As mothers, self-love and self-care are a necessity, as beautifully explained in this guest post by Olga Dossa.
Our children become who we are, not what we tell them to be.
I experienced this most clearly when my mother unexpectedly died 10 years ago.
She was an incredible woman – stylish, strong and sophisticated. Highly educated with an incredible drive for excellence.
She was also depressed and unhappy with her life. She loved my brother and me more than life itself. She would have died for us.
In many ways, she did. The stress of a life-draining job that was paying for our education eventually took its toll and resulted in a brain aneurism.
My daughter was 8 months old at the time. I was seeing a therapist for depression, and I was in a job that was draining the life out of me.
The realisation that I had become my mother was so clear at that time. So crystal clear, that I realised that if I did not change my ways, my daughter would become just like me.
My mother had loved everyone so much, that she neglected to really pursue her own dreams. It is a common thing we see with women. We love so deeply, that we are willing to sacrifice ourselves.
Sacrifice is not love
Unfortunately, sacrifice is not love at all.
If we realised we are teaching our children about life through our actions, we would realise we are teaching our children their lives don’t matter. Because if ours don’t matter enough to take care our own needs, how can their own lives matter when they grow up?
We give our children the greatest lesson they will ever learn, when we show them how to love themselves enough to be healthy and happy.
No one can be of any service to the world if they are physically unwell, or if they are emotionally unhappy. And the only way to teach them how to be happy and healthy is by demonstrating it to them.
Time for yourself is a necessity
It is not a nice treat for mothers to take time for themselves. It is a necessity.
Having enough boundaries to say, 'Mama needs to rest and doesn't want to play right now', is a skill that we can learn.
More likely than not, we have learned how to be self-sacrificing from our mothers. And if not from our mothers, we have learned it from society, where taking care of ourselves is still considered selfish.
Looking after ourselves is not selfish
I get it.
I felt like the worst mother in the world when I left my son crying at school because I had to be at my yoga teacher training. I felt like I had abandoned him so that I could go off and follow my silly, trivial dreams.
It turned out that the experience of me leaving every 4 months, over 3 years, was the best thing for our whole family. My children developed a relationship with their father that they had not had before.
They learned resilience. And they (and I!) learned that there are many ways of running a home. We all learned that my way was not necessarily the best way. My husband found a confidence in his role as a father.
I found my calling in life and now inspire my children to go for their own dreams.
Loving ourselves as mothers is not selfish.
Loving ourselves as mothers is the only way to raise a healthy and happy future generation of children that will thrive.
I hope that you are taking the time to take care of yourself AND that you are taking the steps you need to realise your own dreams. Your children will thank you for it.
More about the Author
Olga Dossa is a yogini, mama and the founder of Peaceful Mothering with Olga Dossa (page temporarily unavailable). She is committed to supporting mothers to step into their radiance by loving themselves first and claiming their desires.
Through her journey with postnatal depression, she learned that she couldn’t give her best from an empty cup. She left her high paying corporate career to pursue a life that would bring her peace and inspire her daughter to live her own greatest life. Her great love for her children took her on the path of yoga, ayurveda and self-love.
Olga believes that when mothers love themselves first, their children will thrive.
Are you feeling it's time for you to put your needs first, and pursue your dreams? Book your complimentary consult and we can have a chat about what this might look like for you.