Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Mom, Happy Family.

Have you seen the movie About a Boy? In that film, the boy realizes that everyone needs back up in life, meaning an extended family support system. It's a fun movie with a great conclusion.

Based on my own experience of being a mom, I learned this the hard way and came to this exact same realization. We cannot do it on our own if we want to do it as best as we can. 

Everybody knows the dangers of an angry and tired mama! You deserve free time to recharge and reset! In fact, it's a requirement, if you want the others around you to be happy as well. 

I remember having a hard time asking my mom for help whenever she came to visit while my kids were toddlers. I never seemed to have free time for myself. If I ever had free time, everybody would send me to sleep because they figured that since I had to wake up every two hours every night for my very close in age kids I would be in high deficit of sleep. 

I was! but I also needed some pampering and it was always left behind, because it wasn't that vital, that important. Well, I am here to tell you moms, it is as important and as vital as your health, and in consequence your family's health depends on it too. Especially, when you've been working nonstop around the clock feeding, washing, nurturing, bathing, cleaning, and I don't think this list has an end, really. 

What I really wanted was to do my nails, read a book, go window shopping, go for a walk, meet with my best friends for coffee. I don't feel like I had regular moments like this while my kids were toddlers. My husband was having long work days, my mom wasn't available,  so more often than not, I was by my self, taking care of things. 

Let me tell you. This is a recipe for disaster. You need a back up. You need someone: a friend, mother, sister, in law, family member, ideally a good nanny, someone available to help. Real hands on help. Not the -visiting for a cup of tea- type of help. New moms need the -"I'm taking over 3 afternoons a week, find something that you want to do, you will be covered from now on" - type of help. 

Eventually, my husband realized this; sent me to the gym three mornings a week, and hired a nanny for that purpose during those specific mornings. This intervention changed my days for the better. In the beginning, I thought this would be self indulgent, but when I realized everyone was happy to see me take care of myself and in a good mood, I understood self care had highly positive repercussions for everybody around me.  

There's an article by Parents magazine called 17 habits of very happy moms which I recommend reading. One of these habits is asking for help. I didn't quite have that habit, being the independent smartypants that I thought I was. Well, I'm here to tell you, I was wrong about trying to do everything by myself. 

Young moms out there: ask for help!!! and if friends and family don't / can't respond to your request, ask somewhere else. After all, the boy in the movie was right. We need back up. 

You may think this is all about you, the mom in question, but it's not. In reality, it is also about the well-being of your family. You may be a care giver, but you need to take care of yourself as well, if you want to be the best mom and wife that you can possibly be.

What about you, can you tell me about your experience in the comments? Thank you for reading!

P.S. Kids Away For A Week and Parents Relax, Give Your Kids a Chance to be Bored

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