I believe most of us are aware of the famous tired mommy stereotype. Some (myself included) have indulged in it – at least at some point, believing it will somehow turn them into better versions of themselves as parents. I’m not proud of it, but I had been spiraled into the vortex of parenting social media, and I used to have different ideas about what it means to be a good parent.
After facing the harsh reality, I finally realized that good parents aren’t the ones who do everything. The good ones are around for a very, very long time. Good parents get to turn into good grandparents, remembered by their grandchildren for whatever quirky trait their personality flushed out.
Regardless of the fact that I’ve took on a billion projects in 2020, and that I’m somehow keeping up with my business plans apart from being a full-time mom and wife, I know not to cross the line. Not often, anyway.
One tiny portion of my weekly schedule looks like this:
However, I have a part highlighted in red (obviously important):
Meaning that, yes, even though I’m a workaholic, I still dedicate a large portion of my time to self-care.
There’s also the third color – green:
It may be tiny in comparison to what I do business-wise, but this is the most meaningful time of my week: being with my son, husband, and myself.
I believe that we should stop chasing the “I can do it all” title – for good. Look at one of my average days, taken from that same list:
Sometimes, there’s a lot of undone work left. You know what, though? That’s okay. I’ve chosen to be the parent who is around.
I’m not going to get into how you should be keeping yourself healthy and satisfied, apart from doing all the work. There’s plenty of that kind of content already covered elsewhere. I’d like to talk about why you need to make it a priority – we all think we know why, but we’re also keen to forget or say we’ll think of ourselves tomorrow. Do we consider how many tomorrows we’ve taken away from ourselves?
If you’re struggling with finding a good reason to look after yourself along with your kids, here are some friendly reminders.
#1 Hang around. Meet your grandchildren.
As I previously mentioned, good parents are the ones who are present (in the physical world we live in). Premature death due to lack of self-care chips away from those retirement years you’re working hard towards. Don’t borrow from tomorrow – burn away slowly.
#2 Don’t be a burden at the age of 50.
You don’t want your kids having to take care of you at the age of 50-60 the way they would have at 70-80 years old. Keep being physically active and reduce the chances of health problems (caused by your lifestyle) to a bare minimum.
#3 Experience as many stages of life as you can, so you can live it to its full potential.
People saying that young age is the only good age, or the one that matters, are usually the ones who aren’t quite old yet. Guess what? At the age of 70, you’re still going to be you. Your attitudes may change, but the core of your personality will remain. Your body will degrade, though, and you’ll have to put in some effort to keep it healthy. But that’s still going to be your life to live, and you’ll have plenty of good days you’ll want to spend with your loved ones!
#4 Premature death is an enormous setback for those relying on you.
No pressure. But that’s how it is.
My grandma, who was more of a mother than a grandmother, was my rock. She held our whole family together, and the fact that everyone loved her so much meant that the internal family squabbles were reduced to a minimum.
She died of stage 4 lung cancer, a couple of months after she had found out she had one. It was a devastating loss for me that I wasn’t ready for – she was a really young grandma.
I loved and enjoyed her company, but I also looked up to her and I was relying heavily on her guidance. She died shortly before my pregnancy with Viktor – I probably don’t need to tell you how much I’ve missed her since.
She was a wonderful woman towards everyone else, except for herself. She was a passionate smoker, didn’t exercise at all, loved all sorts of sugary food, and was spending way too much time worrying about everything. All of it contributed heavily to her premature illness, and as painful as it was, I took it as a valuable lesson about my own life. Don’t let her death be in vain – you can learn from it, too. Look after yourself.
#5 Someone’s watching you.
You’ve got tiny pairs of eyes scanning your every move, day after day. By setting a good example, you’re ensuring that your children will one day take excellent care of their own health, too!
Those are not the only reasons why parents need to look after themselves, but they’re definitely at the top of my priority list. What are yours? Let me know in the comments.