As a mum it is hard to escape the advice, suggestions and handy tips on how to successfully raise healthy happy children, be a loving caring partner and maintain your own sense of self, health and wellbeing.
Like you I have read and applied the golden rules of our mothers, grandmothers, parenting books/magazines and society at large but feel that much of that advice isn’t appropriate today for two reasons. Firstly, the advice of old focuses on ‘sacrifice’ to your family and to others. The second reason is that the expectations of today’s mum isn’t what it used to be – the stakes have been raised.
Job Description for today’s Mum
Today’s job description for the perfect MUM reads; aspires to be a domestic goddess, health & nutrition expert, mentally and emotionally in-check, excellent home decoration skills with a successful career or business. If traditional business doesn’t inspire she should learn to blog and become a social media queen or overnight you-tube or ebook sensation raking in squillions from her one million subscribers. Oh must also maintain a ‘ ‘hot body’ to keep well within the ‘yummy mummy’ category AND be passionate, sexy, interesting and considerate of her partner. Not asking for too much really!
Secretly we want it all however as a mother of 3 sons 21, 18, 16 and a daughter 10, I’ve learned some fast and hard lessons as a mum wanting and trying to do it all.
The most vital lesson of all is that life is made up of ME, US and THEM. In order to love your life it is essential you take good care of ME first, then the needs of US (our children, intimate partner and other significant relationships) and THEM – is everything else.
Some golden rules to remember about being the best you and mum ever:-
1. Practice self-care and self-nurture. Self-love (that goes for everyone) is a non-negotiable requirement for being a happy, fulfilled, complete person. Make nurturing, taking care of yourself and honoring your own needs a daily habit. This is fundamental to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Stop what you’re doing at least once a day and ask yourself, ‘what’s the most loving thing I can do for myself right now’? Then go do it immediately.
2. Make time to connect with your spouse as a lover and co-creator of a passionate and evolving relationship. It is easy to be overwhelmed with our parental responsibilities leaving us exhausted with little time for anything else. However we should never lose sight of the fact that our intimate relationships enhance the quality of our lives, re-charging our energy in ways that nothing else can.
3. Parent your way, your style. If your personality is fun and upbeat then plan your family life and activities to include ‘fun and upbeat’ activities. Throw out the rule book that says everything has to be scheduled and boring. Sure routine is essential, but mix it up – do what works for you and your families sanity and overall happiness.
4. Prioritize your time with ‘THEM.‘ Choose the activities and people that enhance your life, family experiences, values and dreams. Be vigilant with this as it’s easy for others to undermine your efforts.
I believe we are here to experience life exactly as we want it. To be, do, have everything that reinforces and escalates our level of happiness and love. Our family and significant relationships should be the same…just because someone else is doing it one way doesn’t mean it is the way you have to do it too.
If you’re worried about what others think then remember these wise words from Bernard M. Baruch “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Published 22nd February 2013