Motherhood may be one of the most heartwarming and respectable roles to take on in life. For someone to take the very frontlines of nurturing the future generation, and to be able to give the purest form of sacrificial love for their family, there is no doubt Mothers play an integral driver in spurring humanity forward, one way or another. However, as touching as motherhood is, it is difficult tenfold.
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Nothing beats the job description of Mothers having to do it all. from cleaning the house, paying the bills and shopping, all while being a role model and disciplinarian to their children. Mothers are expected to give their all to the family. It almost feels selfish to not do so. It’s no wonder most mothers don’t have time for themselves and neglect their health and well-being.
Self-sacrifice or self-neglect
Mothers are so occupied with giving their time and energy to everyone else, they are often left none themselves. A study reported that 52% of mothers suffer from a loss of identity in their first year of motherhood. With no time to think, let alone spend on one’s unfounded passions and aspirations, as much as we’d love Mother’s to be empowered by Motherhood, on the contrary, their self-esteem is often beaten down by their loss of identity. The self-sacrifice that we exalt mothers for seems to be slowly turning to self-neglect!
Who works the most, needs the most care
‘You have to put on your oxygen mask first,” says Psychiatrist Gail Saltz “If you go to pieces, everyone is going down with you. So you have to give time to yourself. That is healthy, not selfish or narcissistic. That is a tough concept for a lot of women.” As the backbone of the family, mothers need to tend to themselves first before others - and it is not selfish. In fact, caring for yourself first is acting in the best interest of the family! Moving forward, as a mother, how can you practise proper self-care?
Care for your health and well-being first
If you’re a mother, it may have been long before you have gone for a doctor’s appointment, but before anything, check up on your health and well-being. Mothers should make sure they're getting sufficient sleep, the right nutrition and exercise. Schedule the necessary health screenings and check-ups to make sure you’re at the pink of health.
Make sure to take some time off the hustle and bustle of motherhood and spend some alone time. Pick a day of the week or month and dedicate it to relaxing, reflecting on your life, doing something you enjoy. Remember, while being a mother doesn’t define who you are, it doesn’t define you completely.
Embrace the change of motherhood
Motherhood can be an incredibly transformative phase, to an extent it is easy for mothers to look back on their past life and lament how much they’ve ‘lost’ from their old selves.
Indeed change can be scary, it may seem like much has been lost, but remind yourself that there a whole new life is ahead of you! The key is to find gratitude in your current situation and embrace your new path as a mother. Motherhood will inadvertently change you. But always remember that as much as your old self may be gone, a much stronger, wiser and more selfless person has taken that place. Embrace that person and take care of her well!