It’s something we say when we become mothers. My children are the most important people in my life. My children are my life. My children mean the world to me. It’s something that is implied in all the things that we do for them- every night feed and nappy change and home cooked meal. It’s something we are told we must feel. It’s the way all mothers feel. If there are only three slices of cake you let the kids have it and go without. It’s a mother’s duty to sacrifice for her children, because they’re the most important people in her life.
My children are not more inportant than me. My children ARE important. Very. I love them more than I ever thought I could ever love anyone. I love them when they shout. I love them when they cry. I love them when they tell me they hate me. I do love them unconditionally, but I need to refuse to let them be more important than me.
I matter too!
I am a person too.
And I need my kids to know that I am just as important as they are. My thoughts, my feelings and my needs are important too. And this starts with me.
Time out from the kids is not selfish. Taking the last slice of cake might be mean, but it’s not wrong. Wanting something for yourself does not make you a bad mother. It makes you a better one!
I want my kids to see me as a person who isn’t afraid to take chances and to work hard for what she wants. A person who respects herself enough to carve out a little time each day for herself a person who is worth it. We don’t stop being important just because we’ve birthed a baby. Our emotional wellbeing means something too and the way that we allow others to treat us is vital if we want our own children to grow up with self respect too.
So how am I doing? Last week I went away. A night away from the children. From the baby. For the first time ever. And my family did not crumble! They are still here, demanding my time, my patience and my love. I got the longest cuddle from them all when I returned to their arms and I missed them so much it was like a gnawing pain in my chest. Did I feel guilty? You bet. But I’m working on that.