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Issue 48 / How To Be An Even Better Mother

How To Be An Even Better Mother

May 05, 2016


Release yourself from your mommy guilt and take better care of yourself ladies. Replenish your mind, body and soul. Your family will thank you.

Mothers of generations past played a very domestic role at home while being the primary caregiver of their children. This continues to be emphasized and epitomized in the South Asian culture. There are, however, evolving and newer perspectives amongst millennials who are very much a generation that believe in following your dreams.  

This belief, along with other pressures in a woman’s life, creates the need to ensure role sharing when it comes to taking care of children so both parents can have fulfilled home and work lives. Even with these societal shifts, there still continues to be a predominance of mothers that give their time and energy to their children to the point of depletion.

It is never taught in the South Asian culture how a woman should take care of herself as such an action is perceived as selfish. Taking care of oneself if so important in this day and age and mothers are the first that need to take heed to this lesson in self-care.

Why is it important for mothers to give to themselves? In my own life, I have come to realize that as a mother, you can’t give what you don’t have. When you are not happy and fulfilled, it is very hard to give to others in a healthy and positive way.

We have all heard of the analogy of an emergency on an aircraft, where a mother should put her oxygen mask on first before putting on her children's masks. In this same manner, self nourishment is good for a mother’s spiritual, mental, physical and emotional well being. Here are some very basic ways to start that process of self-care. Your family will thank you.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep deprivation is the badge of honour most moms like to wear. It is the very first thing that goes out the door the moment your baby is born and there is a selfless giving up of sleep to take care of all that is needed for your children. Psychology Today published a great article on the negative effects of sleep deprivation. Studies show that a lack of sleep can lead to increased irritability, mood changes and, if continued consistently, it could lead to more serious psychological problems such as anxiety disorders and depression. Ensuring you get the sleep you need also prevents future illnesses and is one of the greatest needs of mothers that should not be ignored. Put that first on your list.

          

You need sleep! 
Photo Credit: www.i.dailymail.co.uk


Eat Well and Exercise Regularly

The one thing I did this past March Break was vacation with my children and a few friends. Consciously, I took time to choose my meals and sit and enjoy every bite (because in my regular mom life, I tend to eat my kids leftovers and just rush through meals). A balanced diet with fruits and vegetables, and yes the occasional dessert, is good for you.

Eating well and relaxing was not the only thing I did. I also exercised everyday at my own pace. This included walks, some running, group exercise classes, some weight training and swimming. In one week, I noticed a stark difference in my mood and my body.

Granted, I was on vacation but it reminded me of the importance of simply eating well and exercising. Mothers, we need this and need to find the time to do this more often. Remember, your children learn and benefit from your positive habits and behaviours.

Don’t Be a Martyr and Ask for Help

One thing all mothers suffer from is martyr-dom. We think we can do it all and God forbid we ask for help. Ladies, just stop that please. No one is telling you to use your family and friends when you can manage simple tasks yourself. People don’t like to feel used and are aware when someone is taking advantage of them.

However, loved ones are more than willing to help and this is all possible with appreciation and grace. Please ask for help when needed. Consider paying contractors and other individuals to help with tasks if your budget allows it.

Connect with Your Girlfriends

The Power of Great Girlfriends is a good read and the first article I wrote. Women need to know that girlfriends are there for the good times and bad. They are there to remind you who you are and help you when you are in need. They are the source of sanity many times when you need to bounce ideas and thoughts. More importantly, a manicure and pedicure is more fun when you have your girlfriend beside you to chat with. Keep those women close to you because when your children are older you will need your close girlfriends to guide you back to thriving and living your own life.

          

Take time to relish in the power of your friends. 
Photo Credit: www.raihaneh.com


Find Some Alone Time and Connect with Yourself

There is one thing that comes with having children and that is the excessive noise and activity that consumes the day to day. Silence and space is needed to be able to listen to your own thoughts and connect back to yourself. If it means booking time for a yoga class or going for a walk on your own, then do it. If it means booking time at a bed and breakfast or sleeping over at a friend’s place to get some respite then put aside that mommy guilt and take time to be by yourself.

       

Time to zen out. 
Photo Credit: www.i.huffpost.com


A mother takes pride and feels true joy in seeing her children thrive. Being a mother is a life-long balancing act. Give yourself the gift of self-care so you can be your best self and give your children a healthy, fulfilled and happy mother.

Main Image Photo Credit: www.peggyomara.com

Yvonne Sinniah

Yvonne Sinniah

Author

Yvonne Sinniah is a Relations Advisor focusing on helping individuals achieve success in personal and professional environments.  She is on a mission to meet a need in today’s society where developing and sustaining meaningful relationships while on a journey to fulfill career and life ...

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