5 Gifts to Give Yourself on Mother’s Day (And All Year Long)
Happy Mother's Day!
Sometimes Mother's Day can feel like a real let-down. The kids still wake me up at the crack of dawn. I end up making myself breakfast, and then cleaning up after myself (and them) while they watch TV. The gifts aren't exactly what I was hoping for, but I figure it's the thought that counts. I try to steal five minutes of alone time in my bedroom, and then hide in the closet hoping they can't find me when I hear sibling bickering and threats of, “I'm telling Mommy!”
This year, instead of getting all hung up on expectations and waiting around for gifts and acknowledgment that I'm doing an awesome job, I'm giving them to myself!
If you think it's selfish to give myself gifts, keep reading. These gifts are just as much for my kids as they are for me.
1. The Gift of Forgiveness
Sometimes I'm too hard on myself. Sometimes I hold myself to a higher standard than I hold others. I feel guilty when I make a mistake and worry that I'm not enough.
So, I'm giving myself the gift of forgiveness. I'm hereby releasing myself from perfectionism and accepting the fact that I'm human, and there's no such thing as a perfect parent. I'm choosing to believe that wherever I am on life’s journey is exactly where I'm supposed to be.
We ALL make parenting mistakes. The secret to learning and growing from them is to recognize when we make them, and then to figure out how to avoid making the same ones in the future.
Forgiving ourselves doesn't mean forgetting what’s happened in the past. It means letting go of the negativity that’s holding us back from moving forward and making things better.
2. The Gift of Rest
Moms are constantly on the go. We say “yes” to every invitation and request. We're people pleasers. Our favorite excuse for not taking a break is that we “don’t have time.”
Listen here, Mama. Our bodies need rest. They need energy that comes from restorative rest, not espresso (or in my case, a venti Breakfast Blend with heavy cream). They need strong immune systems to fight off all the germs those kiddies bring home from school every day. Our brains need rest so they can concentrate, think clearly, and remember all the little things we must do. And our kids need us to rest so they can have patient, calm, and relaxed adults to look after them.
Taking a rest is not a sign of weakness. It's during rest that the body and mind become stronger.
3. The Gift of Health
Quite simply, if you don’t have your health, you can’t be the best parent (or person) you can be.
I know I’ve been guilty of giving my kids all the fresh fruit and vegetables in the house and then eating junk because I wanted to “save the good stuff” for them. What kind of model for healthy living is that? My body craves those healthy foods and deserves to have them just as much as my kids’ bodies do.
Giving myself the gift of health means nourishing my body with lots of healthy food and exercise. It means going to the doctor and dentist for regular checkups. It also means taking care of my mental well-being by talking with my own life coach.
4. The Gift of Discovery
I love this one. This gift is all about discovering and RE-discovering myself.
At times it's hard to remember what I was like before I was a mom. Before the chronic sleep deprivation, infinite loads of laundry, and carpool lines. But I was a pretty independent woman. I loved to travel alone. I loved to sing. I enjoyed going dancing with friends, cooking healthy meals, and taking all kinds of classes.
The truth is that I still love all those things, and for a while I put them “on hold” thinking that I'd just resume them when my kids got older. Not only was it important for me to re-connect with myself, it's also important for my girls to see that there's more to me than just being a Mommy and that I have my own interests, dreams, and desires to fulfill.
5. The Gift of Perspective
This gift allows me to take a step back from whatever DRAMA I’ve got going on and remember that old saying, “This too shall pass…” It also helps me to feel and express gratitude whenever I lose sight of the bigger picture or start blowing things out of proportion.
So, what gifts do you want to give to yourself this Mother's Day? Please leave a comment below and tell me!
P.S. Marissa, and Dalia – I still would really love the chance to sleep in on Sunday and have my coffee in bed! Smooches! Love, Mommy