Here’s the truth: I always put myself first.. even in front of my kids.
I make myself a big green juice or salad (and finish it) before I feed them dinner.
I drop them off at school as early as possible- sometimes even having to wait for the gates to open- so that I can make it to my hot Pilates class early enough to get a good spot.
Their bedtime often becomes 30 minutes earlier because I feel like taking a long, relaxing bubble bath and I don’t want to wait another half hour.
On a Friday or Saturday, I’ll happily drop them off with their grandma for the night so I can go meet girlfriends for margaritas. (Strawberry. On the rocks. No salt. And yes, I’ll make it a double.)
Think I feel guilty about any of that?
Nope! I sure don’t.
I’m actually super proud of myself for making myself a priority because it’s really easy not to.
I get comments from other moms all the time like:
“I can’t afford to buy a juicer and organic food is so expensive.”
“I wish I had the time to work out.”
“I’m lucky to even get a 5 minute shower in, let alone an entire bath!”
“I don’t want to be one of those moms who passes her kids off to someone else so she can go out.”
I can totally understand where these moms are coming from because I used to have the same kinds of thoughts.
I used to feel guilty if I wanted to do anything for myself, like I was being a bad mom if I didn’t give every dollar and ounce of energy and extra minute I had to the kids. I thought that that’s just what moms were supposed to do.
But then I realized that putting myself first, even in front of my kids, was actually making me a better mom.
Watch the video below to learn why you should be putting yourself first.. and then I’ll tell you the things I do that could seem selfish but are actually making me a better mom.
Ok so, here are some ways that I put myself first.
I drink at least 1 or 2 green juices a day because they give me energy and keep me from getting sick.
This is non-negotiable because there’s no dad around to help me with the kids. Me being too tired to do something is not an option. If I get sick, there is no one to get them to and from school, take them to activities, do the bedtime routine, etc. The cost of the juicer and the produce is nothing compared to the cost of my energy and health.
I always make sure to get my juice or salad in before I give them dinner because I know if I feed them first, my willpower will give in and I’ll end up eating meat and potatoes or spaghetti and I won’t be hungry for my greens and then I’ll be pissed at myself and have low energy the next morning.
I do hot Yoga or Pilates 3-5 times a week for the same reasons that I juice- and also to keep my sanity.
I learned about the importance of creating endorphins years ago. When I found out about all of my ex-husbands affairs and was living 1000 miles away from all my friends and family, I would leave the house every night after the kids were asleep because I didn’t want to be under the same roof as him. Problem was I wasn’t 21 yet so the only place open that I was legally allowed at was the gym. After only a few nights of working out, I noticed that my mood had dramatically changed and I was starting to gain a new outlook on life.
Yoga and Pilates are not luxuries that I hope to fit in my schedule.. if I can. I work my schedule around the classes because I’ve made them a priority. They put me in a much better mood and I don’t want to rip my hair out so much when my kids are fighting or not understanding the homework assignment that we’ve been over 50 times already.
I am a hot bubble bath addict and like to end my night with them as often as I can.
There’s not a lot to explain here. Turn the water up as hot as possible so that when I get out, my body is beet red. Throw in some epson salts, some essential oils, some apple cider vinegar- whatever I’m in the mood for. Head phones on. Sipping chamomile tea. The occasional glass of red wine. Boom. I’ll sleep like a baby.
I would resent my kids- and the entire world- if I couldn’t take my hot baths. If they have to go to bed early so I can soak, then so be it.
I not only enjoy, but also NEED, nights away from the kids here and there.
Of course, I would never drop them off with someone I didn’t know or a place where they wouldn’t be comfortable- they’re always with their grandparents. Sometimes I spend a night alone at home reading or writing, sometimes I get dressed up and go out with girlfriends, sometimes I have a stay-cation with my boyfriend.
Having time for myself and time with other grown-ups makes me a more well-rounded person and also helps with my sanity levels. It also gives me enough time to really start to miss the kids and there’s no better feeling than when I pick them up the next day and they’re just bursting with excitement to see me.
Those are just some of the ways that I make myself a priority.
I would LOVE to know what kinds of things you do to put yourself first.. or if this concept is a little strange to you?
Let me know in the comments! <3 Danielle