You can’t pour from an empty cup! There are many versions of this phrase and I use the love “tank one”. It’s my favorite one. It allows the kids to mentally vision their tanks. When they are a little grumpy or upset I ask them if their love tank is full or if they need it filled. The answer is always yes. I give their hugs and kisses and send them on their way. That allows them to mentally check in and see what they are missing and what they need more of.
But how often do I sit there and ask myself that? The answer is, rarely never. I don’t sit and ask myself if my love tank is filled or if it needs to be filled. I just go, go, go! Learning to fill up my own love tank hasn’t been easy. But it is something that I have made a commitment to do more of. I am learning to do more of a self inventory on how I am feeling and what thoughts I am having so that I can give them the best version of me.
We as mothers are so focused on being there for our children and making sure their needs are met that we often over look our own needs and even wants. There is an enormous amount of guilt we have when we decide to do something for ourselves. That needs to change. We need to commit to ourselves, invest in ourselves and love ourselves, so that we can be there for our children when they need us most.
We can’t give our children our best when we are not feeling our best. As mothers we need to be okay with filling our love tanks and not feeling some sort of shame. We are our own worst critics. We feel people will judge us when really we are doing the it the most, to ourselves.
For me personally, I find that my kids do better when I am feeling good. My kids are happy and content when I am feeling my best. They feed off the energy I give and it makes sense that I would want to give them the best energy. So I am making the commitment to invest in myself. Whether that is going to the salon for a haircut or even have my nails pampered; to something more deep like therapy. The more I take care of self, I noticed that I am in a better mood to give.
Each day will always look a little different. One day I might need so more intense self care and do a little more soul search and that is where therapy comes in, other days I need something more quick and fast and that looks like buying myself coffee or even ordering dinner for the family so I don’t need to cook. To each mama, our self care will look a little different and that is ok. As long as we are on the path to committing to ourselves that is what really matters.
Parenting isn’t easy, there is no one shoe fits all to this. Our self care is the exact same, what I need in one moment to get through the day will look totally different to what a mother with a special needs child will need. But my hope is that every mother will cherish themselves enough to understand that there is nothing wrong with taking care of self and getting their own love tanks filled. My hope is to have all mothers live guilt free when it comes to their own needs and wants. My hope is that taking care of self will become more of a norm!
Don’t be afraid to begin a new relationship with yourself, put yourself first for once. There is nothing wrong with that and honestly your kids will appreciate you so much more, knowing that you are modeling healthy behavior. Loving yourself as much as you love them.
Here is to committing and investing in ourselves! Because every mom is worthy of a break!!!