Self-contentment… remember what that feels like? Do you remember who you were before you had kids? Do you remember what you loved to do and the things that brought you joy?
As a single mom I know that for many years I felt like there was nothing more to me than just being Mom. It was a feeling that is hard to nail down sometimes. The best way I can describe it is a sort of hollow feeling inside. Like there is a part of you that just isn't there anymore.
All those things that I used to do, that brought me happiness, I simply stopped doing after my kids were born. Because I was a single mom with little to no help, it just seemed impossible.
There was no way I would have the time or energy to work on self-contentment.
I had kids to feed, boo-boo's to patch up, clothes to wash, events to drive to, homework to help with, doctor's appointments…
There was no TIME for anything more, and even if there was time – I was too damn tired to try and do it. ‘I'll do that later. When the kids are older.'
But something happened, and it happened so slowly – in small increments, that I didn't even realize it …
I lost myself.
So many things that had to be done to care for my kids and give them full lives, that I forgot about my own life. Self-contentment, self-care – those became things of the past.
I became simply mom. Nothing more to me than that. And I thought that was how it was supposed to be.
I felt guilty if I tried to go and do something for myself. How could I possibly justify spending even a dollar on something special for ME when I should dedicate everything to them? What a horrible mother I must be for wanting some time away from my kids!
How could I possibly follow my dreams and still be a good mom?
So everything was pushed aside and my dreams tossed aside so I could be the best mom I could be. Or so I thought…
You see, after a while that hollowness – it starts to become all consuming. You start to feel lost somehow. Yeah, you are still doing everything you need to do in order to be super-mom. But it feels like a chore.
Like you have to force yourself to continue with the day to day. You still love your kids more than anything – but your life…you don't really love that.
Which is NOT a good thing, because whether you realize it or not, your kids can feel that. You may try to hide it – but they instinctively know.
Somewhere along the way we decided that we needed to put ourselves last in order to be good moms. We don't. We need to be right up there in the top two!
First the kids, then right along side them – US!
We need to feel that we are just as important and our goals and dreams are also just as important. Now, I am not saying you should ditch your kids and run off to Paris to become and artist. BUT – if art is something that you love, then it should STILL be a part of your life.
Music, art, fashion, architecture, guitar, dance… if you love it, and it feeds your soul, it NEEDS to be a part of your life! Self-contentment is so much more important than you may realize. You need to feel like a whole person if you want to be the best mom you can be.
Even if you can only take 30 minutes a day to feed your passion – at least that is something. Do the things that bring you joy (provided they are not bad habits). You will feel better and BE better. It will feel like a part of your self is returning, I promise!
And you will be a better mother for it.