I think it’s safe to say most of us moms would agree: we’d do anything for our kids. Including putting ourselves second-or third, if you’re the type who also puts her husband’s needs before her own- any day of the year. After all, we have the “I’m-every-woman” Supergirl stereotype to live up to.
Which, most of the time, I’d say we do pretty well at.
But what about us? We hear it all the time; how important-no, CRUCIAL it is for us to take time for ourselves. “Go to the spa! Read a book! Sit DOWN for crying out loud!” I’m convinced these people either don’t have kids or are empty-nesters. The only “me” time I get during the day are my twice daily trips to the bathroom. Once to shower, once to pee.
And I usually have visitors for both.
But I read an article that made me really think about my “relationship” with myself. What’s it like? I think it’s pretty good; then again, it’s funny to think about how I’m totally obsessed with my boys looking squeaky-clean and handsome with hands and faced wiped, hair in place, and clothes neat and pressed before we leave the house and I’m in yesterday’s shorts with three-days-old hair (first day is cute and curled; second is messy down-ponytail; third day ballerina bun. Wash and repeat.)
NBC’s Ann Curry told Ladies Home Journal (for their August issue) that she feels she might not spend enough time appreciating who she really is:
“I don’t always understand my worth. I think it’s a chronic condition for women. I’m not talking about professionally. I’m talking about in our personal lives. We constantly punish ourselves with degrading thoughts when we look at ourselves in the mirror. We allow people to treat us poorly, we allow our husbands or boyfriends to get away with things or we have relationships with girlfriends or colleagues who don’t treat us well. We don’t defend ourselves as we would our own children. Women have demanded and gotten better jobs and more power. But the one thing we deserve is a better relationship with ourselves. We waste too much time beating ourselves up. I think at my age of 55, it’s time to stop doing that.”
What great insight from such an amazing woman! And how true. So many times I’ve thought, “Oh I’ll skip buying this for me because the kids really want ___”, or “I’ll buy the cheaper make-up/hair products/shoes so my husband can get a nice new suit.”
These are not bad things. In fact, I think I’m now genetically programmed to be more selfless, and for that I’m grateful.
What I’m saying is this: it is OK to want to pay attention to yourself. It’s OK to take a shower every day. It’s OK to spend a little time getting ready and making yourself look nice. Not necessarily movie-star glamorous (although that’s fun every date night or so) but NICE as in, “I like myself. I’m proud of who I am.”
I just finished a great book by Linda Eyre and Shawni Eyre Pothier, entilted “A Mother’s Book of Secrets: Keys to Making Motherhood Memorable, Meaningful, and Magnificent.”
In it, these incredible women whom I look up to and respect talk about taking time for yourself. Linda Eyre shares a “secret” her husband shared with her after they were married. Basically, every night you write down three things you want to do the next day. The first is for yourself. The second is for someone else. The third is for your work (homemakers included!)
I love that her sweet husband wanted to make sure she was taking time to do something for herself every day. And why not? Our relationship with ourselves is important. Sometimes I’m so worried people will think I’m stuck-up or self-obsessed if I take time for myself, but I think the pendulum has almost swung too far the other direction where we feel guilty for even using the restroom in peace!
And that’s quite ridiculous.
So my advice this week is this: do something that makes you happy. Eat-and finish!-your favorite bowl of cereal in the morning. Without getting up every three minutes for the kids. Buy some bath salts and have a nice soak after the kids are in bed if it’s too hard to get ready in the morning. Wear lipstick to the park.
Who knows? You might just feel a little more excited about who you are.
And you’re Supergirl, after all.