Parenting

Moms — Put Yourselves First Once In A While

Image via Instagram/My Unfiltered Chaos

Moms need to take time to recharge and do what makes us happy

Every mom knows how hard it can be to carve out time in a day (or month) just for us. But if we aren’t taking care of ourselves, we cannot take care of other people. And women take care of everyone; not just our kids – but parents, friends, siblings, other people’s kids, pets, an elderly woman we met in the grocery store six years ago – and so on. We give and give and ask very little in return. But when we don’t put ourselves first every once in a while, our well runs dry and we are no good to anyone.

Nicole Snyder, who writes at My Unfiltered Chaos, decided she’d had enough one morning and (gasp) “desperately needed a shower; physically and mentally.” And really, who can blame her with five kids under seven at home. Snyder stepped in the shower and was immediately summoned by her husband because, of course.

“Jason popped in asking how long I was going to be and I didn’t respond,” Snyder wrote. “I was taking this time for myself. I couldn’t fill anyone else’s cup and be the mom/wife they need unless I’m ok. It wasn’t selfish to shave my legs and actually wash and repeat with my shampoo. It was necessary.”

Snyder said she had been listening to another writer’s podcast earlier that day when she realized just how much she needed time to herself. “She said some things that resonated with me down to my soul, possibly because of the language. “Do no harm. Take no shit,” Snyder recalled. “And something along the lines of ‘If you’re not at the top of your priorities, you’re last.’”

But her baby girl was crying.

So, Snyder got out of the shower and could have left it at that, abandoning her much needed alone time for her child’s needs. But she didn’t. “I could’ve scooped her up and forgone the rest of my out of the shower routine, but she was ok,” Snyder wrote. “So I laid her on the floor next to me. Combed my hair. Got dressed. THEN I hugged and snuggled and kissed on her.”

Snyder told Scary Mommy she believes mothers feel so guilty taking time for themselves, “because it doesn’t seem natural.” And when we finally realize we need to care for ourselves, “it’s really hard. It takes practice. We always think of what else we could be doing with our time, instead of just enjoying and recharging so that we can be the best version of ourselves possible.”

But fuck feeling guilty about it – whatever it is. If we want to go to the gym, read a book, meet friends for lunch on a Saturday, drink wine in our closet while we try on our bright red six inch heels that we paid way too much for to impress that one guy ten years ago – then we should do it. Because we are more than just someone’s mom. And if we don’t, eventually it’s going to catch up with us.

Snyder told us she hopes by modeling self-care to her kids, it will show them that it’s okay to take time for yourself. “I think in this day and age, kids feel like they have to say yes to everything; sports, clubs, friends, etc. That’s exhausting,” she said. “Hopefully when they see their parents take time for themselves, it gives them the confidence to do the same.”