Parenting Vivian | 01 Nov 2010 01:26 am

‘Good’ Moms Sacrifice For Their Kids – Right?

揚ick up your feet. We抮e going to be late for school!?I hiss. What I actually want to say is, 揑抦 going to be late for work for the third time this week because of your dawdling!?/p>

It is barely eight in the morning桰抦 tired, I抦 cranky and I抳e used up all my parental ammunition as I抳e taken away every single privilege they have and even some privileges they don抰 even have.

So while on the brink of parenting burnout, now over a decade ago, I can抰 even muster up the strength to use my default self-care line, 揗y energy batteries are low right now and I need to take five minutes alone to recharge them so I can enjoy my time with you. ?But that morning, I was beyond deep breathing! Instead, I continued to nag, and then nag some more.

Just then, this eight-year-old looks up and says, 揧ou know, I am starting to think your batteries just aren抰 the rechargeable kind.?/p>

In four seconds flat this child has called my superwoman bluff. Forever burned in my memory, this is the day when I began to realize that 慡uper Moms?are no more real than the abdominal snowman. Yes it was with some shock that I realized 慡uper Moms?only end up 抯uper stressed?

Later that day, while sitting opposite my counseling client lecturing her on self-care, a little voice in my head says, 揧ou fake! You wouldn抰 know self-care if it ran past you naked?.

Thus began my commitment (and later my mission as a parenting counselor, mother and author) to help enlighten other Moms about the reality of what a 慓ood Mom?truly means.

Our 慓ood Mom?Myth Exploded

Most of us (myself included) have bought into the 慓ood Mom?myth which states:

The measure of a 慓ood Mom?is counted by how much she sacrifices for her kids.

In reality, however, woman and mothers who use selfless devotion wind up having less 憇elf?to give to their loved ones. And we抳e all heard it before, when Mom ain抰 happy ain抰 nobody happy!

The selfless Moms are often the ones plagued by colds, short tempers and even depression. These Moms often find themselves visiting a therapist抯 office like mine, when they have lost their passion not only for parenting, but for life.

So what抯 the solution? Do I suggest mothers become selfish? No, although in small doses selfishness can be very healthy! From working with thousands of mothers, I抳e concluded that what we need is an entirely different parenting approach. Becoming 憇elf-full?is what I most recommend. 慡elf-full?mothering occurs when mothers choose to become fulfilled in their own life, so they can inspire their children to do the same.

When Moms don抰 take care of their own basic needs, they become grumpy, grouchy and sometimes even witchy (just ask your kids!). We all know that self-care is good for us梑ut who has the time to do what抯 good for us!

Parenting Self-Care, The Easy Way

If you are just too sleep deprived and too frazzled to squeeze in anything for you, then you may find the following questions an easy way to start or reignite your self-care process, without adding more to your parenting to-do list!

Before you do any task, ask yourself the following question:

揥ill this task deplete or fulfill me??

If you answer 慸eplete挆seriously consider not doing the task. If this seems impossible then ask yourself:

揌ow CAN I make this next task fulfilling??/strong>

Every day you have a gazillion things to do. It is what we choose to do and how we choose to look at our life that creates or destroys our sense of fulfillment. Ask better questions to make better choices梩hen you can experience a better life.

With practice, you can transform your to-do items from draining to entertaining. Listen to your favorite music while scrubbing the toilet; make up silly rhymes with your kids while making dinner; even wear your most colorful p.j.抯 backwards when picking the kids up from school. There are all kinds of ways to infuse your tasks with fun and meaning梤epeat your favorite affirmation or prayer, or simply think of all the things you are grateful for. Ask your kids to join you in this commitment and watch how you not only survive your days, but begin to thrive.

The One Thing I Know about Your Family

Even though I don抰 know you personally, I know that your family deserves to have a Mom who is fulfilled, happy and a joy to be around梠ne whose footsteps they will be inspired to follow. That Mom is you! Commit to doing fulfilling tasks that nourish you, and see how moment after moment your life and your family抯 life can become more than it is already.

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