It sounds crazy. Putting yourself first to be a better mother. After all, you hear from all sides that as a mother you should always be there for your children. You can say goodbye to your own life. According to the writer Genevieve Shaw Brown, however, this doesn’t work and it is important that you put yourself first during motherhood. That’s why Genevieve wrote the book ‘The happiest mommy you know: why putting kids first is the last thing you should do’. This is what she has to say about it:
Give yourself the same love you give your children
“Putting my children first was not a conscious choice for me, as it was for many mothers. It just happened. When my first child was born, I don’t see against myself ‘Now it’s time to forget yourself completely! You’re not going to eat, sleep or go to the doctor or get dressed like you’re going anywhere now’. Yet this happened. ”
“But then one day I had a revelation. The moment I wanted to start my greasy comfort food, my baby was sitting at his own lunch. Turkey meatballs with vegetables and couscous and fruit for dessert. Do you know who got up at 5 a.m. to prepare this? I did. You know who didn’t even think about eating this? Me.”
“That moment was the beginning of my journey to writing my book. I began this journey with just one thought in my mind: what if I treated myself with the same care and love that I treat my children with every day?”
“I began my transformation by making small adjustments to my life. How did I know what to do? Easy! I just looked at what I was doing for my children.”
“Take sleep as an example. My children had a fixed bedtime that I adhered to every day, so I gave myself a bedtime as well. I encouraged my children to exercise, so I made time to do the same (I even ran a marathon!). The boyfriends I wanted so badly to find for my children? I decided to take a break and meet up with my own friends again”.
“This is what happened: I was rested, so I had more patience for my children. I exercised regularly, which helped me with my self-confidence, which I also want to pass on to my children. I saw my friends again and was reminded of the good times I had before I had children. But it also made me realize that I love my children and I don’t want to go back to that time. I ate the same things I fed the children. This made me lose some weight and gave me more energy to be the fun, active mother I wanted to be. I treated my husband with the same good manners I tried to teach my children. The bickering suddenly stopped.”
Being ‘selfish’ is okay
“You have to be a selfless person to get older. But maybe sometimes you have to be a little selfish to be a good parent.”
“At the beginning of my project, I expected to become a happier person by putting myself first. But the best thing that came out of it was that it made my whole family happier.”
So (expectant) mothers, don’t forget to treat yourself with the same love and care as you treat your children with!