Being a mother is often a thankless job. Children can (and should, to some extent) be selfish, and when you take on the mantle of motherhood, self-sacrifice is part and parcel of the role. Most moms never complain; they simply clean up the overturned cereal bowls, learn to live with spit-up on their blouses, submit to tantrums, tongue-lashings, and choruses of “I hate you!” and “It’s not fair!”, and still get up in the middle of the night to soothe a crying child. They run errands, arrange carpools, set up play dates, and often have full-time jobs in addition to keeping a chaotic household running smoothly. Of course, there are payoffs. Children grow up to be thankful adults (you hope) who raise children of their own with the same firm hand you did. And you know that they love you in a way no other person on Earth ever will. But while you’re raising them, shouldn’t you get a little something more for your efforts? Here are just a few reasons you should treat yourself once in a while.
For starters, moms can easily get burned out. You may be the glue that holds your family together, but what happens when you start to melt? Anyone who pushes too hard is going to end up ill (physically, mentally, or both). You can’t just go on and on like the Energizer bunny. You’re going to need a break eventually or you’ll be no good to anyone. So start by learning the warning signs and how to recognize them. When you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, you notice that you’re yelling at your kids and your spouse, or you just want to crawl under the covers and hide all day, it’s definitely time for a break.
Call the grandparents to take the kids, hand them over to your spouse, or hire a sitter. Then get out and do something good for yourself. Call up the girls for a night out on the town; have a fancy dinner, hit the clubs, you know the drill. Or set up a spa day complete with some major pampering (massage, nails, mud mask; the works). You might even plan a weekend getaway with your partner to enjoy a little R&R or rekindle the flame that has dwindled to embers thanks to your busy schedules. Anything you can do that reminds you’re an individual and a woman (not just “Mom”) will serve to make you feel like a complete person once again. Don’t make excuses; make it happen!
And don’t feel guilty! You spend all of your time taking care of others and you absolutely deserve to be spoiled yourself once in a while. It’s all too easy to get dragged down by the day-to-day detritus of changing diapers, shuttling kids, and doing everything for your family. But you’re not the nanny, the maid, the cook, or the chauffer (even though you wear all of these hats). You’re a member of a family and you deserve the same regard that you give to everyone else. So make the effort to treat yourself occasionally (even if it’s only an hour in the tub at the end of a long day). You’ll be better for it and so will everyone around you.
Sarah Danielson writes for Adiamor Diamond Jewelry. Why not reward yourself with a diamond pendant for a job well done?