Friday, March 06, 2009

Does Mommy Have to Do It All to Have It All?

NOTE FROM SUSAN: Today’s post was written by Kimberley Clayton Blaine, a national child development expert and a licensed Family and Child Therapist, who specializes in working with children, ages newborn to six years old. She has two children of her own and has been working with families and children for over 23 years. Kimberley is currently the Social Marketing Director for a Los Angeles-based Early Childhood Mental Health Campaign (Project ABC) funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services (SAMHSA). This article is adapted from her new book, Mommy Confidence: 8 Easy Steps to Reclaiming Balance, Motivation and Your Inner Diva, which takes moms through eight practical steps to build inner strength, confidence, and motivation. It shows them how to become more self-aware, bond with other women, become calm and centered, and obtain the goals they often dream about! You can read more about Kimberley and her book here.

Does Mommy Have to Do It All to Have It All?

How many times do you get your fingernails or toenails cleaned, trimmed and painted pretty pink? Not enough, I bet. How many times a week do you go to the store, do laundry or drive to a job? I’m sure you have a clear answer for that question.

How did we moms fall into the trap of never-ending errands? If you dare tell me it comes with the territory, I will scream -- loudly. I have a hard time believing that it’s good practice to encourage or expect moms to do-it-all. Yes, I believe a mom can “have it all,” but not necessarily by doing it all.

What does “having it all” really mean? When I think of a mom who has it all, I envision a relaxed woman smiling, taking time for herself, while still bringing in a little cash flow to help the family finances. She may also have some time to go for a walk/run or to yoga, but still have time to attend her daughter’s soccer game. She takes care of the family, but also makes and demands time to read her romance novel.

Who said that once we become a mom that we shouldn’t indulge in mommy confidence-building moments? Moms need confidence and balance to be a good parent and wife. A burnt-out mommy is NOT a good thing. Moms need help more than kids do. How can a mom care-take her family if she is not taking care of herself? I’m a real nice mom when I’m not running the rat race. If I get sucked in to over-scheduling or try to handle too much at once, I begin to feel the mean mommy come out. Who wants a mean mommy?

I’m not saying to leave your kids home all weekend with Daddy so you can go out and party. Nor am I advocating you enroll your child in preschool so you can watch TV or work out all day. It’s crucial that moms take a few moments to care-take themselves. Whether it’s a private bath with no kids running in or taking time to visit the craft store, you deserve it.

Taking time for your self is essential for good mothering. No one really ever plans on being a martyr-mom. We all know that, in the end, this type of mom will eventually burn out, and her children may witness her unravel. Taking time off from chores, work and family can be very mommy-enhancing. A happy woman makes a happy mom.

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1 comment:

  1. it's true...i have only 1 child but there are moments i felt 24 hrs is not enough...but, i didn't sent my child to pre-school as i prefer to teach her on my own..i'm not so patience, but watching her progress are the best!


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