This topic has come up a few times in the past few weeks and it is something that I can reflect on now and see just how much self sacrificing I actually did… now that I have parented for 23 years it is all becoming a lot clearer. (Even though we still have 50% of our children still at home and in school).
Do not misunderstand me. I LOVE my children way beyond what I ever had known love to be. It is something to realise after birthing a first baby that our love is SO strong and deep for our children that we would literally throw ourselves in front of a bus if it meant saving one of our own children.
So what happens with self sacrifice? What does it mean? Is this another thing thrown at us as mothers for us to feel guilty about? NO. NO MORE GUILT.
Awareness is power. So being aware of how we DO self sacrificing and gives us a centred power where we can actually see that we HAVE a choice and in certain situations or times we actually then may CHOOSE to take that path of self nurture, caring for self and kindness to self. Putting ourselves first even if only for one moment to begin with because this switch can feel HUGE.
It actually could mean that we could go out for an evening after prizing those little hands from around our necks and actually be truly present and enjoy the FULL evening without feeling guilty.
What we forget in that moment when we are fully absorbed with love and caring for our children, partner or family is that in order for us to fully give without resentment ( ooh yes have you felt the resentment gremlin fire up inside you? mine usually turns up when I am standing at the kitchen sink for some reason OR when I am picking up the bath towels AGAIN for the 52nd time that week!)
So… how do we make the switch from complete mother martyring to throwing off self sacrifice at least part of the time or occasionally?
- You can start by saying something to yourself a few times a day like ” I am important” or ” I am of value” or even placing your hand on your heart and saying ” I am here” can help to start to reconnect yourself to your centre.
- Take some small time out. e.g. a cup of tea sitting down rather than while you are washing up, or doing another task.
- Write on your mirror in the bathroom in one of those fancy mirror textas ” I am ENOUGH”.
The idea is to start to send a little focus and loving inwards to at least get the inwards/outwards balance more in line with something sustainable, something to make YOU the mother sustainable. For example you could even go for a balance of 90% giving out and 10% giving inward to self to begin with and move on from there.
Baby steps… we are patient with our children … also be patient with yourself.
Go for it! That path to valuing self and turning your self sacrifice barometer down a little to include some self valuing.
Life is to be lived joyously…. for it is shorter than we think.
Catherine Evans © 2016
Photo Acknowledgement: ” You is Kind”
Click here for photo source – Photo reference