually give more.”-From the New York Times article Madame C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee. You can read the full article here.
I’m sorry, this is news? Yes, in a shocking turn of events, when women take the time to look after themselves, they can be more successful in their endeavors and feel less like the walking dead.
Obviously this article is talking about women in the workplace. This idea, however, rings true for those at home caring for their children as well. Taking the time to do something for yourself is actually beneficial for not just you. It ultimately makes you more productive, and therefore able to do more of all that you have to do, and to do it well.
Take a minute and let that sink in. Because I’m not saying that in 5 years when both kids are in school for at least half the day you can justify doing something for you. I’m not saying that in a few months, when you’ve got that nap schedule nailed down, then you can take the time to fit in the workouts you’ve been missing.
No. I’m saying that now, today, you should be taking time for yourself, to do what makes YOU feel renewed. A good workout, a deep conditioning treatment, the time to put on actual eye color and not just slap some mascara on those sleep deprived eyes. From the moment your feet hit the floor in the morning, there is something that needs doing. Breakfast, the dog, the laundry, the crumb covered floor, the migrating toys, the closets full of crap that should be thrown away, the bathroom floor that has been peed on how many times? There’s always going to be something.
It’s OK to ask your toddler to play on their own for a few minutes, they should be able to anyhow. Putting your infant in a bouncy seat and therefore not interacting with your baby every waking minute is OK. They’ll be fine. And that thing on the list of the myriad of things that need to be cleaned? It can wait. Everyone will ultimately be better off.
But you know who will REALLY benefit from this? The person who this will have a huge impact on? Your daughter. Because this behavior of ignoring our needs while meeting everyone else’s, that’s learned. We didn’t learn it in a formal lesson, we learned it from watching our mothers exist in every day life. I for one am for a change in E’s cultural curriculum.