I recently had a conversation with a favorite client about motherhood. First, let me tell you about this pretty cool woman that I’ve come to admire. She is a mother, businesswoman, and although I work in her home on a regular basis, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her look a mess. She’s always wearing a fun outfit and takes excellent care of herself. Also, she is very kind and thankful for all she has, and you see that as you walk through her home and notice little reminders of gratitude.

I was surprised to hear her say that she wouldn’t be as great of a mom if it weren’t for the people in her life. Not only family and friends but the people she hires to help her with her home and children.

I told her that was silly; I’ve met her children. They are well adjusted and very loved little humans. She’s a great mom, and she should take all the credit. She then made a very valid point; she depended on other people to help her so that she can have the TIME for herself which then allows her to be a great mom.

I can’t help but think of how brave she is for admitting this. As many of us know, there is pressure from other moms, society, and ourselves to think of motherhood as some kind of martyrdom. How dare we sit in a salon somewhere while our children are with a sitter?! Or spoil ourselves while saying “no” to our kids. Can you imagine the outcry in some mom-circles?

This led me to another conversation. This time with a dear friend who said that once she had children, it took her years to overcome the guilt of choosing to treat herself to something instead of her children. Her sweet husband would encourage her to buy something for herself, and she’d place items in the shopping cart at Target only to put them all back before they made it to the checkout.

Why do we do this?

Why do so many of us use our husbands and children’s as an excuse on why we cannot put ourselves first?

It’s like if we dare do anything for ourselves, we would we be compared to that mom who went on vacation to Germany and left her small children at home alone.

Is it judgment from others that we fear? Or are we just making excuses?

Take the mom whose children are dressed head to toe in the latest fashion and yet she is still wearing a maternity shirt…..and she’s not pregnant!

Why do we accept that for ourselves?

Motherhood does not and should not mean that we give up all for ourselves and give everything to our husband and children.

That goes for your goals and dreams as well.

Everyone wins when mom isn’t always last.

I admit I have put myself on the back burner too. Hiding behind my husband and children feeling like I’m somehow taking away from them if I take some time or spend money on myself. My friend who does my nails insists I get them done every two weeks. If it were up to me, I’d let them go for weeks then eventually stop. I’ve honestly tried convincing myself it’s an unnecessary expense but when I leave with a pretty little manicure, it makes me feel good. So, it’s undoubtedly a worthy expense.

Now, I haven’t allowed motherhood or marriage stop me from every goal or dream. For that, I am eternally thankful!  When I was 18 years old, I committed to visiting one new place every year for the rest of my life. I love traveling like no one I know. Well, I had my first child unexpectedly at 19 and guess what? I’ve still made that goal happen! I’ve towed my kids along on trips and adventures far and near. I am now in my forties and still traveling. Every. Single. Year. If I had given up on that dream, I would have missed out on life-changing adventures and precious memories.

The other goal was starting my business. Truth be told,  my husband wasn’t fully on board for quite some time. In fact, I had to continue to work my full-time job AND run my business for 14 months before he was comfortable with me leaving a regular paycheck. Then I took every single job that came my way for another four years sacrificing a few soccer games and feeding my kids’ popcorn and cereal for dinner from time to time.  Guess what? We all survived! I didn’t give up everything, and it forced me to become a master at managing my time better. I knew it was a season in our lives and as I sit here six years later, I am now able to pick and choose how I work and when I work. My husband and children have a mom who’s way more available then when I had my 9-5, and although life can still be crazy, I feel better because my life is about me.

Just a little note….

To those of you reading this with the raised eyebrow of judgement…..(yes, you…) Let me leave you with this; when you give everything to your family and leave little or nothing for yourself, it is a terrible burden to place on the people you love most in this world.

Book a spa appointment, see a movie with a friend, get away from your kids, laugh, and live and find your own adventures because you’ll be a much happier human. Now, that’s something special to give to your family!

With the utmost gratitude and thanks for reading my blog,

-Janel