How to Be a Person First, and a Parent Second
Not long ago, I was chatting with a young mother about my work as a happiness and empowerment coach. And she seemed … perplexed.
“What is happy?” she asked me. She explained that with two children aged 2 and 3 (and all of the things that come with motherhood), she’d become completely disconnected from her happiness. She no longer knew who she was outside of picking up toys, changing diapers, grocery shopping, and cooking.
She told me, “I hate to admit it, but I’m sad at times that this is my life, and then I feel super-guilty about feeling sad, because I’m supposed to enjoy this time in my life.”
This is a familiar feeling for parents of all ages. Maybe you’ve experienced some of those feelings yourself. So, I’m going to tell you what I told this young mother.
Of course you feel sad at times! Being a mom is an amazing thing—and a really tough job. But as moms, we’re taught to keep the tough stuff to ourselves. We’re supposed to tell everyone else how wonderful it is being a mom, that life is perfect, maybe even do a little bragging about all of the things we do with and for our kids. (Who among us hasn’t seen those Supermom posts on Facebook? And then immediately been hit by a wave of guilt at our own supposed deficiencies?)
We feel guilty that we are never doing enough for our kids.
I love my son, Spencer. I love him in a very deep and overwhelming way. He has brought my life joy, meaning, and purpose. But I do not always love being a mom. And it’s perfectly OK for parents to feel that way!
You have to realize that you have a RIGHT to be happy. There’s an older generation of moms out there that feels angry, resentful because no one ever taught them it was OK to take time for themselves. They felt their job was to cater to everyone else’s needs—and accept only scraps and leftovers in return.
But we know better now. We know we have to value ourselves enough to not just give, give, give. We must TAKE sometimes.
I want my son to understand the huge responsibility that being a parent is. I want him to know that it’s sacrifice and hard work—and so much joy. And I want him to know that as much as I love him, I also love myself. That I have interests and passions that have nothing to do with being a parent.
Bottom line: The best parents are happy parents—ones who know the importance of time and space for themselves … the importance of having their own dreams and goals, the importance of sometimes being a PERSON first, and a parent second.
P.S. The first step in reclaiming yourself is making the commitment to do so. My RISE UP Program can help you conquer overwhelm, multiply your success, and unleash your greatness.