“A critical factor in a child’s well-being is the serenity of his mother. We need to be compassionate toward ourselves, both for the good of our children and for our own good as well.”
From The Price of Privilege by Madeline Levine
Serenity in motherhood may seem unattainable; in part because of the messages society sends women to be the “perfect” Mom. Then we discover that we are not perfect and we feel guilty. While it may not be possible to eliminate all guilt, it may help to recognize that you don’t have to be the ideal parent and that doing your best is good enough.
In addition to cutting yourself some slack, there are other ways to attain some serenity as a Mom in our stressful culture. One way is to nurture yourself; it is a way to invest in the welfare of your whole family.
And, yes, Moms, caring for yourself is doable. Maybe not in the same ways you did before you were a mother, but in new ways, like lying down on the sofa for a short rest, going outside to sit in the sun for ten minutes while your child naps, or asking a trusted friend or relative to babysit while you go to the library to read a couple of magazines. (I personally like to take time out to watch my favorite comedians on YouTube.)
We cannot give our children our best if we are tired, depleted, and defeated; nor can we model for them the importance of self-care if we don’t take care of ourselves. It is not selfish to get nurtured as a parent; take care of yourself so that you will be more giving, helpful, and loving to the people around you.
By Claire Gawinowicz
Certified Parenting Educator