Hello, dear souls! I hope you’re having a fabulous week and are finding some moments of sunshine. We’re in the middle of Spring here in Southeast Michigan and Mother’s Day is Sunday.
Celebrating Mother’s Day
I see a lot of moms in my professional work and they celebrate Mother’s Day in a variety of ways. Some moms make a big huge brunch for all the other moms in their family. Some moms wrangle their kiddos and go somewhere like Eastern Market or the zoo. Some moms ask their family to watch the kids so that they can have a relaxing day at the spa or out to lunch.
The moms that I see are almost all over-stressed and under-appreciated. The moms that I see sometimes are at a point where they’re resentful of cakes and flowers and mother’s day cards because, let’s be honest, remembering to give flowers one day a year pales in comparison to the gifts that they give. They’d much rather you lend a hand with the dishes or thank them daily rather than in one mushy card.
I’m seeing this more and more, to be honest. Moms who are over-burdened and under-appreciated have such high expectations for themselves (whether those expectations come from family members or they place them on themselves) burnout. They often dream of running away and just lounging on a beach with no responsibilities. They’re desperate for a life of their own with things more rewarding than catering to the needs of others.
Often, moms have a really hard time setting boundaries. Society has normalized the expectation of such a catering and doting mother that they’re supposed to put the needs of others above their own. It’s viewed as a requirement of being a good mom. But in reality it leaves moms perpetuating a cycle of ridiculous expectations placed on women and burns them out. They’re not good role models of self-care for their kids and they’re not taking care of themselves so that they’re well rested and able to be the best version of themselves.
Moms are awesome but they’re still human. They need to fill their own cup before they can give any of their awesome to others in a sustainable way. If you’re someone who’s been doubting what an awesome parent you are because you’re resentful and tired, please know that you’re normal. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re good enough.
You just need to take care of yourself and set some boundaries.
- What times can you set aside for yourself?
- What’s really necessary?
- What will bring you joy?
Start questioning the expectations that were placed on you- who’s putting them there? Are they really expectations that you want to live up to? If society implies that you’re not good enough unless you sign up for the bake sale but that bake sale isn’t going to bring you or your kiddo any joy, why do you care so much?
Ask for help
Another important piece is to ask for help when you need it. I have a precious grandmother (Southern Lady, through and through) who stands all of 5’0″ and will get out the step stool to reach something any of the other members of the family could easily reach and gets huffy that they didn’t offer help. But the truth is, we love her to pieces but we’re not mind-readers. We’re glad to help! But we need to be asked.
Expecting that others know your needs before you ask to have them met is very romantic, but not very realistic. Set your expectations and hold your family to them but don’t expect that they know them without you having said them. I know some things seem like common sense or common decency but everyone’s version of “common” is different.
Take some moments for yourself and start looking at your self-care plan. If you’re holding on for dear life, I know it seems normalized. But it doesn’t have to be quite this crazy. You need to be nourishing yourself while nurturing your little ones (or maybe they’re big now but they’re still your babies). I really encourage you to think about where you can feed yourself and grow your own health.
Is your spiritual health taken care of? How about your physical health? Your social health/relationships? How about your emotional health? Can you listen to an audiobook or a podcast on a topic that interests you? Don’t lose yourself while doing the really hard work of raising kiddos. You might come up for air and not remember what you liked to do anymore.
Take some time to think about you. You’re worth your own love and care and even though you’re an adult, you need it. Be well and have a fantastic week.
Moms, if you need help putting together your self-care plan or with setting boundaries, we can help. Connect with Perspectives Therapy Services to help address those concerns.
Perspectives Therapy Services is a multi-site mental and relationship health practice with clinic locations in Brighton, Lansing, Highland, Fenton and New Hudson, Michigan. Our clinical teams include experienced, compassionate and creative therapists with backgrounds in psychology, marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, and social work. Our practice prides itself on providing extraordinary care. We offer a customized matching process to prospective clients whereby an intake specialist carefully assesses which of our providers would be the very best fit for the incoming client. We treat a wide range of concerns that impact a person's mental health including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, low self-worth, life transitions, and childhood and adolescent difficulties.