Put the Mask on Yourself First
I was doing a live video a few nights ago talking about how us moms can suffer from mom guilt. (if you didn’t happen to see it – check out my FB page here) I was talking about how moms suffer from mom guilt if you want to do things on our own. Ya know, when you need to leave the house and be by yourself for your own sanity. Or maybe it’s getting dressed up and going out with a group of friends for the evening. Moms can tend to feel guilty for wanting to do things for themselves, thinking that this makes them selfish in some way. Then, those thoughts can lead back to asking yourself “Does this make me a bad mom?”
Hold up gurrrlll – take a breath. Now I know that you have probably heard the safety instructions when you fly on an airplane. I especially love the one about the oxygen mask – first put the mask on yourself before you help others – even children. Makes sense, right? I mean, if you are passed out from the lack of oxygen are you going to be able to help anyone else? NO.
I have to be honest – when this flew out of my mouth on video, it was completely out of nowhere. After I was finished with my livestream, I thought to myself – well duh! Why didn’t I ever connect the dots before? As women and mothers, most of the time we are givers. We give and give and give. We give to our kids, we give to our significant others, we give to our jobs.
Giving is great – don’t get me wrong, but how do you give when you haven’t given to yourself first? Doesn’t make a lot of sense, right? You get burnt out, cranky, snappy and just – blah. You’re running on little to no oxygen and trying to run the marathon of life. Doesn’t seem like that would work out to well. Plus, couple that will feeling guilty for wanting, no needing to take time for yourself and it feels like you are running on empty all the time.
Instead of feeling guilty for taking time to yourself, think of it as putting on your oxygen mask first. This allows you to be able to breathe (physically and figuratively) and you can then in turn be more helpful to those around you. Putting on your oxygen mask can look like a number of different things, but it starts with taking time for yourself. Starting a self-care routine is crucial to living a happier and more blissful life.
Taking time for yourself could be going out with friends, getting a pedicure, taking a course that interests you or just leaving the house for 10-15 minutes to take a walk. One of my biggest self-care routines that has had multiple purposes was joining a gym so I could workout without being asked a million questions or assaulted in the process (my son once hit me in the face with a truck while I was trying to do an at home yoga program – it was super fun). I cannot stress enough to moms out there that taking time for themselves is a good thing, not something to feel guilty about.
The bonus to taking time for you and not feeling guilty about it. You become a happier, healthier person. You become a happier, healthier partner. You become a happier, healthier parent. Just by allowing and giving yourself permission to put your oxygen mask on first is going to create a shift. It’s OK to want time to yourself, you are a human being with needs of your own. Leave the guilt trip behind and just breathe.
Life is What You Choose