I’m not really a writer so bear with me a little, I just have some thoughts I want to share.
Last night I went out to dinner with some of my FLAmily. Between gnocchi and affogato I heard all about toddler struggles, horrendous shopping experiences, co sleeping and survival mode. It made me think about the seasons of motherhood and how easily you can lose yourself.
For me, my youngest is 7, then I have a nearly 11 year old and a 14 year old. The season has changed around here. They are all more independent, they make their own breakfast, they take themselves to bed, they shower themselves and get themselves ready.
Don’t get me wrong I still run around after them cooking, cleaning, finding their various lost items and driving them around. I’m still a busy mum of three it’s just different, when they were so dependent on me I was different. I lived for them, my everyday was dictated by their needs by their routine and my needs were never a priority. As they’ve gotten older I’ve taken back some time for me. It is so hard to be selfish and shift focus especially with societies expectations of the perfect mother, wife, women. But then I think about my mum, I am her child, she expected the best for me as I do my own. I was her priority, I was cared for and loved as I do my own. She wanted/ wants me to live my life to its fullest and it is not selfish to demonstrate balance to my kids.
The first season of motherhood it is easy to get lost and forget who you are. It is when they start to become more independent that you need to nurture your own growth and happiness and show your kids it’s ok to prioritise you. Lead by example and teach self love and growth. They adore you and want you to be happy. I want my kids growing up and seeing the real me, I want them to know my favourite song, to see I’m someone who loves to learn, someone who pushes themselves out of their comfort zone and strives to achieve. I want them to see all the parts of my life that I value and prioritise for my happiness, because when I’m happy I do everything better. I want my kids to grow up and be happy and I think that starts by showing them how.
So to all the mums out there in various seasons of motherhood, going through the different stages, take a little time today to show your kids who you are and remember your mums made sacrifices your happiness. Unapologetically nurture your happiness today however that may look. Put on your favourite song and dance, make your favourite dinner, wash your hair, paint your nails, read your book, go for a walk, watch trashy TV at bed time. Maybe it’s just a little step and that’s ok. Maybe you can take a bigger step, enrol in that course, take that trip, join that gym, accept the job. Whatever it may be take a step down your own path to happiness and show your kids it’s ok.
By Lily MacKay
30 Oct 2023