Mothers – We Are Important

zYicsU1468324854When we look at adult relationships we can see that they are a two way thing. They are about both parties rather than one. In a healthy adult relationship there is a give and take, which then leads to a building of mutual understanding and respect. But what about the relationship we have with our children?

Our relationships with our children are slightly different in that we are the responsible party. They can’t be expected to give us what we need. They inadvertently do but it is not quite such a two-way enterprise. However, whilst the relationships with our children differs from those with other adults, there are some similarities.

We understand that in any functioning relationship both parties needs are of importance. Yet when it comes to motherhood it is all too easy to think that our needs are not significant. It becomes all about our child and their needs. But what is good for us is good for our children also. The required giving of raising a child needs to be balanced with seeing to our own needs. How we feel as mothers is hugely significant in our children’s lives as well as our own.

What is good for us is good for our children also Click To Tweet

What those needs are varies massively from person-to-person. During the interviews for my book I found women who felt a need for mental stimulation that playing with their child could not afford them. I found women who missed the social aspect of work and those who missed the ability to exercise. There were those who felt very little desire to go out but instead needed time for themselves at home in the evening. There is no right and wrong. All that is important is that we, as mothers, find ways of seeing to enough of our own needs. Caring for ourselves is such an important part of raising a child. As in any relationship, how we feel communicates itself loud and clear whether we are actually talking about it or not. Seeing to our own feelings helps, not just us, but our children too.

Caring for ourselves is such an important part of raising a child Click To Tweet

Of course, we all defer many things for our children but it is all about balance. As mothers our needs do count. What they are and how we see to them is a personal balancing act with our family situation and all the members in it.

How have you balanced caring for yourself and your family? Is it hard to feel that your needs are important as your children’s or are you comfortable with that idea? I would love to hear about your experiences. If you leave a comment below I will reply as soon as I can.

 

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74 thoughts on “Mothers – We Are Important

  1. YES TO THIS ALL DAY LONG. We are Mothers but we are humans. We have feelings, wants, needs etc and that cannot be forgotten about. Just because we’re Mum doesn’t mean we don’t have to live a life for us as well as our kids. #bloggerclubuk

    1. I so agree. Our children benefit from us being ourselves. What better example than a parent who can be true to themselves as well as loving their child. Thanks for your comment. It is much appreciated.

  2. Really interesting as one of the main things I struggled with after having Mia, was a complete sense of losing myself and everything I had spent 26years becoming. I no longer had my career, enjoyed going out, eating when I wanted to and reading books. Its taken almost 3 yrs to feel ‘me again’ and take time for myself to enjoy what I used to and feel like I used to. Its really important we also look after ourselves and don’t get swept up in keeping everyone else happy! 🙂

    #sharewithme

    1. Hi Becca, Thanks for sharing your experiences. through my research I have found that it is normal for us to get swept up in motherhood. It is really intense initially and all consuming. I think the challenge for all of us throughout our journey as mothers is to find the balance between our needs and our children’s needs. I am glad to hear that you feel like you again! Thanks for commenting.

    1. I agree that it is a ‘balancing act’ as a swing too much in either direction is an issue. WE need to be there for our children but also for ourselves. Thanks for you comment.

  3. I truly believe a happy mum means a happy baby. So because of that there are times when I feel it’s absolutely fine for me to be a bit selfish. My daughter and I have lots of quality time together but I also have plenty of time for myself too. #bloggerclubuk
    Kat recently posted…Birthday BrunchMy Profile

    1. Hi Kat, I am glad to hear it. It sets a great example for our children when they see us treating not only them but ourselves well too. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I posted an article about this exact same thing last week! It’s so hard when there are so many other priorities in life, to make time for yourself as well. But it’s so important too #BloggerClubUK

    1. Hi Fiona, I am glad to hear that you are fitting something that you want in. I do think that it takes ‘parking’ other jobs to allow time for something we want otherwise we would never fit it in as the work is never finished. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

    1. I agree Sarah and it is not an easy balance to strike. I have personally found it to be a learning curve. Thanks for your comment.

    1. I agree Claire. Things are gradually changing for the better. Many mothers still experience a lot of guilt about it though and it is a shame. I am glad to hear you get time for yourself. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

  5. Love this – it’s so easy to try to forget our own needs in amongst all the demands and joys that motherhood brings, but so important to try and get that balance. Whenever I start to feel selfish for trying to have my needs met, I remind myself that I can’t pour from an empty cup and that I am a better mother if I look after myself too. #ablogginggoodtime
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Parenting Pep Talk #31 – Mum and MorMy Profile

    1. I like your analogy Louise. Pouring from an empty cup is what happens if we don’t see to our own needs. In the long run it is better for everyone. Thanks for your insightful comment.

  6. Yes I totally agree with you – time and childcare is often the 1st and 2nd reason I struggle to make ‘me time’, but within each week I always try and plan stuff I look forward to – if that means cancelling a toddler group to catch up with a friend, a mid week dinner with the girls, or even just a long run.
    Thanks for joining us at #coolmumclub, what a great member to add to our tribe 😉
    MMT recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 37My Profile

    1. Absolutely, Fathers are important too. I think the posts are written by mothers for mothers because traditionally it has been mothers who have done the childcare and so it is mothers who feel guilty over having time for themselves. But that is of course general and can apply to fathers too.

  7. such a great read! Loved this line – Caring for ourselves is such an important part of raising a child – we disregard this so often – I’ve recently been unwell and all caused by putting myself last – my health really suffered but now I am back on track I’m making sure that I look after myself so I can look after my children – a little bit like the safety talk on an aeroplane which states that adults must put their own oxygen mask on first before helping children – thank you for sharing this very informative and interesting post! #coolmumclub

    1. I am really glad to hear that you are caring for yourself more now. It can be hard to do because the demands of family life are never ending. You are so right, there is an element of safety to it too. If we don;t look after ourselves how can we look after others. thanks for your lovely comment. Kirsten

    1. Hi Catie, I am not sure I have ever got it completely right. It is a really tough one. I think it is more about understanding the need for that balance and not feeling bad about the time that we take for ourselves by understanding its importance.

  8. I would like to say yes to this all day long, I really would. But, I can’t. I have to preface my writing with exception after exception. I feel like SO many moms focus on themselves… every other blog post is all about a mom’s self. I love this article, your article, because it is different than all the rest. You aren’t focusing on promoting sending moms to the nail salon every 3-4 weeks. Your focusing on the individual needs, not wants. And you are right; everyone’s needs are important. I send my child to her room for one hour everyday so I can spend some time wtih my non-verbal child and infant… get a little bit of quiet from my older child. She has quickly learned happiness in her room, her haven, and how to play independently.

    In our situation, I needed a PERSON, an important individual, eliminated from our family. It was not an easy task nor situation. But, in dissolving the relationship from this person to my nuclear family, my husband served my needs beautifully and therefore I am able to give his needs and my cihldren’s needs x10!
    Kaitlyn recently posted…Kid Link Up Party #1My Profile

    1. Hi Kaitlyn, Your comment is very perceptive. I am talking about deeper needs and the recognition of those and there is nothing to be said that these needs can’t be filled (dependant on what they are) with children present. If a parent loves history then forgoing the play centres and taking the children to a museum or castle is a good balance. It is about recognising what is important to us and find a way of weaving it into family life or stepping out of family life for short times so we can fulfil our needs in order to make us better more relaxed parents. I wonder if the focus on the self though is because in reality the balance is in the other direction. On a side note I really think it is great that your elder daughter is learning independent play. It is a great skill. I am also glad to hear that things have improved for you and your family. Thanks for your comment.

  9. This is SO true! And a lesson I have learned the hard way since having a little one. But I no longer feel guilty about tending to my own needs as I have realised I am a better Mummy for it. Thank you for sharing.#momsterslink

    1. Hi Rebecca, It was a hard learned lesson for me too. It took time and still I find that it is an ongoing balancing act. I am glad you are seeing to your own needs. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

  10. Great post, and so true. One of the reasons I started blogging was to provide a bit of mental stimulation that has been lacking since being a sahm for the past 7 years, and I feel it has made me a much calmer parent because some other need is being met, like I’ve bridged a gap.
    #BloggerClubUK #ablogginggoodtime #coolmumclub #Momsterslink
    Alana – Burnished Chaos recently posted…10 Ways Kids Are Like Cats My Profile

  11. I think what I need has changed over time as the kids have got older. Definitley making time to go out with friends has been crucial. Going to work part time, doing a job that I love, has also been great – although we’ve had moments of child care craziness as we have four kids. As the kids have got older our child free evenings have been squeezed to non existence and nowadays having an uninterputed conversation with my partner feels like something of a luxury – we’ve started going out more together so we can stay in touch! Our house is a better one when my partner and I are a team..so leaving the kids ( 11 -17 years) for a couple of hours a week keeps us all more sane. #ablogginggoodtime
    Lynne (Raising my Autistic son) recently posted…“Mummy, I’m bad”My Profile

    1. Hi Lynne, You have really captured an element of it that I didn’t mention in my post; these things are in constant flux and that is why it is tricky at times. Like you, for me my needs over the years have changed. The early days of a baby I just wanted to get away and having a bath then later it was important to make social connections and then later still there was a need to work towards my own future beyond motherhood. I am glad to hear that you get time with your husband. It is a good idea to go out for that undivided time together. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

  12. Mommas are important, but sometimes we feel like we are losing ourselves in our motherhood duties. One thing I like to do is to take some time out to read and refresh for a little while each evening. Just a few minutes help me feel better and ready to hit it hard again tomorrow. #alittlebitofeverythinglinkup
    Amy Lanham recently posted…Great books to read for FallMy Profile

    1. Hi Amy, I am glad to hear that you take some time for yourself. I found it amazing when my boys were young that actually it didn’t take a lot. For me a bit of writing each day really helped.Thanks for commenting.

    1. Hi Lisa, Balance is not easy and for the very fact that what is needed keeps changing makes it an ongoing task. I agree empathy is good in all walks of life. Thanks for your comment. Kirsten

    1. I do think that is is a genuine struggle. I have got better with time but there is never a perfect balance. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

  13. I’m trying hard to balance everything. It’s difficult to find time for the things I need but I’m not giving up yet. Yes, at the end of the day I’m exhausted. But if I give up what I need for myself, I’ll probably end up depressed as well. It’s a fight, it’s a balancing act and I’m doing the best I can just like millions of other mothers like me 🙂

    1. It is really not easy. I remember just doing 10 minutes of writing a day because that was all I could fit in. sometimes I would write for longer than that. At the time it didn’t seem enough but over time there was more room and the work I did accumulated. Thanks for your comment Nabanita. Hang in there. I found it got easier.

    1. HI Emily, I am really glad to hear that you have stopped feeling guilty. It took me quite a bit of time to feel okay about taking time away. Thanks for your comment. Kirsten

  14. A huge congratulations on your book. It is so great to have you linking up! This makes so much sense to me. I used to live the opposite way and I learnt the hard way that I needed to look after my needs so that I could be a mum that I was proud to be.

    1. HI Mackenzie, It took me time as well. It is something we learn as we go along. Great to be back in touch. Thanks for your comment. Kirsten

  15. I completely agree with this post. It reminds of the time I tried to go to a pilates class. My baby was 12 weeks old, and it was the first time he had been left with daddy for an extended period of time. I lasted 30 minutes before I got a call from the reception desk with Daddy asking me to come home. My husband found it very hard to understand that I just needed that one hour to do something for me without having a baby and husband relying on me. As a family we’ve gotten into a routine of allowing everyone to have some alone time when needed. It doesn’t happen very often, but it’s much appreciated when it does. #MarvMondays

    1. That is great that you have worked it out as a family. Other people need to recognize its importance in our lives too, to make it possible. Thanks for your comment.

  16. I completely agree with all of this. It’s hard sometimes to find a balance, but I definitely notice that when I’ve got some time to myself whether with work or going out or just reading a book, I cherish my kids more for having some time away from them. We are mothers, yes, but we are also women, it’s important to not neglect ourselves. #BigPinkLink
    Cheryl @ Tea or Wine recently posted…Ain’t That The TruthMy Profile

    1. Hi Cheryl, It can just be some small thing that makes all the difference and it puts us in a better place to be there for our children. Glad you find some time for you. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

  17. When my kids were little I did have a hard time balancing my own needs with those of my kids. In all honesty, I just thought that as a mother, it was my job to ignore my own needs and sacrifice for my children. As they got older though and I learned more about so many things, I realized that tending to my own needs actually makes me a better parent and that benefits my children immensely. Glad to see you again Kristen:) Popping over from #bigpinklink
    Michelle recently posted…Rockin’ Quote #29: I’m Not Being Mean!My Profile

    1. Hi Michelle. Great to hear from you again too. I think it is a skill we learn with time, seeing to our needs. It is not easy and I just wish women knew it was okay. Thanks for your comment Michelle. Kirsten

  18. I think we all know this yet to hear it reinforced is very comforting. Early this year I went on a weekend vacation with my girl friends without the children for the very first time and it was a very liberating feeling. Thank you for this post.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Clearing my headMy Profile

    1. Hi Obsessive Mum, That sounds great. I initially found it hard to do but like you, also very liberating. It is great to connect with ourselves without the children for a while. Thanks for your comment.

  19. I love this post and yet I will ALWAYS feel guilty as a mother, I don’t think I could stop if I tried. Even if I did, I’d probably feeling guilty that I didn’t feel guilty, it’s just so hard isn’t it! I will try harder though, we are doing the hardest job in the world in the best way we know how. Thank for the reminder. #bigpinklink
    five little doves recently posted…The Daddy TagMy Profile

    1. Thanks for your comment Five little doves, You are not the first person who has said that to me and I can really relate to feeling torn because we want to do what is best for our children. When I interviewed women for my book I found that some were more prone to feeling guilt than others. There is an element of guilt being an inevitable part of considering our kids at all times but there also has to be a balance that works for you. I really do agree that motherhood is a hard job and this is not an easy task. I wrote two posts on guilt a while back. the links are here is you are interested. http://www.theguiltfreeguide.co.uk/why-so-much-guilt-guilt-and-motherhood-part-1/
      http://www.theguiltfreeguide.co.uk/dealing-with-guilt-guilt-and-motherhood-part-2/

    1. I remember that too and actually sleep does take priority. With too little sleep we don’t function very well and can easily lose confidence in ourselves. Things do eventually change. Wishing you all the best and as much sleep as you can get. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

  20. Such a great post! I am one of those Mums that has no desire to go out but in the evenings I would rather stay home, watch tv, read a book or blog. Its my down time that keeps me sane! #MarvMondays

    1. Hi Liane, I am really glad to hear that you have worked out what is best for you. I was similar in that it wasn’t going out that was important for me. Keep it up. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

  21. Sometimes we definitely need to live a little for ourselves and it tends to make us better parents to have those little breaks for ourselves! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

    1. I think the majority of us would say the same. Balance is not always possible is it but it is great to acknowledge our importance and realise that the way we feel is important for our children too. Thanks for your comment Emma. Best of luck fitting in some time for you.

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